In Texas, You Could Be Living in a Haunted House and Not Know It
When you’re selling a house in Texas you’ve got to disclose many things, like whether the oven works and whether you’ve replaced the roof recently. But you don’t have to disclose whether or not you have ghosts. Here’s what the law says about it.
When we’re ready to sell, the seller’s property disclosure in Texas has us check off the working condition of plumbing fixtures, ceiling fans, irrigation systems, and the kitchen appliances in addition to dozens of other things, but when it comes to potential ghostly spirits living in the house, the disclosure form seems indifferent.
In fact, the law says “A seller or seller’s agent shall have no duty to make a disclosure or release information related to whether a death by natural causes, suicide, or accident unrelated to the condition of the property occurred on the property…”
If you’ve seen a ghost, apparently that information can stay between you and the ghost, or between you and social media if you choose. But the person who buys your house doesn’t have to know about it directly from you.
Although you don’t have to tell the buyer, rumors can take a toll on the house anyway. If you’ve got a house that made the news because something bad or scary happened there and the whole town knows about it, that could affect your property value without disclosure from you. That’s called a “stigmatized property,” and the lower property value might stick to it like a good, mysterious apparition picture sticks to an Instagram follower.
There are some websites that claim to know whether your house has ghosts, so if you’re the buyer you’re free to do your own research and dig up some ghostly facts if you’d like. Anyone can enter an address and get the info, so we can figure out if our own homes are haunted or not. Diedinhouse.com is one of those sites.
Curious? Me too. Maybe it wasn’t your partner’s snoring that woke you up in the middle of the night after all. There might be more haunted houses in East Texas than we think.