FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Before you Buy or Rent a Home, Get Informed about Everything! Use DiedinHouse.com to learn the History of the House.

  1. How was the idea for the website developed?
    1. I found out that someone died in my house before I bought it, I assumed it was part of the disclosure process, but unfortunately found out that it was not. I discovered that most states do not have any laws to disclose a death occurrence in a property no matter how it occurred (murder, suicide, accident, illness or natural).  What I also discovered is that there is not a single place to go and that the research is very time consuming.
  2. Do people care if there is a death in a property?
    1. Yes, a 2007 Associated Press Poll found that 1/3 of Americans admit to believing in Ghosts. I wonder how many do not admit it.
    2. You may not believe in ghosts, but you do not want to live in a house where someone has died, no matter how they may have died.
    3. A death in a home, especially a tragic death can impact its value by more than 25% and take it 50% longer to sell than comparable homes.
    4. If you do not mind either way, a stigmatized home can be a bargain and the information can be used as leverage to negotiate a reduced price or rent.
    5. You will need to consider your privacy.  The home may now be a local tourist attraction, so be prepared for random strangers driving by staring at your house and possibly approaching you to ask questions.
  3. What are the State Disclosure Laws for Stigmatized Properties?
    1. Most states do not have a law to disclose that a property is stigmatized. Three states have a law to disclose events within one to three years of the purchase date.  Fifteen states have a law that only if the buyer asks and only if the seller knows they are to disclose the information, but no legal action can be taken if they do not. The remaining thirty-two states have no law, therefore no legal action can be taken against the seller or agent for not disclosing.
  4. What is "Material Fact" and is a death occurrence considered Material Fact?
    1. A Material Fact in real estate is defined as a fact that, if known, might have caused a buyer or seller of real estate to make a different decision with regards to remaining in a contract or to the price paid or received.
    2. Most states do not list death as a material fact, no matter how it occurred.
    3. DiedinHouse.com's opinion is that it does impact many buyer’s decision to buy the home. Just ask yourself, would you want to know the home's history before or after you move in?
    4. If it is not as important as some in the real estate industry allude or the state laws address, then what is the problem with telling buyers before they invest their time, emotions and money into the property?  Let the buyer know before investing so that they can be better informed to make the best decision for themselves and their family?
  5. What is on a report?
    1. Any records found stating that there was a death at the address
    2. List of previous residents and other people that are associated to the address.  Since we cannot guarantee that we will find all deaths in homes, we provide you with all the names that we can find in public records that are associated to the address and tell you out of that list who has been reported as deceased by the US government. The associated people are not always current or past residents, they are people that are somehow associated the address. We show everyone because there is no way for us to differentiate how they are associated. Our system is not causing the misspellings, it is simply reporting what it finds.   
    3. Vitality status of previous residents and people that are associated with the residence
    4. Reported Meth activity, including labs, "dumpsites" or "chemical and glassware" seizures
    5. Fire Related Incidents Occurring at the Address
    6. Indicator of Registered Sex Offender Living at the Address
    7. Number of Registered Sex Offenders Living in the Area and a List of Addresses
    8. Proximity to local cemeteries
    9. Property Information
    10. A free follow up report in 30 days of the purchase
    11. Information referencing what is listed in the public records regarding a death at the address.
  6. Why does it cost money?
    1. The data we pass to our customers cost us, so we try to keep our charge low for them and make enough to cover the additional business overhead cost.
    2. The price of our report is minimal compared to other report based services which are typically priced in the $39.99 range.
    3. When a search is ran we are charged by our data providers, therefore all charges and fees are final, and we do not offer refunds.  
  7. Is this a subscription or a one-time purchase?
    1. DiedinHouse.com does not offer a subscription, each purchases is unique.  You pay per search credit. The more you buy in bulk, the less expensive per search credit.
  8. Can you generate DiedinHouse.com reports on commercial addresses?
    1. Although there are some reports of Commercial properties, DiedinHouse.com’s algorithm is intended to be used for residential addresses.
  9. Can I be recharged for anything?
    1. No, DiedinHouse.com does not save your credit card information, therefore you will never be recharged later, unless you retype your credit card information for a new purchase.
  10. Quantity and Accuracy of the data?
    1. We do not have or claim to have all of the records in the US. We also do not guarantee the accuracy of the data used in our search process. We cover that in our disclaimer and terms of agreement.  Our service is intended to help those who care to know, find out if a death occurred at an address.  A significant amount of paper records were not converted to digital format until the 1990s.  The US Government did not start digitizing death records until the 1960s.  Even today, there are government records that have not been digitized.  Most of our data is from the mid to late 1980s to present.  We do have US Government data that reaches back to the 1940s and manual data that can go back even further. If we are not able to find a death record in our search, keep in mind that does not mean that a death has not occurred there.  Using public records, we provide our customers with the names of everyone associated with an address and their vitality status.  Our instant report saves customers a tremendous amount of time and assists in further research, in the case our customer wants to pursue more information on their own.
    2. We are committed to continually striving to increase the data and improve the accuracy of the data. We search through over 130 million records and that is only a fraction of the deaths that have occurred in America. There are roughly 4.5 million positive records of death at an address and that number is growing at a pace of 500,000 per year.
    3. The information contained in our database is obtained from multiple providers. Our algorithm searches through them, cross references and lastly validates against government records, but even that does not guarantee its accuracy. The government even states that they do not have all of the data or guarantee its accuracy.
    4. DiedinHouse.com obtains the Registered Sex Offender Data provided in their reports from CriminalCheck and PublicData. These sites are public records disseminators and are not responsible for any inaccuracies in any database. Neither CriminalCheck nor PublicData will modify records in any database upon notification of inaccuracies from individuals. Those wishing to have inaccurate data corrected must contact the reporting/supplying government agency and negotiate changes. Once changes are in place with the government agency, CriminalCheck and PublicData will reflect the modification(s) in the regular, every other week, update cycle of that database.
    5. Please review our Terms and Conditions, specifically (c. Site Results), "the service is provided "as is." You are paying for us to conduct a search, not to return any specific result. The information presented on the Site is often obtained by third-parties. As such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of information you receive on the Site. Please use caution when interpreting results from the Site."
    6. Our disclaimer states that DiedinHouse.com is merely a great tool to use to assist you with finding out if someone has died at a specific address. It is always recommended that before anyone purchases or rents a home, to run a Died in House ™ Report, ask the seller and agent if they are aware of any deaths, speak with neighbors, search the address online and check government records for any information related to the property.
  11. Do you have data for all 50 states?
    1. Yes, any official US address to include residential addresses on US Military bases
  12. How to set my password and access my account?
    1. Your account was created during the purchase process using the email address that you provided at checkout
    2. To view your search history, use your purchased search credits and purchase additional credits, please take the following steps to set your password and login in to your account:
      1. Go to DiedinHouse.com and click the "Sign in" link
      2. Type in your account email address and click the forgot password link
      3. Within seconds you will get an email with the subject "Password Reset Request" (the email may take a minute or two, only click the Forgot Password link once)
      4. Click the link in the email that is after the following sentence "To login, please click the link or copy and paste it into your browser."
      5. Type in your new password in both fields named New Password
      6. Click the Update Button
      7. You will receive the following message towards the top of the screen “Your password has been changed
      8. Click the DiedinHouse.com logo on the top left of the page. This will take you to the Home page. You will see your name on the top right side of the screen
      9. You can now run a search and/or view your search history. The next time you login use the new password that you created
  13. I can do the research myself, the data is all public records.
    1. Yes, a large portion of our data that we provide is from public record, but not all.  We have partnered with some private data aggregating companies.  The process of researching an addresses residential history is very time consuming. Once you find data sources, imagine the time it will take to first identify everyone that has lived at the address (not just the owner), then find out if each of them are alive or have deceased, then find out if any died at the address. The site provides an instant report drastically reducing the amount of research and saving you a tremendous amount of time, for as low as $11.99.
    2. The task of researching the genealogy of an address online can be difficult and very time consuming.  There is not a single book or source of information in the public library that will quickly provide the deaths that have occurred at an address.  The intent of DiedinHouse.com is to instantly provide our customers with all the information that the DiedinHouse.com web based software can find before they sign an offer letter or lease. The software also provides customers with a report that can potentially contain records of death occurring at the address, as well as a list of associated people and their vitality status.  The buyer can now show this report to a seller and specifically ask if anyone on the report have died at the address verses asking the question without any information.
  14. How to provide a helpful service related to death and demonstrate respect for those who have died and their families?
    1. Our company deals with death occurrences in homes, so there is a gray line that is crossed every day.  Some will find us offensive and some will not.  There is not much we can do other than trying not to go too far over the line while still getting our point across that this service is needed in today's real estate business environment.  We understand that we will not make everyone happy, but it is not our intent to offend or disrespect anyone, except those who plan to deliberately not disclose.  We will continue to try and balance what is in good taste, be respectful towards those who have passed and their families, and serve the best interests of home buyers and renters.
  15. I received and error and the system cannot find my address.
    1. We use Google's Address verification system.  If the system does not recognize an address it will usually recommend a different address.  If it has trouble finding the address, the best thing to do is to look up the address in Google.  Once it shows a map or image that matches the address, copy and paste the address and use it in your search.  It is usually below the map or image and usually in a lighter font.  Also this issue is sometimes caused by user's browsers. Simply clear your cache, close all of your browser sessions, then reopen your browser and try again.
  16. How do I find my report?
    1. Login with the credentials you used to make your purchase
    2. Click on your name in the upper right hand corner of the home screen
    3. Click the green button "View Search History"
    4. Click on your report.
  17. How is DiedinHouse.com different from other real estate websites?
    1. Most real-estate websites do not offer the Died in House data. They usually provide you the information that you would get a chance to obtain during a purchase (physical defects, repairs, etc.).                                                                       
    2. When you buy a home, most state laws require the seller to disclose all repairs and defects (physical defects, repairs, etc.).  Those traditional material defects can be repaired, but a death at an address can not be removed or repaired. Also, your Realtor will usually provide you with information about the area (schools, crime, etc.).
    3. You also are given the option to have the house inspected and appraised. If you find any issues during this process you will then be allowed to back out of the contract, ask the seller to repair the issues, negotiate price or buy the property as-is.
    4. Finding out after you make an offer that a death occurred at an address is not legal grounds to terminate the contract. If you do terminate the offer, the seller will have the option to keep your earnest money.
  18. Can a death in a property impact its value and length of time to sell?
    1. Yes
      1. Stigmatized Property can be a bargain. A buyer can expect to pay 10 percent to 25 percent off regular market prices for stigmatized homes. – AOL Real Estate Article
      2. According to a study by two business professors at Wright University, houses where murder or suicide have occurred can take 50% longer to sell, and at an average of 2.4 percent less than comparable homes.
      3. During the Thornton, PA Murder Suicide House case, the PA women cited the reports from two real estate appraisers retained by her. Both appraisers were of the opinion that the murder/suicide lowered the value of the property between 10 to 15%.
      4. Simpson Murder House – The house that Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered in 1994, sold two years later for $200,000 less than the asking price.
      5. Amy Winehouse Death - The Camden house in London, England where singer/song writer Amy Winehouse died in July 23, 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning sold in 2012 for over $1 million less than its asking price.
      6. Michael Jackson – The Los Angeles, CA mansion where the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died on June 25, 2009 was listed in 2010 for a little over $23 million, it finally sold for $18 million in 2012.
  19. Can someone buying a new home benefit from running a report?
    1. Yes, a Michigan couple had no idea that the previous owner had taken his life in the basement, before the house was completed. The house was new when they bought it. They now own a home they love with a past they can't come to terms with. They wondered, didn't someone have to tell them and presumed it was a law to disclose. The bank and others knew, but did not tell them.
    2. The land could have had a traumatic event occur on it. Serial killer John Wayne Gacy, Jr. raped and murdered at least 33 teenage boys then buried 26 of them in the crawl space of his home in Chicago, IL. The house was demolished and in 1988 a new house was built in its spot.
  20. What are some high profile Died in House stories, which the buyer found after they moved in?
    1. Thornton, PA – A California women moved herself and her kids closer to her family in Pennsylvania after her husband passed away in California. She bought a house in 2007 and later found out that a year earlier a man killed his wife then he committed suicide in the house. ABC News, among others, covered the story.  Being aware of the murder-suicide, a couple bought the home on October 31, 2006 for $450,000. They later sold it to Janet Milliken a year later for $600,000 and did not disclose the incident to the Ms. Milliken. Once she found out she went to court to have the transaction rescinded and to recoup her money. Since there is no state law stating that it has to be disclosed, the judge ruled against Milliken and she is stuck with the house.
    2. Silver Spring, Maryland Murder House - A father and his daughter were murdered in their house in 2002. It was not disclosed to the new owner, a middle school principal named Brian Betts. He was shocked when he found out, but could not legally back out of the deal. He moved into the house, then had the house blessed by his church. In 2010, he was found murdered in the same house. Since then, the address has changed from 9337 to 9335 Columbia Blvd. and it went back on the market. After being on the market for an extended period of time, the house ultimately sold for just $330K in February 2012; comparables are $507K.  
    3. Nyack, NY - "Legally Haunted" House in NY - The seller previously publicized that her home was haunted in Readers Digest, but did not disclose it to the buyer. NY does not have a disclosure law. The NY Supreme Court eventually ruled in favor of the buyer because the owner had publicized that the house was haunted. The court stated that for court purposes the house was deemed "legally haunted," and that fact should have been disclosed to the buyer. The sale was revoked.
    4. BTK Serial Killer Dennis Rader - The murder house on Edgemoor St. in Wichita, KS where Bind, Torture, Kill (BTK) serial killer Dennis Rader murdered a family of four in 1974 was sold to Greg Lietz. He stated that the murders were never disclosed to him.
    5. BTK Serial Killer Dennis Rader - The murder house in Wichita, KS where Bind, Torture, Kill (BTK) serial killer Dennis Rader murdered a woman in 1977 was sold to Diane Boyle, 54, a retired nurse. She stated that the murders were never disclosed to her.
  21. Houses where deaths have occurred and inspired movies?
    1. Amityville Horror Murder House - The address was changed in 1977 from 112 to 108 Ocean Ave. Amityville, NY. Actually seven people have died in the Amityville, NY House: First its original owner John Moynahan died in the house in 1939, following a year-long illness. Then in 1974 the oldest son Ronnie DeFeo Jr. murdered six of his family members in the house. He was found guilty and is currently serving his prison sentence of 25 years to life at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville, New York. The Amityville house is still there, it sold last in 2010 and is very nicely renovated.
    2. The Exorcist - The house in St. Louis, MO were the exorcism of Roland Doe was conducted in 1949. This true story is what inspired William Peter Blatty to write the 1971 novel and the 1973 film both named The Exorcist.
    3. "Psycho" Ed Gein’s - The house in Plainfield, WI where Ed Gein fashioned trophies and keepsakes from the bones and skin of women that he murdered and the bodies he exhumed from a local cemetery. His victims were selected because he thought that they resembled his deceased mother. His case influenced the creation of several fictional killers, to include Norman Bates of Psycho. Ed's house was bulldozed in 1957.
    4. The Conjuring – Sherman- Arnold Farm, a 14 room 18th-century farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island where Roger and Carolyn Perron and their five daughters allegedly were terrified and even possessed by spirits. Paranormal Investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren came to assist the Perron family. Supposedly, those that have lived in this farmhouse, both before and after the Perron’s, have reported paranormal activity. The current residents claim there is always activity in the house, but not to the extent the Perron’s endured.

Need Assistance, please email us at: info@diedinhouse.com

"Before you Buy or Rent a Home, Get Informed about Everything! Use DiedinHouse.com to learn the History of the House."