This house fulfills all your requirements, and you find yourself considering making an offer. But could there be something suspicious about this seemingly perfect property? It’s natural to be cautiously inquisitive about the history of a house, particularly regarding any deaths that may have taken place on the premises. Fortunately, it’s now simpler than ever to know if someone died in your house, and we’re here to provide you with valuable insights. Keep reading for a variety of effortless methods to unveil the truth about your property before you finalize your decision to move in.
If you’re curious about the history of a property before making a decision, here are some simple methods to uncover information:
What you should know
- Conduct an online search using the house address. This can help you discover if any significant events have taken place at the property.
- Cross-reference newspaper archives and vital records to gain further insight into the property’s history. This research can provide valuable details about past occurrences.
- Consider using a service like DiedInHouse, which, for a fee of $12, provides a quick and convenient way to find out if any deaths were reported at the specific property you’re interested in.
- Explore HouseCreep, a free online resource that offers a crowd-sourced compendium of properties with eerie or morbid histories. This platform can provide additional information about the property’s background.
How to know if someone died in your house
You’ll have the opportunity to gather relevant information about the property’s past, helping you make an informed decision before committing to it.
1. Search the address of the property
You can conduct a swift online search to find relevant articles or useful information. Enter the complete address of your property, including the city, in a search engine. You can obtain more precise results by enclosing a portion of your address within quotation marks, enabling the search engine to locate exact matches (e.g., “300 Main Street”). Also, you may uncover any significant events or incidents associated with the property. Additionally, consider searching the address on various social media platforms to check if it corresponds to any posts.
2. Review newspaper archives and obituary websites
You can explore old articles or obituaries that may mention the address of your home. Some obituaries and death notices provide detailed information about the deceased, including their place of residence. Keep in mind that certain websites may not offer the option to search using an exact address. In such cases, you can input the city and state/region and narrow down your research from there.
If you reside in the United States, you can search historical census records or public records to discover previous occupants of the property. Once you have their names, you can search for them on obituary sites or newspaper archives to uncover any relevant information and help you know if someone died in your house.
3. Get additional information from your realtor
Realtors are typically not obligated to disclose information about property deaths, except in specific circumstances. Only California mandates that realtors disclose any recent deaths on a property within the last 3 years, while states like South Dakota and Alaska require disclosure specifically for violent deaths.¹ However, in most states, realtors are not required to disclose previous property deaths. Nevertheless, they are not allowed to lie or conceal the property’s history if you inquire about it.
To gather information about deaths associated with a property, ask direct questions to the realtor. Examples of such questions include:
Has anyone died on the property recently?”
Are there any deaths associated with the property?
Note that in states like North Dakota and Maine, realtors can only discuss previous deaths at the property if the current seller grants permission for such disclosure.
4. Inspect your local vital records
Check if the property address appears on any death certificates. The location of a person’s death must be documented in their death certificate, regardless of whether it occurred in a hospital, nursing home, hospice facility, or personal residence. If someone passed away at your residential address, this information will be recorded in the corresponding death certificate.
5. Get in touch with the homeowner
If you have the opportunity to communicate with the current property owner, inquire about the house’s history. The current homeowner may have valuable information regarding the previous occupants and their experiences. If the current owner has resided in the house for an extended period, they might have some knowledge about the previous owners, including whether any deaths occurred on the property. Here are a few suggested questions to ask to help you know if someone died in your house.
I apologize if this seems like an unusual question, but I was wondering if you happen to know if any of the previous owners passed away on the property?
This house appears to have a rich history. Are you familiar with any details about the previous owners?
I’ve heard rumors about peculiar events occurring at this house in the early 20th century. Do you have any information about that?
However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the sale of the house, it may not always be possible to directly communicate with the current owner.
6. Hear from your potential neighbors
When exploring the neighborhood, consider approaching the adjacent neighbors of the property you’re interested in. Neighbors can often provide valuable insights into the property’s history and previous owners. If they are open to a brief conversation, you can ask them a few questions to gather information:
How long have you been living in this neighborhood? Have you noticed anything unusual or noteworthy happening at the property I’m considering?
I’m considering moving into the house next door. Is there anything you can tell me about it? I just want to make sure I have a complete understanding.
Has there been any criminal activity or incidents of concern at the house next door? I prefer to avoid moving into a property with a negative history or unsettling vibes.
Engaging in friendly conversations with neighbors can provide you with additional insights and help you make an informed decision. However, be mindful that some neighbors may not have extensive knowledge or may prefer not to discuss certain matters.
Where to find if someone died in your house
DiedInHouse provides information about property deaths in the United States for a fee of $12. It offers a quick and convenient way to access details about any deaths that occurred on a specific property. By simply entering the property address and completing the one-time payment, you can obtain a comprehensive report on the house’s history, including information about fires, deaths, drug busts, and other pertinent property details. The website also provides information about death disclosure laws specific to your state as you proceed with the checkout process. It’s important to note that DiedInHouse is not a subscription service, but they do offer discounts if you wish to purchase multiple searches at once.
HouseCreep is a platform that emphasizes properties with a history of criminal activities, distinguishing it from DiedInHouse, which relies on official property records and reports. Unlike DiedInHouse, HouseCreep operates solely on crowd-sourced information. Users have the ability to contribute details about houses or addresses associated with violent incidents or other criminal occurrences. While HouseCreep’s coverage may not be comprehensive, it can provide valuable insights into the history of a property. While HouseCreep primarily concentrates on American and Canadian properties, it also includes a limited number of international entries.
NeighborWho offers a comprehensive property history service for a monthly subscription fee of $35. Unlike other platforms that solely focus on property deaths, NeighborWho provides a detailed overview of a specific property, including any deaths that have occurred on the premises, if applicable. Simply enter the address or the previous owner’s name, if available, on the website, complete the payment, and gain access to all the information you could possibly desire about the property.
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Have a professional inspect the home
A professional can be a better way to know if someone died in your house, especially if you need to shift the responsibility and focus on other aspects of your daily life.
If the presence of previous deaths in a house is a significant concern for you, hiring a private investigator can provide a thorough examination of its history for a fee. Engaging the services of a private investigator may be the most effective method to alleviate your worries. The fees charged by private investigators can vary, with some requesting a flat fee, others billing on an hourly basis, and some requiring an initial deposit. Make sure to have a detailed discussion with your prospective private investigator to ensure that their services align with your specific requirements before committing to any agreement. Online platforms like Bark simplify the process of locating private investigators in your local area, making it convenient to find suitable professionals.
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