The Saturday Weekly Review

The Saturday Weekend Review #41: Would you buy a house that has a spooky or illegal past?


Behind Closed Doors Lurks A Story You Might Want To Know

You are looking for your dream home when you suddenly find it but then you also find out there is more to the home than meets the eye.

Getting my daily dish of Yahoo this morning I was reading about whether Satanists decrease the value of a home.

The article had me thinking about what other things might decrease the value of a home that was out of the ordinary and would I put an offer on a home of that calibre.

I don’t suspect the property assessment with the Multiple Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) would be affected as they value the homes that are comparable in the neighbourhood so we might not see any value decrease reflection documented when the paperwork arrives.

Then again, what do I know?

Whether it was a grow op house for sale, illegal activities, someone may have died or even worse was murdered inside of a house would you put an offer in on a house you fall in love with knowing this information?

There was a time last year where a beautiful home sitting on a large property in our city was busted as a marijuana grow op in a relatively quiet neighbourhood that stunned the residents.

Although many did say they could smell the scent of marijuana which is hard to miss they never quite thought that something so illegal was happening right under their noses.

For the longest time the house had yellow tape around it and it was boarded up which I imagine the police did as they conducted their investigation.

Through the grapevine we heard there was quite a bit of damage to the interior walls of the home as well as general damage from the amount of moisture in the air especially since the house was closed up all of the time.

When the house was put on the market the MLS pictures showed that they had cleaned up the house and also managed to call in a home staging company to make it look pretty for the open houses and potential buyers.


Real Estate agent requirements


If something happened in every home including natural death and it had to be disclosed would that really hurt the real estate agent salary if homes were then valued less? I don’t know.

If a death happened, well I don’t think that’s a big deal as it’s a natural part of life and people die at home all the time.

If it were me, I’d rather not know that old man Johnny had his final moments on the living room floor before peacefully leaving this earth. That to me is disturbing the peace, let it go.

I have talked to some agents and it’s clear as day that lining their pocket is more important than anything else.

I think there is a fine line when it comes to a code of ethics and many will teeter on that line and push the envelope as far as they can go unless they are of the type that believes what goes around, comes around but in a positive light.

I’d be interested in getting some feedback from agents to hear what they have to say on this topic and how they handle it or are supposed to handle it.

I’m not sure if home sellers or real estate agents have to disclose that the home was a grow op but I’m guessing that is the case to some degree from an article I read in the Toronto Star written by Real Estate lawyer Mark Weisleder who says,

In Ontario, real estate agents must disclose any material fact that they are aware of under the rules of their Code of Ethics. In my opinion this includes whether a murder or suicide had occurred on the property and could also include certain neighbourhood conditions.

I can see why it would be important that the homeowner know as well the home inspector so he/she has a sense of how the house has been taken care although any good home inspector will just find the defects without any prior history because that is what they should be trained to do, although that is not always the case.

To be honest I can’t see that a grow op would deter many people as long as they know what the damage was and whether it was repaired to the highest standards before moving in or at least securing a sale with a price that reflects the repairs needed to be done.

I don’t think a grow op would be as bad as a murder scene or suicide or even worse captivity which has been exposed and we hear about on the news from time to time that shocks the world.

I agree that the house should just be torn down and rebuilt. No one would want to move into a home like that, but are all these situations reported? Probably not.

The grow op house did sell eventually for a relatively decent price we thought, keeping in mind that the home still needed lots of work doing on it but the asking price reflected the renovations that the new owner would need to do.

If the home has a spooky past I don’t know if I could put an offer in although for some people it might not bother them as much. Saying that, be cautious just because you don’t mind if you plan to sell the next potential buyers might have a BIG problem with it especially if they can Google the information on the internet.

These days you can find just about anything, heck I can still find the listing to my UK house from when I was selling it and the next owner.

Sometimes things linger on the internet for years and years so do your homework because you might find the home for you but the home might come with a story you want to know about, or at least should know.

Would I buy a house that was a grow op? I don’t know to be honest, it really depends on the house structure and damage if any to the home, which is likely.

If the story about the home was headlining news and we know exactly what went down inside of that house through such media coverage and then the house was later on the market up for sale I might be hesitant.

If after having knowledge of what happened in a home I might not be that comfortable to live in it but it really depends on the situation.

It’s different if someone just passes away in their sleep or from complications I don’t think that would bother me as it happens all the time. What I think bothers me is when it becomes a crime scene where death or something way over the top occurred.


Home value


I believe the home’s value will decrease in price because people will know what happened and you may discourage potential buyers simply for their own personal reasons. Some people get spooked out thinking that ghosts will haunt their new home because of bad dealings in the home or consequently don’t want the dark vibes surrounding them.

There will always be a darkness in a home that was surrounded with evil in the sense of wrong-doing because life lingers on especially if it wasn’t meant to leave at that time.

That’s what I believe and maybe it’s far out there but that’s enough to spook me out of being a potential buyer.

There are so many stories on the internet and even a TV show if I can recall about ghost sightings and evil spirits lurking in homes with weird things happening during the wee hours of the night that prompt homeowners to seek professional help. Once you start reading and seeing TV shows like that it’s enough to say, nope I have no interest in homes like that.

At some point the home will go up for sale and when it does potential home buyers who don’t really care so much about the history will only care about that reduced price on the home simply because of that history.

Someone might score a bargain of a deal just like the buyers of the grow op marijuana house did in our area which was later put on the market less than a year later.

The house sold with-in 2 weeks this time as it was fully renovated and landscaped. There was no trace of the home being a grow op as we took a tour during an open house (yes we are nosey neighbours).

Would you buy a home if you know a homes dark past?

What if the home was reported to be haunted by ghosts, would you buy it or believe it?

Should a home price drop in value if illegal activity occurred in the home?

Should the real estate agent and/or homeowner disclose any information about the home or homes surrounding the home?


Canadian Budget Binder this week


If you missed any Canadian Budget Binder posts this week you can catch up by clicking any of the links below. Something is always brewing at CBB so subscribe to the blog today and get my daily post sent to your inbox!

Exciting news for Canadian Budget Binder as we make our way into the news again this week in The Toronto Star online and in print. Katrina my Canadian Budget Binder contributor gives a lovely interview with the Toronto Star about grocery shopping, budgets and the Thanksgiving holiday. Please do enjoy this one. “In Budget Plans Every Dollar Counts Rent it Instead: Do you really need to see the movie on the big screen? If the answer is yes pack your snacks.The combo amount amount to a small grocery load.”


Making a difference



Hi, my name is Bridget and I founded Money After Graduation to chronicle my own journey from negative net worth to relative riches. After graduating with over $20,000 in debt from my Bachelor’s degree, I was financially maxed out with no financial assets.

Thanks to the help of the online personal finance community and some serious budgeting efforts, I was debt-free within two years, had five-figures saved for retirement, and had started taking on investing in the stock market. I fell in love with money management, and thankfully it loved me back!

My primary goal with Money After Graduation is both to share my own story, and help others on their journey.

Debt, particularly student loans, is an all too common burden on twenty-something shoulders, and unfortunately holds a lot of people back from living the life they want.

I frequently hear my peers question how they will ever afford to buy a home or raise a family when they’re living paycheque to paycheque.

For many, money is a total mystery: they know how to use it to buy stuff, but they don’t know how to make it work for them. Often it is very simple changes to habits and clear goal setting that can completely turn someone’s financial situation around.

Money After Graduation provides information to readers about budgeting, saving, and investing, and encourages shedding your debt and building the foundation of your financial future early in your adult life. My hope is that I can help readers set off on the right financial foot and life happy, wealthy lives!


 Blog post sharing


I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website.

Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.

A big thanks to these blogs for thinking of CBB even though I haven’t been around much this past month. Cheers!


What is a blog carnival?


Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.

Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals


Carnival glory



Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Here are a few of my favourite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • Do most guys not cook?- I don’t know it’s hard to say, I love to cook
  • Banks for sale in Canada– Why do you want to buy one?
  • Paid my debt to you– Funny, I haven’t received a thing 🙂
  • Alcohol jackpot– Now there’s a jackpot I’d be proud to announce
  • Teen couple making baby– Nope not going to find any lovemaking on CBB
  • Money isn’t everything- That is so very true

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #41: Would you buy a house that has a spooky or illegal past?

Join me next week same time, same place to see what trouble I can get myself into. Have a great week everyone.



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  1. I’d like to say that I’m not superstitious and things like that didn’t bother me, but I’ll be honest they do. We have a lot of deaths in the building I work in (apartment building for people who are low-income, mentally ill etc.) so there are a lot of people who pass away naturally (and not). A few weeks ago we had a client who felt out of her window and landed on the scaffolding right outside my bosses’ window.The had to bring the body through the window. I’m still pretty upset/freaked out by the whole thing.

  2. Funny you should bring this subject up……. We made the national news here in St Marys a number of years back when the town had two murder /suicides……in a week. The second one was just a block or so south of us on this street. The first one the common law husband killed his wife and then himself. They had a son together, I believe he was in his late teens or a shade older at the time. The house sat empty for a while, then was bulldozed and a new house built on the site. I don’t know if the son is still there or if some one else was behind it but I never saw a for sale sign there. The one down the street the husband thought his wife was fooling around with their daughters boyfriend. He shot the wife and boyfriend before turning the gun on himself.I still remember that night, there had been issues with kids pranking calls to 911 and I guess the OPP thought the first call to come in was another prank so the car didn’t rush. Once it got there however…all hell broke loose and the second car went screaming past our place. I don’t want to say the car was speeding but the last time I saw something move that fast was on the open highway. The daughter is still in town with a couple of boys of her own now. We know the couple that live in the house next to this one and the house is still there. Our friends had to raise hell with the health dept. after as no one cleaned the place up and in the heat it was so very not nice to be down wind.It was a rental then and I believe it still is. I heard from our friends the OPP busted the place a couple of months ago as it was now a grow-op!!!!!
    I read a book on real estate a fair while back and it did say what to look for if you were wondering if the place had been a grow-op before. I would have real concerns about buying the house in that case as you have no real way to know exactly what is behind the walls and how the wiring has been compromised. Replacing the drywall is one thing but what is the condition of the studs and such behind it???? Wooden studs can have mold as easily as anything else. Other thoughts would be rot in the studs, the dampness would attract termites, and what effect it has on wiring. The fact that grow-ops tend to alter the wiring in the house and as it comes in brings a fire hazard to the picture as well.
    I really don’t think I would buy the grow-op house or one that has had an un-natural death in it. Both tend to creep me out some….
    On a brighter note it looks like I have some new reading to look into!!! Plus my weekly chuckle with the search terms!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and the Mrs!!!!

  3. Personally, I think it would be nice if those things were disclosed, but yes, it would ultimately affect my buying decision. They used to have to disclose deaths, etc., here, but then the law changed. Not sure what it is currently though. When I was in mortgage banking, I would frequently hear about realtors who told their selling clients to shut up about a death that had occurred in a house. The house we live in now is 125 years old, and Rick freaks out sometimes about all the stuff that could’ve happened here over the last century +. He always jokes that he won’t eat the garden food because “grandma” is probably buried under that dirt. 🙂

  4. We almost bought a house where a drug lord was living, he was killed shortly before we started house hunting and his widow didn’t want the property anymore. My neighbor bought a cantina, that is the bar where you pick up girls before hitting the brothel with them, she is turning it into a lawyer’s office. I don’t mind the past of a house too much, it is just a house. Our neighbors thought we were drug lords too when we moved in and after a few months they joked about it, big house or small house it wouldn’t have changed their opinion.

    1. Some people won’t mind but if you go to sell, depending on where you live the next homeowner might not fancy the past that comes with the house.

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