Friday Funny: Creepy Mansions Not Exempt From Housing Market Slump
"Two years ago, a four-bedroom with a triple homicide would ignite a bidding war among young couples desperate to get into what they naïvely thought would be their dream home," Trammel says. "We were handing out 30-year fixed rate [mortgages] with nothing down to anyone who was willing to ignore the spine-tingling whispers emanating from the basement. But since the market crashed, people don't even want to look inside."
With home prices falling at their fastest rate in 20 years, the creepy-mansion market has gone from booming to moribund as realtors head into what should be their most lucrative season, Halloween. Thousands of agents who used to specialize in old homes with a terrible secret in their walls have switched to non-paranormal houses, which, while still difficult to sell, are faring better on average than their green-glowing counterparts.
"It's hard enough right now to move a renovated ranch-style house within walking distance of mass transit," says Cleveland-area agent Maria Reynolds, adding that she has stopped including photos of wraith-infested mansions in her real estate catalogs. "Never mind a place that's got blood running from the faucets, the apparition of a boy in a sailor suit standing at the top of the stairs, and no granite countertops."