Buying a new home is an exciting time! There are thoughts of backyard barbecues, decorating for the holidays and having a place to raise a family. But what you might not think about is what happened at that home before you got the key.
Roy Condrey saw a need for home buyers to have that information so he launched the website Died in House
. He often uncovers information he wasn't necessarily looking for...
"I ran a report and found out there were 11 dogs murdered in one house. That's something to note because people are driving by pointing at your house (saying) that's the house with 11 dogs that died," Condrey said.
Condrey, speaking to us from his home in South Carolina, said an extreme case of a homeowner unknowingly purchasing a house with a violent history was when a Mesa couple bought the home of murder victim Travis Alexander. Alexander was shot and stabbed in June of 2008. Jodi Arias was sentenced to life in prison for his murder.
"The new home buyers bought that as an as-is property," Condrey said. "When the trial started it hit national news, tourists were driving by, you can get on YouTube and see the videos."
In Arizona, the seller is not legally required to disclose that kind of information, no matter how heinous the crime was.
"Arizona state statute protects the owner or seller of a property, as well as the licensee selling the property from having any duty whatsoever to disclose that there's been a death at the property," Nathan Pierce of Strong Tower Real Estate Group in Scottsdale said.
And it doesn't stop there. The statute protects sellers and realtors from having to disclose any felony on the property, if the owner or occupants had HIV, or if a sex offender lives nearby.
Stigmatized property AZ statute
A. No criminal, civil or administrative action may be brought against a transferor or lessor of real property or a licensee for failing to disclose that the property being transferred or leased is or has been:
1. The site of a natural death, suicide or homicide or any other crime classified as a felony.
2. Owned or occupied by a person exposed to the human immunodeficiency virus or diagnosed as having the acquired immune deficiency syndrome or any other disease that is not known to be transmitted through common occupancy of real estate.
3. Located in the vicinity of a sex offender.
B. Failing to disclose any fact or suspicion as set forth in subsection A shall not be grounds for termination or rescission of any transaction in which real property has been or will be transferred or leased.
In August, Condrey added registered sex offender information in his reports. It includes if a registered sex offender lived at the address and how many are in the zip code.
"We provide you all kinds of information that we believe is important that typically isn't disclosed," Condrey said.
Pierce said as a seller's agent, he cannot disclose information that is against the wishes of his client. However, as a buyer's agent, he encourages them to research the property and tells them anything he has uncovered.
"The more disclosure we can have to protect or give to our clients, the better," Pierce said.
Condrey said he launched Died in House in 2013 and has since sold close to 60,000 reports.
"Our intention was to serve buyers and renters before they buy or rent, but what's funny is it ends up being people that live in the home or people that used to live in a home and experienced something," Condrey said. "Sometimes it's people that drove by a home and were curious of the history."
The price of a report
is around $12.00 or three for $20.00.