4/27/2007

Welcome Wagon

My friend's mom has just moved into a new condo after saying a long goodbye to the old family homestead. With sadness, she had to admit that since her husband had died, the place was too big for one person, the brood long gone to find their places in the world.

Boxes were packed and gradually moved to the new place and eventually, some of the furniture made its way over. A tentative first night was spent there and then it was back to the old place to finish up the packing. After it was done and the For Sale sign went up, the only thing left to do was turn off the lights one last time, wipe away a tear and head for a brave new world.

On her first full day at the condo, she ran into her neighbors in the hall, a nice older couple who offered their welcomes after introductions were exchanged. "So you've moved into Mrs. A's place, it's a shame what happened to her." "Oh? What happened to her?" "It was movie night and when she didn't come down, we called but there was no answer. Died right in your vestibule there, it was two days before they found her. What a shame. Well, enjoy the place! See you soon!"
This is not the ideal way to learn that with private home sales, disclosures of death on the premises isn't mandatory.

23 comments:

Bluez628 said...

*snort* you're so cruel...

BeckEye said...

Eegads. That's a lovely welcome.

My brother bought a house and the night before the old couple who lived there were to move out, the husband died. It was never clear whether he died IN the house or in the ambulance, but I was a bit freaked out the first time I went over there to visit my bro. I didn't get any bad "vibes" though. Although I guess a little old man ghost wouldn't be all that bad. What would he do, keep turning your stereo down? It's not like some of those homes that have a portal to hell in the basement. I'd really be pissed off about my real estate agent for "forgetting" to tell me a tidbit like that.

Mob said...

That's so horrible.

I'm certian we'll end up in 'the murder house' unless we stick with someone we know as the realtor.

There's a good case for building to fit your own specs, such as kitchen size, bathroom count and number of bodies in the home = 0.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Boy howdy, some folks are just natural born ambassadors, aren't they?

On the bright side, at least she wasn't bludgeoned to death and then cut up in the bathtub or anything like that. Coz that would really fuck with the chi of the place.

The Freelance Cynic said...

It's only when you found the occultic symbols under the carpet you really start worrying.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

holy crap, welcome to the neighbourhood indeed.

lulu said...

People have to die somewhere, and chances are that if you live in an old house, someone will have died in it. Granted, it is a little tacky to mention it to the new buyer, but I don't really see the big deal about it.

I had an apartment with a little old man ghost in it, and I loved it. He just wandered through occasionally, didn't really do much, but I kind of felt like my grampa was there.

Tanya Espanya said...

You left out the part about the stabbing and the fifteen cats and the piles of old newspapers.

Beth said...

Tears and laughter: That's why we come back to Passion of the Dale. Well, that and you look damn cute in that bee outfit.

Bubs said...

That is terrible. It's a shame there's no mandatory disclosure. And she evidently has some real prize neighbors, to find a way to "slip" that into conversation the very first time they met her.

A friend of mine was looking at a house, and kept thinking it seemed familiar, and then when the realtor opened the pull-down stairs for the attic my friend remembered why--he'd stood at the bottom of those stairs, supporting the body of a suicide while they cut him down.

He did not buy the place.

X. Dell said...

When I drove taxis over in Jersey, one of the regular passengers decided to murder his four-year-old-son in his bedroom before committing suicide (he jumped into the path of an oncoming train).

The scandal made big news around the area, and many of the neighbors began to think of the house as cursed. But because of NJ real estate laws, the seller didn't have to disclose the fact that a murder had taken place there.

A new buyer came from out of town. No one told this family about the murder for at least two years (as far as I know, the new occupants might still be in the dark).

I don't suppose knowing might have changed the buyer's desire to purchase the place. Still, you'd have to think that it might have knocked a few thousand dollars off the closing price.

Coaster Punchman said...

My theory is that as long as they don't die in some horrible tragic way, they won't be able to haunt the premises.

Not that falling down & dying in your vesibule isn't tragic, but you know what I mean.

I've already decided that I'll haunt individuals rather than a house. Should be fun.

John Mutford said...

I was feeling bad for her and then I scrolled down and saw the chaulk outline. Is it wrong that I laughed? Do you tell jokes at funerals? And if you outlive me, can I book you in advance?

Allison said...

Welcome to the neighbourhood indeed, yikes!

If I have any control over it, when I die, I'd like to fall like that chalk outline.

chelene said...

When my family first moved from Queens from Brooklyn my mom found out that the house we'd bought had been owned by an elderly woman who had died in the house. I wasn't told until much later because I was young and a scaredy-cat who probably would have insisted on sleeping in a bathtub filled with holy water if I'd known.

Dale said...

Whaddayamean Bluez? It's not like I'd kill just for a blog joke is it? Hmmm.

I'm opting for the old guy who turns down the stereo over the portal to hell too Beckeye! Hilarious.

That's the way I want my plans to read too Mob. My friend's mom took it in stride though.

No fucking with the chi of the old lady condo Barbara! Hahaha.

Always check the floors! Good advice Freelance Cynic.

What a way to say hey huh 668?

Lulu, I have never heard of this thing where people die in homes before. Is it new? She took it in stride and I don't think it would have affected her decision to buy the place ultimately. That's a nice ghost story though. Friendlies are allowed.

That's my family Tanya, you always bust me!

Beth, once again you prove that I write the songs that make the young girls cry. Bzzzz.

That's a horrifying story Bubs, talk about bad chi! The rule here is that there's no disclosure in private sales but otherwise, it's required. Imagine trying to sell a place after something so tragic?

It probably would have done exactly that X. Dell. I'm all for bargains but I'd think twice.

I think that's a sound idea CP, more freedom to haunt and you're not stuck going through the same old wallpaper night after night.

It's all about the punchline with me John. I'm going to springload my casket so I pop up at just the right moment at my funeral. And yes, I'm available for hire. Some conditions may apply.

Very elegant of you Allison, I think you'd look perfect with your leg crooked just a tiny bit more.

But then you'd have kept the whole house up all night Chelene with your cries of 'It burnsss, it burnsss!'

Writeprocrastinator said...

"This is not the ideal way to learn that with private home sales, disclosures of death on the premises isn't mandatory."

It is in here, in San Francisco. Because of beliefs/supersitions, several Chinese families had sued their landlords and won, to the point that the City made it mandatory.

Dale said...

It's something that could definitely affect your buying decisions Write P. so good for them!

Chancelucky said...

I actually once bought a house with my first wife from a woman who'd just divorced (not an unusual thing in California). After that I learned that the woman who had built the house lost two husbands. One died while trying to help someone fix a flat on the side of the highway. Anyway, my own marriage lasted about a year after we bought the house.

Makes one think about feng hsui etc. I wonder if they'll someday have Title Companies that do a Spiritual chain of title. I'm trying to remember the book, but there's a novel set in a section of New York that used to serve as the place where they executed people. I'm not talking Amityville Horror, this was New York City.

"jew" "girl" said...

promise me you will never change...

Dale said...

So did she lose them during building while you lost yours after buying Chancelucky? Spiritual chain of title is probably a viable business. I want a cut when you get rich.

You mean like get dead Jew Girl? I'll do my best to always make you happy.

Jill said...

How fun for a elderly!!! Not the best way to feel secure in a new place!!!

Dale said...

She seemed to be fine with the news though Jill, didn't bother her a bit.