With one of my favorite holidays mere hours away, it’s finally time for your official Zillowtastrophes Newsletter, Halloween Edition.
Today, in keeping with the theme, I’m sharing some 🪦Former Funeral Homes with actual basement mortuaries, some abandoned 👻 Spooky Structures, a bunch of 🎃Fantastical Finds you’ll want to wear your costume in year-round, and we will finish off with a few (✅Verified) Haunted Houses currently listed for sale.
After that, I’ll be sharing some statistics from my collaboration with the Real Estate Witch, including just what it might cost you in resale if you have a ghost hanging around your home. Then on to an infamous (and currently for sale) house that was the site of one of the most notorious crimes of the 1990s. I’ll walk you through what has changed since the crime and what remains the same. Then we’ll finish up with a wildly-priced meth lab for sale in this week’s ICYMI.
Happy Halloween, friends! Stay safe,
🪦Former Funeral Homes
Built in 1850, even the for sale sign out front says it’s “probably haunted.”
🧙♀️Just perfect for a fairytale witch or two.
Now, let’s talk Haunted Houses, shall we? Think your house might be haunted? If so, you may want to consider investing in a ghost-buster because, according to Real Estate Witch’s 2023 Haunted House Study, those pesky poltergeists could cost you dearly in resale. The study, which just launched 10/16/2023, shared that 62% of Americans wouldn’t pay full price for a haunted house, with at least 11% saying they’d offer a full $100k less.
Still, it turns out there are some things even more frightening to buyers than potential undead house guests, and that list includes burial grounds, former cult properties, and homes where a serious crime occurred.
And since you know there’s not a single true crime podcast I’ve missed, I’m taking you to a property that’s as infamous as it is expensive… because this September, the home where JonBenet Ramsey was found dead in 1996 was once again listed for sale, but this time for a whopping $6,249,000.
Back in 1998, the house was sold for just $650,000, and the new owners changed the address (from 755 15th Street to 749 15th Street) and added privacy gates. Then, in 2004, it sold again, this time for $1.05 million to the current owners, Carol Schuller and Tim Milner, who have since gone through several periods of trying to sell it. In fact, the five-bed, eight-bath Tudor has been listed and taken off the market a total of six times over the years.
As we learned from Real Estate Witch, selling a home with a dark past could be a deal-breaker for 37% of buyers, even when extensive renovations have been done. But my guess is more like 90% of buyers would have serious qualms about buying this notorious home. Here’s a look at some of the rooms as they look today, paired with pictures taken back in 1996. Do you think they’eve made enough changes for you to put in an offer?
Realtors chose to only include a cropped image of the front of the house, opting instead for a less-recognizable exterior shot of the back as the home’s main listing photo.
The breakfast room off the kitchen still features the same French doors and hardware, though they’ve been painted black.
The kitchen has been completely renovated with all new flooring, appliances, countertops, and cabinetry. The well-known black and white flooring, however, remains in the hallway/butler’s pantry.
The walk-in refrigerator remains but with a new stainless steel door.
This family room has been refreshed, but it looks like the first floor has kept largely the same layout. The curtains may have ben replaced but the curtain rods look the same.
Much was made of the many open drawers in the house – including these bathroom vanity drawers – which remain in the home, topped with a new countertop and sink. The black tile tub from some of the tubs has not been replaced, either.
The primary suite features new beige carpeting and fewer windows on the far side, but it is largely the same as it was in ‘96, right down to the frosted glass wall sconces.
The current listing doesn’t show any other bedroom photos, but it does include pictures of the basement, where JonBenet’s father found the deceased body of his six-year-old daughter.
The current owners finished the basement, adding a wine cellar.
The basement, which was once split into several separate storage rooms, is now one large entertaining space.
What do you think of the changes that have been made? Many sites of horrific crimes have been demolished, such as the King Road house where the 2022 Idaho murders took place. Property owners often take this step if not for closure, then at least in response to the resale realities. Do you think the Ramsey house will end up fetching its sky-high listing price? You can explore the current listing yourself here: 749 15th St, Boulder, CO 80302.
Now, on to one last true-crime house in this week’s ICYMI…
Last week, we were shocked to learn that a property with a still-contaminated meth lab in the garage hit the market for $1.55 million in San Jose, California.
With only a single listing photo featuring a boarded-up garage and fence marked “condemned,” the property quickly garnered over 80k views on Zillow in less than a week. The listing reads, “Home has inactive Meth lab and meth contamination… Home has not been cleared of contamination and will be transferred to the new buyer in its current state. No access prior to property being cleared by Santa Clara County's Health Dept. Guidelines.”