What’s scarier than buying a haunted house? Approximately 70 percent of Americans believe in the supernatural, but most of them are more afraid of this.

Halloween is just around the corner and the spooky season is in full swing. While you and your family are watching some classic horror movies (Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror or House on Haunted Hill, anyone?), eating orange popcorn balls and answering the door for trick-or-treaters, you might spend a few moments wondering what you would do if you found out your house was haunted.

If your first instinct is to run, you’re not alone. Nearly 30 percent of homeowners would move out immediately if they discovered their house was haunted, according to research by Clever Real Estate. Homeowners were most likely to pack up and leave if they experienced supernatural events like levitating objects, a feeling of being touched, ghost sightings, hearing strange noises or if a serious crime was committed near their home.

More than 25 percent of homeowners would stay and try smudging the home (a belief that burning plant materials in your home will smoke out negative energy and invite positive energy to take up residence), conducting an exorcism, making contact with the ghosts (finding ways to make the ghosts more comfortable), salting entryways or remodeling the home before moving out. (Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Wirt Winchester, and heiress to a large part of the Winchester Repeating Arms fortune, spent approximately $71 million in 2020 dollars renovating and adding onto her home in San Jose, California, in order to keep evil spirits at bay.)

Some people would be open to buying a haunted house under certain circumstances. The Clever Real Estate survey found that more than 70 percent of buyers would consider buying a haunted house if it was selling for a much lower price, 58 percent would do it if they were convinced the ghosts were friendly and 49 percent would buy the haunted house if it was in a safer neighborhood.

Buying a house with even one ghost in residence is bad enough. But it turns out most people fear something else far more than living in a haunted house: horrific home repairs.

What’s Scarier Than Buying a Haunted House?

That’s right, 93 percent of Americans think a home that needs major repairs is far more scarier than a home that’s haunted. These are the home repairs people are most afraid of:

  • 68 percent fear buying a home that needs mold remediation
  • 64 percent fear buying a home with foundation issues
  • 61 percent fear buying a home with termites
  • 61 percent fear buying a home with asbestos
  • 57 percent fear buying a home with a leaky roof

Homeowners are right to be concerned about these costly and sometimes lengthy repairs. These issues can cost anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars to repair and may make the home inhabitable for the duration of the project. 

When buying a home, homeowners can limit the risk of extensive repairs like these by having a thorough home inspection completed by a professional, certified home inspector and asking detailed questions in the seller disclosure. After they’ve bought the home, routine home maintenance should help homeowners catch issues like these and limit the expense and impact of the repair.

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