Death and real estate : a study of the impact of death beliefs on real estate values

Kelso, Julia (1999) Death and real estate : a study of the impact of death beliefs on real estate values. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the means by which death beliefs impact home-purchasing decisions; specifically in terms of the decision whether or not to buy a house in which a death has taken place. This is achieved by approaching the subject from several angles including legal issues, emotive reactions to residing in close proximity to a recent death, a comparison of haunted house imagery in popular culture with the expressed beliefs and fears of my informants, feelings about shared space between the living and the dead, and the power which rumour can exert on a property's value in response to these beliefs. -- The means used to investigate this subject includes interviewing real estate agents-primarily in St. John's, Newfoundland--as well as a number of persons who are actual or potential home-owners as to their experiences, feelings and thoughts on the issue of living in a home where one or more persons have died. In the case of real estate agents interviews concentrated on the sale of such homes, as well as real estate agents feelings about this topic. In addition to interviews, I have explored the literature available on the questions of death, belief, haunted houses and ghosts, among other topics, including an exhaustive study of the state of both US and Canadian Real Estate Industries in regards to the problem of property which has been "psychologically impacted" or "stigmatized" by deaths or other non-material events. -- While there exists a growing awareness in the United States and Canada of the issue of stigmatized property and those things which can introduce such a stigma, there is not an equal growth of understanding of the beliefs of buyers. While the concept of "caveat emptor"-buyer beware-is being replaced by disclosure laws in both countries in regards to physical problems, the concept is only newly being applied to psychological damage. This thesis examines the extent of folk-belief which supports disclosure developments in real estate law.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9051
Additional Information: Bibliography: pages 232-250.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: House buying--Psychological aspects; House buying--Effect of superstition on; Death--Mythology

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