SOLEBURY TWP., Pa. – In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location, but what about the history of a home? A house with a notorious past can play a role in the sale.
In Solebury Township, Bucks County, a $700,000, nearly 1,600 square foot home spans nearly an acre. Its listing indicates that it has been completely redone. However, it once belonged to the parents of confessed killer Cosmo DiNardo. The car of one of Dinardo’s four victims was found in the shed.
“From what I’ve seen, it’s generally more difficult to sell a stigmatized property,” said Eric Leadbetter, Lehigh Valley realtor, of Iron Valley Realty.
He showed clients properties with notorious and high-profile pasts, including a house in Bethlehem where a woman was killed, dismembered and then stuffed in trash bags in 2011.
“I remember it was on the market for a very long time. However, I think as time passes, people kind of forget,” he said.
Or do they? Ghost hunter and real estate marketer Justin Torok recalls, during a photoshoot for Catasauqua’s Dery Mansion, hearing about his gruesome past from the care taker. In one case, he said that in the 1930s or 1940s, a man dove into the home’s basement pool and died after hitting his head.
“I have met a number of people I know who would love to own a property like this. A tragedy happened on this property and someone wants it for this reason,” he said.
“Everyone thinks it needs to be disclosed. Something horrible is happening on the property and you need to tell someone and it’s not,” said Allyson Lysaght of Greater Lehigh Valley Realtors.
She coordinates the Boo course, How to Sell Branded Goods.
The story, heinous or not, is not a material defect and need not be disclosed.
“It is better to disclose. I understand this is a personal preference. You just have to know your consumer and what they want,” she advises.
The question for DiNardo home buyers: Will a troubled past cloud its future?
We contacted the realtor of the house, but we did not receive a comment.