How to find out if someone died in your home?

How to find out if someone died in your home?

Discovering the history of your home can be an intriguing journey, but sometimes it might uncover unexpected details, such as whether someone passed away in the house. While this information can be sensitive, understanding how to investigate can provide clarity and peace of mind. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this potentially delicate situation:

How do you find out if someone died in your home? 

There are many different avenues you could go down to figure out if someone died in your home. Some are free, some cost money and some are a little quicker than others. Dr. Tim Adair states that, in low to medium income houses, about 53.4% of deaths occur in the home. He also says that, this percentage drops substantially for higher income countries at 27.3%. So, the odds of someone dying in your home are about 5 out of 10 if you fall in the low to medium income category. 

Check Disclosure Laws:

Before diving into research, familiarize yourself with local laws regarding disclosure of death in real estate transactions. In some regions, sellers are legally required to disclose if a death occurred on the property within a certain timeframe (e.g., within the past 1 to 3 years).

Previous owners/ Neighbors 

The first way you can find out the history of your home is by contacting the previous owners or the neighbors. The previous owners of the home typically have a lot of insight since they were the ones living there before you. However, if they happened to be hermits who didn’t care about the homes history.  You can dust off those communication skills and try your luck with the noisy neighbors. 

Real Estate Agent 

Violent deaths in the home can decrease a home’s property value by up to 25%. This number will vary depending on the location and nature of the death. Some real estate agents aren’t required to give you all of the home’s information, so when you are buying a home, make sure you ask for the disclosure documents. 

Historian/Investigator 

You could hire an investigator or house historian to investigate your home’s history. They know all the right places to look for documentation regarding previous owners and major events that took place in your home. This is probably the most expensive option you could choose. You should probably avoid wasting your money with this option unless it’s serious. 

Vital Records/Libraries

Another cool way to see if someone died in your home is by checking the libraries or vital records. Libraries tend to have newspaper archives that you can look through for obituaries. Going down this route will really make it feel like you’re doing a full official investigation. 

The Internet 

The last and most obvious way that I’ve found. It is by using the internet. You can search the web for information regarding previous owners of your homes and obituaries if you add quotation marks in your search query that let the search engine know that it must include anything inside the quotation marks. 

There are also a few websites dedicated to seeing if someone died in your home, such as deadinhouse.com and housecreep. Dead in-house is the pricier option that will give you more accurate results. It won’t break the bank, but it costs something. House creep is the free option that will provide you with results in the immediate area and 5 kilometers into the surrounding areas. 

Understand Cultural and Religious Considerations

Be mindful of cultural or religious sensitivities related to death. In some cultures, knowledge of death occurring within a home may hold significant meaning or require respectful handling.

Reflect on Personal Comfort

Ultimately, deciding to uncover information about your home’s history is a personal choice. Consider how knowing this information may impact your feelings about the property and your comfort living there.

Seek Support if Needed

Researching a property’s history, especially regarding sensitive topics like death, can evoke various emotions. If you find the process distressing, reach out to friends, family, or professionals for support and guidance.

Even if there is no record of someone dying in your house, there is still a chance that it happened, especially in older homes. Records can be thrown away, lost or not written down at all. Serial killers exist, and they’re not going to make records at all. So if you find that you’re in a situation where you think there’s something wrong with your home and you don’t feel safe. Do your research, and if you come up with nothing but you still don’t feel safe, go with your gut. If you came here just because you were bored and curious, now you can answer when someone asks you, how do you find out if someone died in your home?

References

Adair, Tim. “Who dies where? Estimating the percentage of deaths that occur at home.” BMJ Global Health 6.9 (2021): e006766.

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