Un articolo pubblicato su Atlas Obscura parla di un curioso tipo di mercato immobiliare statunitense, quello delle case cosiddette infestate.
One Laveta Place, in the charming hamlet of Nyack, New York, lies on the Hudson River, about an hour north of New York City. It’s a beautiful old Victorian, built in 1890, its sprawling 4,600 square feet complete with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The house has previously been owned by Adam Brooks, the director and writer of the 2008 rom-com Definitely, Maybe, as well as singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson. It’s currently owned by Jewish (formerly Hasidic) reggae artist Matisyahu, who recently put the house on the market for $1.9 million.
The real estate listing boasts of river views, an in-ground saltwater spa pool, and a beautiful wrap-around porch. It does not mention that the house is haunted and was the subject of one of the funniest and most famous real estate legal cases of the past 50 years. It’s taught in law schools as the “Ghostbusters Ruling.”
One Laveta Place is just one of dozens of purportedly haunted houses currently for sale. Selling a haunted house is a complex negotiation, a mash-up of local laws, local culture, and local lore. It isn’t even necessarily a bad thing for real estate sales; the Nyack house has in the past sold for significantly more money than comparable houses in the area, due to its infamy. Maybe Matisyahu loves ghosts. Or at least arcane legal history.
Real estate law is, with a few exceptions, dependent on state rather than federal statutes. (Those exceptions include disclosures for stuff like asbestos and lead paint.) States have wildly different requirements for what’s called disclosure, or what a buyer has a right to know about a house before the purchase is complete. “About half the states are disclosure states, and half are called caveat emptor,” says Randall Bell.
Immagine da jo Zimny flickr.