I recently had the thrill of listing a home built in 1884. Like many homes in central Ogden, at some point mid-century it had been turned from a stately 6 bedroom home to a chopped up 4-plex with 4 kitchens, 4 bathrooms, 6 bedrooms, and 4 living rooms.
It served this purpose well until the early 1990's when dilapidated conditions, and better rent prices down the street shut the structure down for good. The gentleman who owned the property became increasingly elderly and did not visit the home again before his death in 2007. It was his heirs, his adorable daughters, who hired me to assess and sell the property. I was ecstatic to take on the project.
The sisters had never been in the structure, so all three of us went over together. The two-story home had clearly lost most of the upper roof. We also realized that there was no way to ascend to the top floor as the external stairway had long ago rotted away. Despite the condition of the home, it still emanated a stately sense of pride. I could barely wait to get inside.
The inside was a wreck. Water damage had ruined most of the lapin plaster ceilings and walls. Still, there were visible remnants of Victorian style wallpaper, old Victorian fireplaces, and best of all, 2 claw foot tubs sitting in one of the kitchens. My Broker self immediately assessed that showings could be dangerous to agents and buyers alike. In inclement weather, pieces of ceiling could easily cave in and hurt somebody. I made a mental note to require all showing agents to be fully apprised of the situation before entering, and even considered having lookers sign a waiver before going in.
The very creepiest part of the house became apparent to me later, during a subsequent visit. I went in alone, late in the day, to take some pictures before the sun went down. As I entered the house, I had the distinctive feeling that I was not alone. The air was thick with bristling energy as I moved from room to room, simultaneously admiring and mourning the once elegant rooms. I felt closely observed in every room. It was as though I was intruding into some disapproving person's personal, private space.
I wondered if Buyers and other agents would notice this intimidating energy. I still don't know because as of now, I haven't had anybody brave enough to call me to see it. For now the current "tenant" remains undisturbed.
Have you ever been in a haunted house? I would love to hear about it. Someday I'll tell the story about the time I walked into a house where the owner had just died. She hadn't gone very far away because as soon as I walked into the home, I heard her say .... (Stay tuned :-)
Jennifer Bunker CRS GRI Broker,
Coldwater Creek Properties