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Saturday, June 14, 2008
Realtors Blame Housing Market For Slump In Creepy-Mansion Sales
ENCANTO, CA—"Even if a family's willing to share a garage with the spectral figure hanging from its rafters, they still might not get a mortgage," said one broker.
Real estate agent Jake Trammel shakes his head as he points out unsold house after unsold house in this San Diego suburb, where homes once went for half a million dollars or more. He pulls up to a Victorian mansion whose windows and door create the look of a leering skull. As the sun breaks through a storm cloud overhead, the illusion disappears, and Trammel admits that he hasn't had an offer on the haunted residence in 18 months.
"Two years ago, a four-bedroom with a triple homicide would ignite a bidding war among young couples desperate to get into what they naïvely thought would be their dream home," Trammel says. "We were handing out 30-year fixed rate [mortgages] with nothing down to anyone who was willing to ignore the spine-tingling whispers emanating from the basement. But since the market crashed, people don't even want to look inside."
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