Last Friday the Sacramento Bee came out with a story that Dorthea Puente’s old house at 1426 F Street in Sacramento would be going up for sale. Who is Dorethea Puente, you ask? She is a woman who ran a “boarding house” in the 1980s out of her Sacramento Victorian duplex. Unfortunately though instead of finding respite her tenants were drugged and murdered so their social security checks could be cashed. Eventually seven bodies were found buried in Dorothea’s backyard.
This property sold for $560,000 on 08/31/2005, went into foreclosure last year, and is now listed on the market at $309,800 as of 02/26/2010. The current MLS listing states, “Property has notorious history that must be disclosed.”
Would you have any problems purchasing a property like this? Or would you consider renting this house? Would it bother you on any level or be no big deal? Creepy? Good investment? If you are a real estate agent, have you had experience selling a property with a stigma due to a murder, violent crime or some other heinous or notorious issue?
Original photos of 1426 F Street (it was a bit cloudy today unfortunately):
UPDATE IN 2022: This post is getting some traffic due to Dorothea Puente being profiled on the Netflix series, “Worst Roommate Ever.” Thanks for being here. Anyway, here is an image to show how this duplex sold over the years. The first sale was definitely at the bottom of the price market. This was the sale closest to the murders. Then the duplex sold in a really hot housing market toward the top end of the price range. This property then went into foreclosure and sold as a distressed sale again. Anyway, when it comes to value, one of the things we have to consider is whether a property has a stigma. Moreover, how long does this stigma last?
Thanks for being here.
Questions: Would you ever buy a property like this? Big deal or no biggie?