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See something in the corner of your eye from time to time? Things flying through the air? Think you’re living in a haunted house? We’ll help you find out and deal with the ghostly presence making your home their life-after-death nest.
So you have a ghost presence in your house. Congratulations! First, that means your house is way cooler than your next door neighbor’s, and second, you should have some awesome ghost stories for your Halloween party. But really — what do you do with a ghost “living” inside your house? We have a few suggestions.
#1 – Make sure you actually have a ghost
Are you 100 percent sure your house has paranormal activity? While a Realtor.com 2018 study found that 2 in every 5 people believe they have lived in a haunted house, your ghostly happenings could be signaling that you need to complete some necessary DIY projects – if you are haunt-free, that is.
Lights turning on and off?
Don’t assume it’s due to a ghost. It could easily be loose or insecure wiring in a fixture, which is a leading cause of house fires. Check the fixture that’s blinking (only after shutting off the circuit breaker), and also inspect the breaker box for worn connectors and the main electrical panel for loose service conductors. When in doubt, consult a licensed electrician. You can also find additional electrical safety tips in the vipHomeLink app.
Getting paranormal scents in your home?
These range from stenches like rotten eggs, sulfur, and mildew to pleasant aromas like perfume or fruit. If your paranormal smells are more rotten than pleasant, look around for evidence of tiny intruders, such as droppings, gnawed holes, oily rub marks, and food crumbs. A rotten smell can be an indication of the unfortunate demise of a mouse or squirrel in your wall, stairwell railing, pipe, etc. If you suspect you have a small creature in your home, contact a pest control specialist. If you’re routinely smelling a mildew scent, try using a dehumidifier.
Cold spots in your home?
They could be a ghost — or perhaps your furnace’s burner isn’t lit. It could also mean your unit’s air filter is blocked. Complete a quick inspection yourself, or hire a professional. This is also a great idea if you haven’t completed your annual winter home maintenance, which can help you save money on your energy bill.
Hear strange noises?
Say hi! The ghosts might be trying to communicate with you. It could also mean that your HVAC unit may need servicing, so you may want to call your service professional.
#2 – Record your ghost sightings
Not all ghosts can be tracked on video cameras — with the exception of Disneyland, it seems — so you might have better luck keeping a running record. Determine if there’s any regularity to your ghost sightings or if anything you do specifically conjures your ghost. This information can help you find who your ghost was in their previous life and why they decided to make your home their haunting ground. Use vipHomeLink’s Journal section to document your findings in a social media-like format for quick reference during the next step (or for a ghost hunter).
#3 – Research your home
Do you know anything about the house other than it has four bedrooms, two baths, and one amazing kitchen? Your home’s earlier years may hold clues to your ghostly companion. If you learn of your ghost before closing on your house, ask your real estate agent. Though not legally obligated in most states to disclose if someone passed away peacefully in a home, Realtor.com says real estate agents are required by law to tell the truth or they can face legal repercussions.
Some states, such as California, require real estate agents to disclose if someone died on the property, regardless of circumstances, within three years. Violent deaths, such as murder or suicide, are categorized as events and must be disclosed before closing in most (but not all) states.
If you’re already in your home, decide if this is something you want to know. If so, learn how to uncover the history of your home, or visit the local library for the town’s history. That might help you find out more about your ghost and also come in handy if you intend to sell your house in the future.
The one thing you should absolutely not do – Get rid of your ghost
According to Realtor.com, just under half of all homeowners (44 percent) suspected or were fully aware they were moving into a haunted house. Another third said they would buy a haunted house if it had a lower price, a bigger kitchen, or was located in a better neighborhood. (Of course, this means you’ll have expectations to fulfill as the neighborhood’s resident haunted house.) Another 18 percent said they didn’t even need perks to buy a haunted house.
Then again, 49 percent of home buyers said, “Nothing can make me buy [a haunted house],” but maybe they just haven’t gotten a look at that kitchen yet. (It has a breakfast nook!)
How to keep your home ghost-free
Use our home management app, vipHomeLink, to document your ghostly happenings. In the case that you find your home just needs a little more TLC and doesn’t have an otherwordly resident, then use the app’s personalized reminders for home maintenance to keep your home safe for your family and for every trick or treater who knocks on your door. Tailored recommendations for improvement can also help to increase the value of your home – just in case you decide your home doesn’t fit your family, including any ghostly tenants.
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