As someone looking to purchase a house, you want to learn all you can about your new residence so that you know you will feel comfortable living there. Even if the home meets your structural standards and looks great, you might find out that someone had committed suicide in the house years ago. This could dampen your enthusiasm about going through with the purchase.
As Homelight explains, some homes may have a history that does not affect the physical state of the residence but may still amount to a critical factor in whether you want to buy the home or not. A traumatic history like a suicide at the home could stigmatize it in your eyes.
Histories that stigmatize a home
Anything about a house that can psychologically impact a new home buyer may amount to a stigma. You might not react well knowing a murder, a suicide, or even a natural death had occurred within the home. Crimes that took place at the residence like violent felonies or drug manufacturing operations might also disturb you.
Stories of paranormal occurrences in a home also count as stigmas. Some buyers want to know if a house has a history of ghost hauntings. Depending on how you feel about paranormal rumors, you might pass on a residence if people often associate weird and unexplained happenings with it.
Asking about possible stigmas
Most states do not have laws that require sellers or agents of sellers to let you know about house stigmas. So you probably should not expect an agent to volunteer such information up front. Instead, you may have to take it upon yourself to ask agents about crimes or deaths that may have happened in a home.
Still, it is possible that an agent may not be able to reveal sensitive information about a home even if you ask. In states that do not possess disclosure requirements, sellers might bind an agent from disclosing information about a death or crime unless the seller gives permission first. So you may have to do some extra digging to be sure your prospective new home does not have a shady history.