Home Selling in 92010>Question Details

Cbad92010, Other/Just Looking in Carlsbad, CA

My attached neighbor was just released from jail. He is now a registered sex offender. Kids under 13. What is the impact on my home's value?

Asked by Cbad92010, Carlsbad, CA Mon Sep 27, 2010

I am curious what the concensus is on my home's value. It appraised two months ago at $425K. Do you think 5%, 10%, 15%, more? It is a family oriented neighborhood and my home is 3/2.5 1650 sqft.

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I'm going to attempt to answer this for you; most of us would steer clear of this question. At this point in time, many states have laws that disclosure is not necessary for sex offenders, however, buyers must be aware that this information is not disclosed and where they can go to find the information if they choose. California could be mandatory disclosure.

With this in mind, it can depend on whether or not the information is known, and how much it affects the potential buyer's perception of the home's value. Human emotion is involved, so there is not a specific answer to this question. For example, a couple with no children could be willing to pay more than a couple with children.

Whether or not you choose to openly disclose could be up to you depending on the state you are in. As an agent, I hit this scenario once before. The sellers made me aware before listing, and I asked them whether or not they would disclose. They elected not to disclose and I elected not to list the home. Once again, human emotion was involved and no amount of commission could override it.

I have answered this question in the best way I can. I wish the best for you in your given situation.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
I think the other agents have covered the topic very well. If you feel this neighbor is a threat to you or your family, then sell the home and do not worry about getting a little less money for it. To avoid any future legal hassles, I would advise fully disclosing what you know about this neighbor to all potential buyers. If you feel safe there and want to stay, then do not worry about your home's value. Maybe when you decide to sell in the future this neighbor will have already moved away and this will not be an issue. Best of luck to you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 28, 2010

It will not have as much impact of price as it will on salability. There are many who do not care if a sexual offender lives close by, and there are many more that will never check the offender database. On the other hand, some will not buy for obvious reasons. It effectively limits your pool of buyers, but may not affect your price.

As for disclosing that there is an offender nearby, you have to be very careful – improper disclosure can be a form of slander and could place you in a precarious legal position. The purchase agreement clearly states (Section 6. D.) that a buyer has a right to check the local Megan’s Law Database. It reads as follows:

“Megan's Law Database Disclosure: The sale is not exempt from the requirement that residential sales contracts contain the following notice regarding the availability of information about registered sex offenders: "Notice: Pursuant to Section 290.46 of the Penal Code, information about specified registered sex offenders is made available to the public via an Internet Web site maintained by the Department of Justice at http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov. Depending on an offender's criminal history, this information will include either the address at which the offender resides or the community of residence and ZIP Code in which he or she resides." (Neither Seller nor Brokers are required to check this website. If Buyer wants further information, Broker recommends that Buyer obtain information from this website during Buyer's inspection contingency period. Brokers do not have expertise in this area.)”

This paragraph in and of itself is considered by many to be adequate disclosure.

If you have questions about the level of disclosure you must legally provide, contact a local real estate attorney (your broker can probably provide you access to the attorney they have on retainer) to verify your obligations.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 28, 2010
Wow, i really feel your emotion! As a professional in our area of Carlsbad, It is really hard to say what the impact would have upon its value. Now that you know, it is considered a disclosure when you sell the home. Will it turn people away, perhaps.. Will it bother some more than others, perhaps. We won't really know its entire impact until we have it listed for sale and have honest responses from the prospective buyers of the home.
This is a very emotionally charged postion, especially in the light of Chelsea and Amber in our San Diego communities.
I hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
Hi Cbad92010,

This is a very valid concern, and it is very hard to determine how much of an impact it could have on your home. One way of thinking about it is that with this happening you're property will not be appealing anymore to the family oriented buyer. Obviously, people with kids are more influenced into looking at registered sex offender websites as a determinant on the house they are going to buy. It all depends on what type of buyers is your neighborhood more appealing to, because as you can see, more family oriented buyers will not want to buy your home.

In other words; what percent of the market could be made up of family buyers that are looking in your neighborhood. The higher the number, the more it can impact the value.

As a broad Example: There are more "Family oriented buyers" that want to buy in the Poway school District (having good schools), than to buy in Pacific Beach or Downtown (more of a Social Neighborhood).

I know you were probably looking for an exact answer, but I hope this helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
Carl gave you a great answer. It isn't as much that your value will go down, it is more the saleability once you have disclosed the sex offender. Dropping the price is a nice way to move it quickly. But even though the contract says for buyers to check the Megan's law website, I would instruct the buyers to search the website for full disclosure prior to removing contingencies. It is better to over disclose than to assume they know and then be sued later. They may not win but any lawsuit is a hassle. Good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 28, 2010
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 28, 2010
As someone who is not a real estate agent, it would make a HUGE difference to me! Tony, I can't believe you would say "You'd be suprised what buyers overcome if they know they are saving $25,000!" HOLY COW!

If you or your family is ever victimized by a sex offender, much less one next door to you, you will change your tune!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 28, 2010

It all comes down to the buyer. No one can really say for certain how much you home value will decrease. Of course since you know this information, you must disclose it to the buyer. It is just not a good situation. I am willing to bet that most home buyers will not like that your neighbor is a registered offender even if they have, will have kids or do not have kids. The reality is that home buyers may skip on purchasing a home for something as silly as the color of the carpet. How do you think they will feel about your neighbor? A top priority for home buyers is safety. Good luck.
Web Reference: http://buysdhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 28, 2010
Many of the answers below have given very good advice.

As you live in Carlsbad 92010, you have good schools which attract buyers with kids, but you also have a lot of potential buyers who may not have children. Since you may have lost half your buyers who would be concerned or aware of your neighbor, I would stick my neck out on a limb and say the loss of value is between 0 and 5%. You'd be suprised what buyers overcome if they know they are saving $25,000! At 10% below value, you would have a bunch of investors wanting the propertye regardless of who is the neighbor since they won't be living there themselves. But I doubt you would have to drop your price that much to find a buyer.
Web Reference: http://meganslaw.ca.gov
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
Hmm, well this is always a tough one to answer for Realtors; pretty much any answer given will probably be wrong. I've been a Realtor now for more then 26 years here in San Diego and in recent years this subject has hit a boiling point for many of us. As Realtors we have all been trained to be held to a higher ethical standard, and therefore any known facts about a piece of real estate, whether adverse or not, would need to be disclosed to the potential buyer. It certainly makes sense; if you were purchasing a home wouldn't you also want to know ALL the facts and information that might adversely affect your new Purchase and new Home? Of course you would.

The hard part is trying to explain to you how the potential value of your home may have been affected, over night, due to a particular individual's past record; staying neutral on this point can be difficult. Bottom line, many home buyers will probably have a problem with it, and some will be ok with it. Unfortunately as a Realtor I’m not at liberty to attempt to guess as to how it might affect your homes value. It does sound like you’ll be doing the ethical thing in disclosing this information to any new buyer, and for that I commend you; as a Realtor having to face this type of disclosure scenario with a home seller, I certainly appreciate you.

I'm going to have to refer you to a couple of websites that I hope can shed a little light on the disclosure responsibilities of home sellers. So here we go, http://sexualoffenders.com/, or http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/facts.htm should be able to shed a little light on this topic for you.

I hope this information helps you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
Now that you know, you have to disclose it to the buyer...It just depends I am guessing. To someone who has and will never have kids, will this impact him or her? If someone who loves your house has kids, will they over look it? I dont know if any research has been done. So many variables...I feel for you. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010

I have had this happen to a condo I was selling in the bay area over 8 years ago. During the transaction the buyer became aware from the meganslaw database that a sex offender was living right next door. He cancelled the contract and did not purchase the home. However another gentleman did that wasn't planning on having kids.

That is why in California we have these databases and everyone should check before they purchase. It is the responsiblity of the buyer to do due diligence.

Sorry for your situation, maybe he will move.

Catherine Barden
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
None of us can answer with certainty/accuracy as to the impact of value--much will depend on the individual buyer(s).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
There's no dollar value you can place but what the buyer is willing to purchase for. Of course any property below or at the bottom range of the market price will attract buyers. Not all buyers have kids nor too concern about the issue. However, you must disclose it to the buyer immediately to avoid any legal issue and delay or cancellation of escrow. The value will typically decrease as it stays longer on the market with the later case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 27, 2010
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