Pennsylvania woman sues over home's haunted history
A Pennsylvania woman is suing her realtor for a haunted
home that she purchased. The real estate agent did not reveal that a
murder-suicide happened in the house.
Janet Milliken, 59, purchased a home in Thornton, Pennsylvania,
through Remax, for $610,000. The widowed mother moved from California with her
two children after her husband passed away. They moved into the house in the
summer of 2007.
After living in the home for just a few weeks, the
Milliken family learned that the home had a dark history. Neighbors informed
Janet that there had been a murder-suicide in the home the previous year. Some
of them even believed that the house is haunted.
On February 11, 2006, the previous homeowner,
Konstantinos Koumboulis, shot and killed his wife in the home. Later, he took
his own life in their bedroom.
A few months later, Joseph and Kathleen Jacono purchased
the residence on October 31, 2006, for $450,000. The couple knew of the
murder-suicide. They later sold it to Milliken the following year, in June
Milliken sued the real estate company and its agent for
not disclosing the house’s history. In the court docket, she says they made
“a deliberate choice not to disclose the home’s recent past.”
The judge granted judgment in favor of the defendants,
stating that state law does not require realitors to notify home-buyers of
events such as these.
In December 2012, a panel of the state appeals court
affirmed the judge’s decision.
Tim Rayne, Milliken’s attorney, filed a petition to the
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania last week. Rayne is anxious to take the case
further and said “a horrific event that occurs within a property can be
just as damaging and troubling to a future homeowner as a physical
defect.” He believes sellers should disclose a home’s history if there
were gruesome events like this.
The Milliken family is still living in the home. They
would prefer to move but can’t afford to.
Should realtors disclose to potential home buyers that a
house is haunted?
DC In Focus: Cleanup, Aisle Everywhere Edition - 05/01/2015
DC In Focus is a rundown of neighborhood-centric news and events. While DCAR has holds no official capacity with these events, it is important for our members to take a proactive role within DC’s many vibrant communities. Follow us for more District real estate updates on our official Twitter and Facebook pages.
Today we’re looking at stories on the topic of affordable housing, inclusionary zoning and DC’s budget. Included as well is some helpful advice for measuring success in real estate and the benefits of a nuanced approach to finding a property management company. There’s also an opportunity to meet with Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen for a DC Budget discussion.
Until next time, remember that cherry blossom petals are surprisingly slick.
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