What’s a sex offender worth?

“About four percent of the value of your home.” (Story here)

I marketed a house last year in a neighborhood housing a sex offender. His presence most assuredly prevented at least two offers from being written. Strictly anecdotally, this offender influenced the relative value of this property. There was absolutely nothing we could do and that was one of the most difficult aspects of the situation. In most situations, finding and removing Buyers’ potential objections is part of the process. Not this time.

Referencing another study, the authors of the working paper note: (updated 27 July 2010 – the link is bad, but this may work)

They find a reduction in housing prices of 17% within a tenth of a mile of an offender’s home, and find significant changes in price up to a third of a mile.

As with any study, if the data is inaccurate the results will be as well.

If the Freakonomics guys hadn’t remarked on the obvious nature of the study’s statement, I would have.

These results suggest that individuals have a significant distaste for living in close proximity to a known sex offender.

Shocking. Search for sex offenders here and here. Virginia has its own version of Megan’s Law and all Virginia Association of Realtors Contract to Purchase have notification that the buyer should do his or her own due diligence and search for sex offenders. However, this is not a contingency – if you discover after you write the offer that your potential next door neighbor is a sex offender and this concerns you, you will have to find another way out of the Contract.

Update: The HooK’s blog has a related story.

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