Creepy neighbours most likely to spook would-be home buyers

Creepy neighbours, residents who have died, rumours of haunting, and unlucky door numbers are just some of the spooky reasons likely to frighten off potential home buyers, according to research from first direct.

Nearly half of all home buyers (43%) claimed creepy neighbours would be enough to have them heading for the door, while one in five (21%) said that a death in the property would send shivers down their spine.

Rumours of ghostly goings on would also see 20% staying put and nearly one in ten (8%) would have nightmares about living in No13, according to the survey of over 2,000 people into the darkest deal-breakers when it comes to buying a home.


Inappropriate street names, ‘bad energy’ and relationship break ups also made the list of the top terrors when looking for a new home.

Top spooky reasons for rejection

  1. Creepy neighbours – 43%
  2. Someone died – 21%
  3. Rumours of haunting – 20%
  4. Unlucky street name or number – 8%
  5. Rude / funny street name – 8%

Younger people proved to be the most superstitious with nearly a 3 in 10 (28%) of 21-34 year olds refusing to consider a property where someone had died, while only 12% of those over 65 would be put off from making an offer.

Women were also more concerned about inheriting a potential house of horrors, with 47% concerned about creepy neighbours versus 38% of men and over a quarter (26%) saying that that rumours of haunting would have them backing out of a sale, as opposed to just 15% of men. However, men were marginally more likely to reject a home because of an unlucky street name or number and almost twice as likely to not choose a property because the previous occupants divorced.

First-time buyers were also more bothered about skeletons in the closet than subsequent home-buyers, 25% wouldn’t buy a property where someone had died, whereas only 14% of second time buyers felt they would be affected. Around one in twenty first time buyers wouldn’t buy a property where someone had divorced.

Residents of Bristol proved to be most resilient to things that go bump in the night with only (35%) put off by creepy neighbours and a bone-chilling 86% happy to buy a home where someone died, home sweet home.

Joe Gordon, Head of first direct, said: “It would appear that as house buyers we are pretty easily spooked by anything out of the ordinary, especially if we’re buying for the first time. But it’s amazing how much this drops the longer we’re on the housing ladder.

“One thing is for sure. We all know the value of having really good neighbours, but if yours are a bit closer to the Addams family than the Brady Bunch, you might find they’re responsible for putting the morgue in mortgage when it’s time for you to start looking for a new home!”

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