amityvilleI’ve mentioned before of our plans to move back to the childhood home of my kids. It’s the house I sold to my paternal auntie so I could defray part of the medical bills of my brother who was sick of leukemia and had to be brought to the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. Just when I thought the deal was going my way, my aunt pegs a price that we couldn’t afford. I thought that since I sold the property at below market value , she would also give us the same deal. I think she knows how much we want the property. Even if I didn’t expect her to sell it at below market value, her selling price was illogical. Feeling disappointed, I checked out the listings of 3 brokers in the same village.

To my delight, I found a house wthin my budget not far from our old property. The sprawling bungalow owned by Dr C, a single woman in her seventies and a US citizen is almost twice the lot size of our previous home. The interiors looked brand new. If the house was a car, the mileage is quite low. What I found interesting was an apartment attached to the main house, with a kitchen /living room, bathroom, and 2 bedrooms. Construction materials were of premium quality. Though I am not too keen on marble floors, I loved the overall feel of the house. And the price? 30% below market value. Amazing value. The broker told me that it was in the market for more than a year so the owner was convinced to lower her price. Hmm, although I was still cautious , I excitedly broke the news to girls. They were thrilled to have an apartment to themselves. My husband said “it’s really a good deal”. It was pretty much everything we were looking for in a home, and it was at a price that we could afford. After checking the title at the Register of Deeds and a mutual agreement to the terms, we were ready to pay earnest money.

Something ticked in me. “This is too good to be true”

Though I loved the house, I hesitated to commit to the sale.

“Maybe the street gets flooded?” I thought.

I went back to the village to sniff around for any clues to the house. I saw a small sari-sari (convenience store) store a block away from Dr C’s house. In the pretext of buying a diet Coke, I asked the lady if the street flooded all the way to Dr. C’s house. She shook her head “no. but did you know that her maid got stabbed a year ago? and died at the hospital? Her neighbors claim to hear eerie shouts every midnight. Too bad her killer was never found. No justice at all to the poor girl”

“uh-oh. No wonder Dr C is selling it so cheap”

I was quite peeved at my broker for not revealing the violent death of a household member. I asked for the details. It went like this. It didn’t happen last year but over 3 years ago. Dr C’s helper woke up early in the morning and was surprised to see their carpenter waiting by the door armed with a knife. She yelled at Dr C to run and lock herself in the room. The poor girl was unable to run back inside the house since the carpenter caught up with her and repeatedly stabbed her at the chest.

Ugh! Do we still want the house? I asked L what she thought of the eerie ghostly sounds, and the killing.

The curious writer in her squealed “Cool… a ghost in a house would be exciting and spooktacular!”

Haha, I didn’t expect that reaction.

i turned to M . “What do you think of the ghost?”

M, in an imaginative mode was more intuitive “I’m not scared of the ghost. What’s scary is the living. That killer could come back to kill the new occupants. Just like that Amityville House killer”

M is right. Safety is an important consideration. The back of the house was a vacant lot prone to burglars who can easily climb the fence. Even with high fence rails, it was still possible to gain entrance using ropes and steel cutter. Using an electrified fence is not feasible since we had cats.

Much as we loved the house and the affordable selling price, we had to let it go. No , we don’t want a Filipino version of the Amityville Nightmare.

So we’re back to another house hunting adventure. Have any ideas?

(I’m in Baguio right now cooling it off)

About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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