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Chris Watts’ Infamous Murder House Hits the Market, but Who’s Going To Want It?

Photo courtesy of estate of Shanann Watts / Netflix /

The notorious Colorado home where Chris Watts strangled his pregnant wife to death before murdering their two young daughters has finally hit the market—nearly four years after the unthinkable crime.

Offers are due on Tuesday on the five-bedroom, four-bathroom home in the Denver suburb of Frederick priced at $660,000. The listing follows a failed foreclosure sale and years of a legal sort of limbo. The family of Shanann Watts, Chris Watts’ wife, put a $6 million lien against the home that any future owners could have been forced to assume. That was enough to deter any potential buyers previously.

However, Chris transferred ownership of the home to Shanann’s estate through a quitclaim deed dated March 25, according to property records. The deed listed Shanann’s father as a representative of the estate.

The murder of Shanann and the couple’s children—Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3—on Aug. 13, 2018, shocked the nation. It was also the subject of the 2020 Netflix documentary “American Murder: The Family Next Door.”

After their deaths, multiple liens were put on the property. Shanann’s parents, Sandra and Franklin Rzucek, won a $6 million wrongful death lawsuit against their son-in-law. That debt was applied to the home in the form of a lien. The local homeowners association also has liens on the property for unpaid dues. Any new owners could have been responsible for those debts, which were attached to the property.

The Watts also owed about $350,000 on their mortgage. They purchased the home for just under $400,000 in May 2013, according to® data.

“Shanann’s parents, who are the line holders, can release the lien at the closing,” says Denver-based bankruptcy attorney Clark Dray, who works with foreclosures. He is not affiliated with the property or the sellers. This means new buyers wouldn’t have to worry about owing the parents $6 million.

Dray expects the proceeds of the sale will be used to settle debts.

“The mortgage portion will get paid off, the HOA will get paid off,” he says.

The nearly 4,200-square-foot home is being sold as is, according to the listing. To discourage looky-loos who just want a peek inside, buyers are required to submit funding commitment letters from their lenders for a minimum of $660,000. And showings are limited to buyers with accepted bids who must be accompanied by their real estate agents.

The address of the home was also altered from Saratoga Trail to Frederick Dr. on the listing.

However, that might not be enough to secure a buyer.

“I wish them luck, but I would put it down as the family being optimistic,” says real estate appraiser Randall Bell, CEO of Landmark Research Group. He specializes in real estate affected by tragedies or disasters. “These are just tough sells. It’s a gruesome crime, and it’s not where a lot of people want to go home and relax with that kind of history.”

Compounding the problem, the home continues to attract a lot of attention. In September, neighbor Chuck Burr, who lives two doors down from the Watts home, told that multiple cars drive by each hour on weekends. Some folks stop and take photos, while others have attempted to break in, prompting calls to the police.

The unwanted notoriety is “annoying and it can go on for years,” says Bell.

Chris Watts killed his pregnant wife during an early morning argument. He had told Shanann he was having an affair with a co-worker and wanted a divorce. She threatened not to let him see his daughters. He strangled her and then smothered their two daughters to death in the family car.

Shanann’s body was found buried in a shallow grave at Anadarko Petroleum, Chris’ work site. Their two daughters were discovered in oil tanks at the site.

Chris initially went on TV begging for his family’s return. But after he failed a polygraph test, he eventually confessed to the murders. He is now serving multiple life sentences in prison.

The post Chris Watts’ Infamous Murder House Hits the Market, but Who’s Going To Want It? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

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