What must buyers be told? Dark secret found in dream home

STALLION SPRINGS, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) After a long search to buy their first home, Larry and Jennifer Arroyo finally found what they had long been searching for.

"We wallked through the house and fell in love with it," said Jennifer Arroyo.

The home is tucked among neatly manicured homes in Stallion Springs. Couples can be seen taking leisurely walks as there is little traffic and the air is clean.

"I can't believe I actually bought a home this beautiful," said husband Larry Arroyo.

But, shortly after the couple moved in, they began hearing rumors. Did they not know that the former owner had committed suicide at the house, nieghbors told them?

Shaken by what neighbors had been saying, Jennifer Arroyo went to the Stallion Springs Police Department to find out the truth.

A police report confirmed the stories. The home's former owner apparently had medical issues and was distraught. Police found a gun in the garage that had apparently been used by the former owner to shoot himself in the head. Also left behind was a suicide note in an envelope that read, "I'm sorry." Still visible on the garage ceiling and floor is blood splatter.

Larry and Jennifer Arroyo said the seller of the house, the former owner's widow, never told them about the incident.

"The only thing that she said was that her husband had recently passed away," said Jennifer Arroyo.

The incident has put a bad taste and a stigma to their new home. Had they been told about the incident prior to buying the home, they might have made a different decision.

The former owner wound up dying at Kern Medical Center due to his wounds. That's of little comfort to Larry and Jennifer Arroyo.

"We're stuck, we would not want this to happen to anybody," said Jennifer Arroyo.

According to the California Department of Real Estate, a seller is not obligated to disclose that a death has occurred on a property.

"What that means is that there is not a checklist where the seller has to answer a question, 'Has there been a death in the property in the last three years?' There's nothing like this," said DRE spokesman Tom Pool.

But, there may be other recourse. The law also requires a home seller to disclose what it calls "material fact."

"If the buyer finds something about the property that was not disclosed, that would have made them take a different course of action, ultimately it's up to the courts to decide whether a fact that was not disclosed was material that resulted in damages," said Pool of DRE.

The Arroyos have a decision to make. Do they stay in their home they fell in love with? Or will they move out?

"I don't feel like going to court, I don't have time for that," said Larry Arroyo. "But it's just not right, it's wrong."