Affect of cemetery on home value

thisishishouseSeptember 14, 2009

Does being next to a cemetery greatly affect the value of a home? We're looking for a home and have found a great old house. It's huge and has got much of what we're looking for. BUT it's right next to a cemetery. Granted, it's a historic cemetery (dates back to 1700's) and probably never even gets visitors. We're concerned about potential adverse affect on resale value. Anyone with advice or data?

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creek_side

I assume the cemetery has direct public access from the street or road. If it doesn't, you need to make sure the logical or deeded access isn't across the property you are looking at. If it is, it will greatly reduce the value of the property.

That isn't an uncommon issue in this area. There are a lot of pioneer cemeteries, and you can't block access to them if someone wants to cross your property to visit one, which is why I mentioned it.

Other than that, and the small but significant number of people that would be creeped out just by the thought of living next to a cemetery, I don't see a problem. In fact, it would be an advantage. At least you would know that your neighbors on at least one side would be dead quiet.

You may groan, now. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 9:58AM
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cordovamom

creek side makes some excellent points...in addition, your neighborhood is to die for and many are doing just that to get into your neighborhood.

One of my daughter - in - laws is a forensic scientist, she is used to visiting crime scenes and viewing dead bodies. When she and my son bought their home across from a cemetery, she didn't give it a second thought. But I'm sure others would be creeped out. It just depends on the buyer, if it doesn't creep you out and everything else about the house appeals to you, then go for it.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 10:19AM
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auntjen

We live several blocks from a large cemetery and many people in our neighborhood (including DH and me) use the lanes of the cemetery to walk and bike. It's so serene and lovely, and there's no worrying about traffic. It feels a bit like a park, and it's quite nice to see people out and about there -- proof that "life goes on", even where the dead are buried. I think having a cemetery nearby can be a tremendous asset.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 12:38PM
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deniseandspike

Gosh,

I may be in the minority, but I have gone so far as to search for houses that may be listed on "cemetery road" when looking because yes, you would be assured of quiet neighbors and I would have a nice, peaceful place to take walks or walk my dogs. Plus, they would hopefully not build a shopping center or office tower over it.

I strongly considered a house that was overpriced and too small just because it had a cemetery across the street.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 3:53PM
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neesie

I am also one who believes a cemetary makes a desirable neighbor. And a historic one is all the better!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 7:10PM
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sue36

Another vote for "desirable".

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 7:59PM
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kudzu9

I think it's great. There was another thread on this in the Old House forum that you might find interesting...

Here is a link that might be useful: Cemetary

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 1:10PM
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sweeby

Personally, a lovely old cemetary wouldn't bother me a bit, though a large, new, busy one might.

However - there are LOTS of people it would bother, and for whatever reason, they're not speaking up here. (I remember an old post on the subjest that was overwhelmingly negative...)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 5:23PM
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chisue

For some it would be considered an incureable defect. (Not for me if it is quiet and historic.)

What's been the selling history of homes in the area? Price? Days on Market?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 5:44PM
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devorah

My house backs up to a pioneer cemetery. There is a green belt between us so I can't actually see it. The neighbors on the other side of the street are envious of our quiet and private backyards.

I know of one couple who looked at my house before us. When they heard about the cemetery they ran to their car and sped away. The houses on either side of us sold recently to couples with small children and both families were glad for the quiet woods behind their homes. The cemetery is old and I don't think anyone has been buried there since I have lived here.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 2:18PM
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annemouse

When we were looking for a house we also liked one that was on the opposite side of a big cemetary. We did not like that fact and when we were debating of the resale value our realtor commented that a lot of people (I think she mentioned e.g. Asians) would never buy a house anywhere close to a cemetary. We did not take the house for other reasons also but I do think a location next to a cemetary does have a negative effect on resale value. By the way, make sure there is no crematory.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 5:55PM
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thisishishouse

It's a historic cemetery, not an active one. It was established in 1655. I think the last burial there was late 1700's. It's on a gentle sloping hill that overlooks an active downtown area. A walk down the hill thru the cemetery leads to a quaint New England town with active shops, restaurants, and a great little coffee shop that has live jazz. Neighbouring it to the east is a town common, beyond that a police & fire station. (we're more concerned about fire truck noise than the whole zombie invasion thing.) It's in a visible enough locale that I doubt any mischief ever occurs there.

The house is an 1863 Victorian, I shudder to imagine how much 'love and attention' (ka-ching) it needs. It does have a 2000 sq ft barn and a full acre of land. As much as I'd hate to buy the Money Pit, I'd love to be able to walk down the hill thru the cemetery, resplendent in my jammies and bedhead, to grab a cappuccino....

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 7:29PM
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sparksals

I think it's a personal choice. It would creep me out to be next to or bordering a cemetery. If it was two or three doors down, I would be fine. I don't want to be looking at it through any of my windows.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 1:27AM
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auntjen

I am curious as to why others who find it "creepy" feel as they do. If anyone would care to share why, I'd be interested in what you have to say. Is it the fact that you'd have a continual reminder of the eventual fate that we all share? Do you believe that there are spirits or "forces" present in a cemetery? Something else?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 10:29AM
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eandhl

Another desirable vote.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 1:05PM
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calliope

I remember the last 'would you buy next to a cemetery thread' and yes, there were a lot of negative responses. I consider property abutting a cemetery desirable, especially an older cemetery. First of all, unlike a new home built on developed farmland, you never have to worry that the cornfield next to your property would be rezoned and end up an apartment complex. Most cemeteries would be continually maintained, unlike a vacant field or lot. There would be little traffic into or out of it. And most of the older ones have lovely eco-friendly tree plantings.

I live in a nearly 200 year old house. I imagine a few of the prior inhabitants are lain to rest somewhere on our property, unmarked. I know for a fact many have died in my home and that all have been lain out in state in my living room. When the time comes, I would chose that option as well.

Yes, I believe in spirits and no it doesn't bother me in the least. No matter where your house is located, or near what you shall have a contingent of people who think it's a positive and one who shall think it's a negative. If everybody liked the same thing, all our homes would look alike and it would be boring as all get out.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 2:22PM
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katclaws_mo

Wouldn't bother me either... after all, these days it isn't the deceased people you have to worry about, it's the live ones!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 10:20PM
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jane__ny

I would never live near a cemetery! It would 'creep me out.' If I had to look at head-stones and buried people all the time, it would disturb me. I don't really believe in spirits...but who knows? Not something I would choose to deal with.

Jane

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 12:47AM
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auntjen

But ... you wouldn't be looking at "buried people", right? Not unless you're going out there with a shovel and digging. ;-D

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 2:41PM
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jane__ny

Ha! Sorry, couldn't deal with it.

Jane

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 11:05PM
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jeff_90254

Better to get used to it. One day you'll be living in one for a long time.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 11:33PM
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cordovamom

Actually Jeff you won't be "living" in one at all. That's the whole point of a cemetery -- they're for the non living.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 7:41AM
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suz1023

a historic cemetary would be great. an active,current-use one--no way in heck for me. no worries about creepiness here either.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 8:25PM
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chicagoerin

I think it would creep me out too. Why? I think first it's that it reminds me of something unpleasant (to me at least), death. Second it reminds me of saddness..more often than not people who visit a cemetary are not jovial. If it were my dream house at a dream price, I might go for it. But just the fact that you are asking the question leads me to believe you fear some would find it undesirable. I try to limit things that might deter the sale as much as possible..power lines nearby, busy streets, etc. It's hard enough to find a qualified buyer :) Best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 10:14AM
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jasonmi7

In my area, cemetaries INCREASE the value of homes because they are quiet (obviously), there's NO chance of further use or development, they are more heavily patrolled by the police, and any 'visitors' are generally of a higher level.

I'd LOVE to live next door to one.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 8:37PM
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creek_side

"and any 'visitors' are generally of a higher level."

And the residents are generally at a lower level.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:56PM
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sparksals

auntiejen wrote: I am curious as to why others who find it "creepy" feel as they do. If anyone would care to share why, I'd be interested in what you have to say. Is it the fact that you'd have a continual reminder of the eventual fate that we all share? Do you believe that there are spirits or "forces" present in a cemetery? Something else?

I don't think I can put my finger on it except that it is creepy. I don't like the thought of looking at tombstones. While Cemeteries may be a good neighbour, unfortunately, they are also target of vandalism.

For me it has nothing to do with eventual fate. If the question is being asked if it's an affect on home value and there are people who think it is a problem, then it is an issue. There will be people who won't buy a house next to a cemetery just like there are others who won't buy next to a corner store or on a busy street. Everyone has their reasons, most of them personal and how they choose to live their lives.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 2:10AM
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auntjen

Oh boy. The bad puns this thread calls to mind are all too easy, aren't they?
;-D

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 5:39PM
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neesie

For the person that said "don't buy if there's a crematory" I am assuming that person thinks cremation is still being done by ovens and it isn't. I believe its all liquid now, so therefore no smoke. Maybe TMI, who knows? I would still say "yes" to living next to a cemetary.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 5:49PM
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cmarlin20

I don't ever think of cremations being done at the cemetery, just burials.
I'd prefer an old small one, they look nice, a new one with traffic might bother me.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 7:08PM
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jenny_from_the_block

It would not bother me either. We live in an area where those little historic cemetaries are all over the place - I think they are quaint and would love to be buried in such a place (when I'm way old of course ;-)
You said the house has an acre of land - how close to the headstones would your house be? Any chance you could do a fence or a row of shrubberies? Sounds like your house is in a great location otherwise.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 9:28PM
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marys1000

I'm of two minds. I probably wouldn't pass on a property if I loved loved loved it because it was next to or near a cemetary but I would have to think about it and weigh the pro's and cons vs. how much I loved it.
Pro's - usually pretty, quiet, not too many people
birdwatching, built in walking paths
Con's - sad-seeing funerals would make me think of loss
Scary - my imagination tends to get away from me sometimes at night although this happens less as I get older. Maybe it would depend on whether there were other neighbors or note
Veggie gardening - right next to a cementary? Somehow seems a little um...ick although I realize thats somewhat ridiculous so is getting scared at night:)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 10:08AM
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