I See Dead People: Do Homes Near Cemeteries Sell Well?

With Halloween quickly approaching, at Redfin we were dying to know: do homes near cemeteries sell for more or less than homes farther away from cemeteries? Would a drop-dead gorgeous home take longer to sell if the view includes tombstones? Would a home shopper have grave concerns about a home near a cemetery, or would the quiet neighbors be a selling point? We dug into the data to find out.

Homes Near Cemeteries Sell for More: We’re Dead Serious.

Redfin analyzed the price of homes less than 50 feet from a cemetery, and compared those to the price of homes less than 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 yards away. The numbers indicate that on average, homes near cemeteries are slightly smaller, but sell for more per square foot. On average, homes closest to cemeteries sold for $162 dollars per square foot, whereas the homes located more than 500 yards away sold for $145 per square foot.

Distance Transaction Count Median Sale Price Median Square Footage Price Per Square Foot Days On Market
< 50 Feet 221 $235,000 1,398 $162 48
< 100 Yards 3,689 $219,900 1,392 $147 43
< 200 Yards 6,361 $223,000 1,408 $150 42
< 500 Yards 26,512 $230,000 1,478 $147 41
< 1,000 Yards 60,170 $235,000 1,514 $145 39

“I have a current listing that backs up to a cemetery, and 10 to 15 people have toured the home. One potential buyer provided feedback that it was a deal breaker, but that is just one of many. In my opinion, cemeteries make very quiet neighbors!” said Blakely Minton, a Redfin real estate agent in Philadelphia.

“Like everything with home buying, there are pros and cons to living near a cemetery. The pros are that most likely there would be no chance of future development on the site of a cemetery, there is usually well maintained open space, it’s quiet, and many cemeteries are picturesque. The cons would be that cemeteries give some people an uneasy feeling, as it represents mortality, and it might not be an area they want to ‘live’ next to everyday,” said Lynn Ikle, a Redfin real estate agent in Baltimore.

Time on Market: Do Homes Near Cemeteries Take An Eternity to Sell?

HomeNearCemeteryThe analysis also reveals that homes adjacent to cemeteries take longer to sell on average. Those located less than 50 feet away took 48 days to sell, whereas those located more than 500 yards away took 39 days to sell. Based on the analysis, homes near cemeteries sell for more money, but it may take longer to find the right buyer.

“Having a home right next door to a cemetery may make it more difficult to sell. There will always be a group of people who might love all of the specifications of the house, but the ‘creepy’ factor may prevent them from even touring the home. Having fewer folks tour a home could lead to a home staying on the market longer,” said John Malandrino, a Redfin real estate agent in Chicago.

Spooky Spots: Which Cities Have the Most Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries?

Not all cities are the same when it comes to the number of cemeteries located within city limits, and the number of homes built around them. Redfin evaluated 90 metropolitan areas across the nation to find the top five cities with the most homes for sale near cemeteries. The analysis looked at homes for sale as of October 15 that were located less than 100 yards from a cemetery. Some of the nation’s oldest cities topped the list:

1.) Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Cemetery

Loudon Park Cemetery is located in the Oaklee area of Baltimore, where there are currently four homes for sale. Photo via Acroterion/Wikimedia Commons.

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 172
Median list price of those homes: $101,950

“It doesn’t surprise me that Baltimore tops the list, because it was founded back in the early 1700s. Our neighborhoods here are very well established, and cemeteries were part of the landscape during their development,” said Lynn Ikle, a Redfin real estate agent in Baltimore.

2.) Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia cemetery

Hood Cemetery, which was originally known as the Lower Burial Ground, is located in the Germantown area of Philadelphia, where there are currently 77 homes for sale. Photo via Smallbones/Wikimedia Commons.

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 157
Median list price of those homes: $134,900

“Since Philadelphia was one of the first major settlements in the U.S., there are cemeteries scattered throughout the city. I had one friend who moved into a home with a cemetery right behind it. One day she came home with her hands full of groceries and nearly hit the floor with food flying when she heard a gunshot outside. It turns out that the cemetery was for veterans, and it was a military salute. The type and size of cemetery is something to consider when deciding on a home by a cemetery, but in my opinion the reminder of how precious life can be is a positive, not a negative,” said Blakely Minton, a Redfin real estate agent in Philadelphia.

3.) Chicago, IL

Chicago Cemetery

St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery is located in the Mt. Greenwood area of Chicago, where there are currently 77 homes for sale. Photo via H Padleckas/Wikimedia Commons.

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 115
Median list price of those homes: $229,900

“With buildable land at a premium, especially in and around the downtown Chicago area, builders have built and will continue to build in close proximity to cemeteries,” said John Malandrino, a Redfin real estate agent in Chicago.

4.) Boston, MA

Boston Cemetery

Evergreen Cemetery is located in the St. Elizabeth’s area of Boston, where there are currently 13 homes for sale. Photo via Luciof/Wikimedia Commons.

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 50
Median list price of those homes: $711,809

“The main reason Boston has so many cemeteries is because it has so many churches! Nearly all of the older churches in the greater Boston area have large cemeteries attached to them. These churches are frequently located in residential neighborhoods, so people could walk to church events. Churches were not only the center of worship, as they continue to be, but also the center of cultural events and social gatherings. It was only natural for people to want to be buried in their neighborhood next to the church, so homebuyers in the Boston area have made their peace with having a cemetery nearby. In fact, many welcome having the green space!” said Peter Phinney, a Redfin real estate agent in Boston.

5.) Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Cemetery

Oakland Cemetery is located in the Old Fourth Ward area of Atlanta, where there are currently 36 homes for sale. Photo via Mike Schinkel/Wikimedia Commons.

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 41
Median list price of those homes: $229,900

“Well known for its sports and entertainment industries, Atlanta also has beautifully historic cemeteries that are tourist attractions. Homes that border the Decatur Cemetery fetch a high price due to schools and a location that is within walking distance to restaurants, shopping and entertainment. In this current market, bidding wars are the norm in this location. Neighborhoods located within a mile of the Oakland Cemetery are pockets of quiet, southern charm in a bustling city. The beauty of these homes is that you can still get a great value in an appreciating market.  Locals and migrants alike are drawn to the hip and historical areas of Grant Park, Old Fourth Ward and Cabbagetown,” said Danielle Coats, a Redfin real estate agent in Atlanta.

Methodology

This study looked at 90 U.S. Census MSAs (Metro and Micro Areas) across the country, including nearly 600 cities and towns with at least 100 homes near a cemetery. We looked at single family homes, condos and townhomes that sold in the MLS from January 2012 through September 2013, as well as current active listings as of October 15, 2013.  A sale price above $1,000 was required and square footage was required on the listing to be included in this study. Cemeteries were supplied by OpenStreetMap.org and included 22,803 cemetery boundaries, of which 5,433 had a home within 1,000 yards in this data set.

Discussion

  • Jay Melo

    Maybe buyers automatically assume they are getting a deal based on the location. Also, you don’t have to worry about noise neighbors!