With Halloween quickly approaching, Redfin was 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.
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 they 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.
“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 homebuying, 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.
The 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.
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 five cities with the most homes for sale near cemeteries. The analysis looked at homes for sale as of Oct. 15 that were less than 100 yards from a cemetery. Some of the nation’s oldest cities topped the list:
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,” Ikle said. “Our neighborhoods here are very well-established, and cemeteries were part of the landscape during their development.”
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,” Minton said. “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 gun shot 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.”
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,” Malandrino said.
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,” said Peter Phinney, a Redfin real estate agent in Boston. “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.”