Would You Buy a Home Next to a Cemetery?

October 29, 2019

When it comes to buying homes near graveyards, people tend to fall into one of two categories: all in or creeped out. Do you prefer suburbia or disturbia? We're dying to know.

If you're Team Suburbia, what you learn here may just change your mind. According to a Redfin analysis, purchasing a home near a cemetery may not be as grave a mistake as you probably think. The study found that homes within 50 feet of a cemetery, though they take longer to sell, sell for more per square foot than homes more than 500 yards away.

If your list of must-haves already includes a stunning view (of tombstones) and (dead) silent neighbors, you're probably wondering where on Earth you can find such a creepy crash pad. Cartography expert and "Pet Sematary" enthusiast Joshua Stevens might be able to help, or at least give you a place to start your haunting hunt.

"The Geography of the Dead"

Stevens used geodata to plot the locations of 144,847 graveyards and cemeteries in the contiguous U.S.

According to his map, the land of the dead exists east of the Mississippi—with the highest concentration of cemeteries sitting in a conglomerate where Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia come together. There's also a horrifyingly high number of cemeteries in the Northeastern U.S., where Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts converge.

Looking to take your quest a step further? You may (or may not) want to consider moving into one of the spookiest spots in the U.S. where, according to Stevens, “only the dead sleep,” though it won't be easy. There are about a dozen places across Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico that have no living population and still have cemeteries, but many of these areas fall in what are now national parks and wildlife refuges.

The Land of the Living

For those of you who prefer the company of the living, check out listings in San Francisco, the only major city in the U.S. that doesn't have any cemeteries.

In 1912, San Francisco banned burials in the city, ordering cemeteries to be shut down and remains moved to nearby Colma, Ca. So, while San Francisco may be the land of the living, Colma is (quite literally) the city of the dead, with 99.9% of its residents occupying space in the ground.

So which side of the gate are you on? Once you decide, learn more about the tricks and treats of homeownership at MyHome by Freddie Mac®.