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Day of the dead

Posted by Rona Fischman March 9, 2010 02:12 PM

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One day, in two different towns with two different sets of clients, I saw two particularly nice houses for sale. Both had a prominent view of a cemetery. Now, this wasn’t Mt Auburn Cemetery which is more like a park; these were the flat type of cemetery.

What my clients saw was lawn, some trees, and headstones. In each case, the headstones were close enough and prominent enough that one could read the names without trying. One client wondered if he’d need to find out who Mr. M_____ was, since he’d be seeing the name every day. The other said, “It is good to remain aware of one’s mortality, but I can’t live there.”

Whenever I ask clients about cemeteries, in theory, I get one of two answers: “I can’t live here” or “I don’t care, it has grass I don’t have to mow and the neighbors are quiet.” When faced with a particular property near a particular graveyard, the feelings get more intense.
I think graveyards fascinate children. When I asked around, people seem to have all kinds of childhood memories about cemeteries. My fellow agent, Dianne, says that when she was a kid, she’d hold her breath as she passed a cemetery. One of my clients turned down the radio in the car, out of respect, when she passed one.
I went on line and couldn’t find good data on whether proximity to a cemetery affects market price in America. It does, a little, in Hong Kong.

Which is scarier about buying a house near a cemetery: the horror-movie scenes or how future buyers will react? Have you turned down a place next to the cemetery? Have you gotten a great deal next to a cemetery?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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