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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 wasnt 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 hed need to find out who Mr. M_____ was, since hed be seeing the name every day. The other said, It is good to remain aware of ones mortality, but I cant live there.

Whenever I ask clients about cemeteries, in theory, I get one of two answers: I cant live here or I dont care, it has grass I dont 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, shed 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 couldnt 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?

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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