As the owner of a home located across the street from a cemetery, I hear the joke “Wow, I bet the neighbors are quiet!” more times than I care to count.
In the past 15 years of living here, I’ve learned that cemeteries make people highly uncomfortable, provoking nervous laughter as they remark on the proximity of those graves to my own front lawn. It also dampens my home’s price: According to research by realtor.com®, the median home price in ZIP codes with a cemetery sink about 12% lower than similar homes in other areas without a collection of corpses 6 feet under. That’s just about the same drag on prices one would experience with a homeless shelter nearby, although not as bad as a strip club.
Still, I’m here to say that living next to a cemetery is downright dreamy—at least to me. Here’s why you shouldn’t be scared off by spirits.
The ghosts aren’t too rowdy
I’m kind of kidding here, but since superstitious sorts always ask me if I ever see ghosts, let me just say that, in my experience, we might suspect there’s one ghost lurking around. Cabinets occasionally open of their own accord, as does our front door, almost as if I’m being beckoned to get up from my work and go enjoy the sunshine outside.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this “ghost” is Floyd—the man who built this house, lived in it for many years, and (all according to his granddaughter, who still lives in town) is now buried in the cemetery just a stone’s throw from my front porch.
While some may find it creepy that my home’s former owner is buried nearby, I actually find it comforting to have him looking over us. (Thanks, Floyd.)
The visitors aren’t obnoxious, either
There are a handful of funerals each year, when the sounds of an excavator digging into the earth rouse me from my bed. Visitors stream in from out of town, and each side of our small country road is lined with the cars of mourners. But most visitors keep to themselves. They leave a few flowers on the appointed grave and plant flags on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but otherwise are as quiet and respectful as you’d ever hope your neighbors’ visitors to be.
The peace and quiet
For much of the year, the cemetery is calm and peaceful. The stone border along one side has become a favorite spot for my tween daughter to hide, lying across the warm stones on a summer afternoon, the sun cutting through the trees while she works her way through a book.
In a town bustling with activity at soccer and T-ball fields, the fire department, and the post office, the cemetery is our eye in the storm. We go there when life is chaotic, and we need a few moments to chill out and find our peace.
We’ve had it with traditional neighbors
Peace is exactly what I was looking for when my husband and I embarked on buying our first house. After marriage, we rented a series of apartments where we saw and heard everything. And I do mean everything.
Like? Oh, one downstairs neighbor (and our landlord) liked to urinate in our backyard in the middle of the day. Another favored blasting Fleetwood Mac at 4 a.m.
By the time we cobbled together the funds for a down payment, we’d both had enough of neighbors.
So when our real estate agent drove us down a quiet, rural road, past the chain-link fence that encloses the cemetery, and pulled into the driveway of a mint-green, two-story Cape Cod located across the street from the graveyard, I brightened. I knew even then that the cemetery would raise a few eyebrows, but I didn’t care one bit.
Since a cemetery is generally not seen as a selling point, the homeowner—Floyd’s wife—was happy to negotiate on the price and give us a deal. She moved out, but upon dying returned “home” to be buried beside Floyd, across the street from where she raised their four kids—and where I’m now raising my own.
Honestly, I couldn’t ask for better neighbors. The people in the cemetery don’t care if I put up a white fence or a gray one. They don’t complain when I forget to wheel the garbage cans away from the curb. They don’t have a dog that bites or a cat that poops in my sandbox.
Instead, I like to think of them as friendly spirits, watching over me and my family. After all, it’s their home too.
The post I Bought a Home Next to a Cemetery, and You Won’t Believe What It’s Like appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.