Keeping up with Chicago's North Shore Real Estate Market!

Contact Ann

call or text me: 847-691-1111 or email:

Thursday, October 25, 2018


I find it interesting to walk my neighborhood these days.  Many of the lawns are staged with fake tombstones and ghostly figures.   Halloween brings out such interesting decorations.  

Which leads me to talk about one of the more interesting aspects of real estate: the use of land for cemeteries. In Lake Forest and Calvary Cemetery, just south of Evanston -- prime real estate is being used to house our ancestors.  If I'm really honest, I've always wanted lakefront property -- maybe in death I'll have it!

My dad loved to visit cemeteries -- he loved genealogy and he found cemeteries very informative.   On our vacations, we often detoured out of our way in order to tromp through some cemetery to find tombstones from some distant relative.   My mother was just as curious.  I suppose that sounds odd to some people, but that was the way it was in our family.
Austrian cemetery
European cemeteries are amazing to visit.  They are frequented often by relatives, so there are an abundance of flowers, gardens and mementos.  I was told once, that due to the shortage of land, plots are reused -- so the occupants tend to be the fairly recently departed.  

With Halloween coming, I find autumn a wonderful time of year to walk through a beautiful cemetery and appreciate not only the scenery, but also the tombstones, and sometimes even the final resting places of famous historical figures.   Graceland in Chicago is an amazing place -- as is the Lake Forest Cemetery.  

Some people find them frightening, while others purposely seek out graveyards.  My grandmother's cousin(?), Lilburn Kingsbury, was an authority on Missouri cemeteries - his records remain a goldmine for local historians.

Here are 20 cemeteries worth seeing -- I think I've seen three of them.    And in honor of those departed souls who wanted to get the last word, I enjoyed reading 50+ Brilliant Tombstones By People Whose Sense Of Humor Will Live Forever.

Here's one interesting story in the New York Times: Family Cemeteries Bind Generations, for Remembrance and Tax Reasons

As you can tell, I'm not one of those people who finds cemeteries disturbing -- in fact, I enjoy seeing them from time to time.   I even went on a school outing to visit the historical and gorgeous Mount Auburn Cemetery near Boston.

But what about buying a home near a cemetery?   How does it affect property values?

Well, there are pros and cons.  


You are guaranteed quiet neighbors.  You never to worry about all-night parties or loud construction going on nextdoor. You will enjoy unobstructed and sometimes even beautiful natural views.  Some cemeteries have extraordinary gardens and monuments and many are on the list of National Historic Places. 


I've had buyers who are fearful or superstitious so they find the idea of living near a cemetery a deal breaker.  Then there are buyers who seek out a feng shui lifestyle, which means living near a cemetery is a nonstarter.   Re-sale of your home needs to be a consideration. 

Yes, the neighbors are quiet, but a cemetery is sometimes a problem for some buyers. In fact, the National Association of Realtors found that the presence of a cemetery nearby drags down property prices by 12 percent.
But an analysis of sales by another real estate firm came to the opposite conclusion. It discovered homes closer to cemeteries fetched more money per square foot than those farther away. 
Who knows?   It really comes down to personal preference I suppose.   

What do you think?  Would you buy a property next to a cemetery?

No comments:

Post a Comment