Cemetery location and home value


Dear David,

My husband and I have been looking for our next home for awhile, but it seems like there is always something we disagree on. We went through an open house last weekend and finally both really liked the property. The only issue is that it backs on to a cemetery, should we be concerned about the effect on resale value? – UNSURE 

DEAR UNSURE: Finding your second or third home can be more challenging than finding your first. First time buyers tend to have limited budgets, and therefore fewer options. As buyers grow into more expensive homes, their expectations also grow, often rooted in what they felt was missing from their previous home(s). 

Buyers generally take site influences into account. In real estate terms, site influences are features found on or close to the property that affect a buyer’s perception of the home. The cemetery obviously doesn’t bother the other neighbors who back onto it, but as I’ve said many times, real estate is subjective. One buyer will evaluate a home differently than another, and often even differently than their spouse. 

I assess site influences in one of three ways: it either makes the property more valuable, less valuable, or its effect is neutral. While some buyers may be spooked by the cemetery, others will appreciate the solitude it provides (quiet neighbours are a plus), and some will not be affected either way. In my personal opinion, the property might be worth a bit less to some buyers, but of course it depends on who is making the offer. If the cemetery strikes you as a negative influence, your purchase price should take that into account. When you sell the home, you might expect it to go for just a bit less than an identical house across the street where the site influence is neutral (ie. a house that backs onto other neighbours).

You and your husband have been shopping for awhile, so I assume at this point you are fairly educated buyers. In all likelihood you do a bit of mental math as you chalk up features that present good value to you, rather than putting a specific price tag on each individual attribute. If this property presents good value in your eyes and you’re not bothered by the cemetery, it’s probably time to have your agent draft an offer. Hopefully you can start packing. 

PRO TIP: Everyone places different values on different aspects of a property. When you drive down a busy street, there is someone living in every house you pass. When those owners purchased their homes, their home-buying dollars likely went a bit further than owners who bought smaller homes on a quiet street one block over. Before you decide whether to buy this house, do your own mental math and see if the value holds up for you. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.