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Home Buyers Aren’t Afraid of Spooky Homes: They’ll Even Pay More for One!

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

A few ghosts lurking around the house isn’t likely to deter a majority of home buyers, finds two recent studies.

Blacon Cemetery, Chester

Photo credit: Bill Barber

Realtor.com’s 2013 Haunted House report found that more than half of 1,400 home buyers recently surveyed would be open to buying a “haunted” house. Most home buyers in the survey said that a cemetery on the property and a home over 100 years old makes the home seem “haunted.”

Here’s a surprising finding: A “haunted” house isn’t likely to scare away home buyers, and it may even fetch more money when you go to sell it.

Homes closer to a cemetery sell for more money than homes further away, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. Homes near cemeteries were found to take longer to sell, but homes less than 50 feet away tended to sell for more money per square foot than homes farther away.

The study found that a home less than 50 feet away from a cemetery had a median sales price of $235,000 at a price per square foot of $162. On the other hand, homes less than 100 yards away had a median sales price of $219,900 and priced, on average, $147 per square foot.

“There are pros and cons to living near a cemetery,” says Lynn Ikle, a Redfin real estate professional in Baltimore.“The pros are that most likely there would be no chance of future development on the site of a cemetery, there is usually well-maintained open space, it’s quiet, and many cemeteries are picturesque. The cons would be that cemeteries give some people an uneasy feeling, as it represents mortality, and it might not be an area they want to ‘live’ next to everyday.”

That said, homes near cemeteries tend to take longer to sell. Homes located less than 50 feet away took, on average, 48 days to sell compared to homes 500 yards away, which took 39 days to sell.

Redfin evaluated 90 metro areas across the country to find the top five cities with the most homes for sale near cemeteries. Here are the metros that topped the list:

1. Baltimore, Md.

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 172

Median list price of those homes: $101,950

2. Philadelphia

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 157

Median list price of those homes: $134,900

3. Chicago

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 115

Median list price of those homes: $229,900

4. Boston

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 50

Median list price of those homes: $711,809

5. Atlanta

Homes for sale near cemeteries: 41

Median list price of those homes: $229,900

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