Realtors: 'Taboo Is Gone' Because Buyers, Renters Assured Of No Development

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The number one rule in real estate is location, and realtors say one increasingly popular location for home owners and renters is next to cemeteries.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Long Island realtor Diane Andersen. “No longer are people shying away from areas like living behind a cemetery.”

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“The views are great,” added Steve Castellon, a realtor with Rapid Realty NYC.

In many cases, realtors say, not only do their clients welcome it, some are even looking for it.

“The taboo is gone,” Castellon told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson.

From the city to the suburbs, home buyers like Adam Danforth say having neighbors that are six feet under has its benefits.

“We moved here with an interest in finding something that was more affordable but it ended up offering us a sense of peacefulness and being next to a place that assures you no development,” Danforth said.

Danforth bought a brand new condo just a few feet from Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, one of the oldest and biggest cemeteries in New York.

“If you see the gravestones and you think darkness and death and gloom, which naturally you will, but if you look past it and see the grass and the trees and the beautiful view, then you are not missing out on the signs of life that are there too,” he said.

Castellon said cemetery neighborhoods aren’t just for buyers, but renters as well can often find great deals there.

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“The landlords in these areas are a lot more flexible now so they’re more willing to negotiate,” he said.

Potential renters can be a little superstitious at first, but most embrace the idea.

“You’re close to a more peaceful situation,” Chris Knaff said.

“I love that they opened their doors to the community, that they do offer tours, that they do offer events,” Maria Mogavero added.

To some, midnight mausoleum tours and bird watching events also make the sites attractive.

“I take a lot of advantage of it. I take a lot of walks. I study the people who are buried there,” Danforth said.

Andersen said first-time home buyers often move next to a cemetery thinking they’ll trade up but, like their neighbors, end up staying put.

“They never want to move,” she said.

Realtors say a big, open cemetery where residents can stroll is far more attractive to home buyers and renters than one with too many gravestones packed in.

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