In Tough Times, Families Reselling Burial Plots

Cemeteries report brisk sales of late
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2009 1:50 PM CDT
That's fine, I guess, say families who once had elaborate plots.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – People struggling with bills and other earthly concerns are unloading burial plots at a fast clip. One Florida cemetery made as many “buybacks” in the first half of this year as in all of 2008, another in Ohio reports a similar spike, and ads are plentiful on funeral property websites across the country. Plots “could pay for utility bills and living expenses,” a broker tells the Wall Street Journal. “They’re not thinking of the future.”

The trend is also the result of increasing family mobility and the acceptance of cremation. Still, tough times have made today’s market seem more ruthless. “I've had widowers sell back spots next to their spouses, and only because they needed to pay rent,” the cemetery’s manager says. And remember, the Journal cautions, it’s still real estate. So “make sure the seller is the owner of record.”