It looks like Craigslist ads are diversifying into new, more macabre sectors. No longer just for browsing apartments, used cars and creepy dating ads, the popular classifieds website is now being used to hawk burial sites for bargain hunters. Recently (most likely due to soaring real estate values), the site has seen quite a surge in secondhand grave site sales, with Craigslist New York currently advertising 35 plots.
The newest Craigslist sale section may be just a new part of the same old New York story. As real estate prices skyrocket, every inch of green space becomes more valuable. Simply put, those with unused burial plots and those in unfortunate need of a final resting place may just make perfect bedfellows. Only in New York, people!
In October, Craigslist New York saw over 35 burial plots put up for sale in the Greater New York area and parts of New Jersey. The Craigslist ads, as well as other burial plot sites, have listings for graves that range from $1,500 to $11,000, although a secondhand mausoleum crypt for that special someone may run up to $14,000.
Some of the ads are run by individuals holding deeds to family burial space who are now reconsidering their final resting place. In fact, most of the ads state that the reason for selling the land is the decision to move to a warmer, more retirement-friendly area.
But, like most Craigslist ads, there does seem to be a bit of uncertainty regarding the final sale product. Specifically, the legality of selling a cemetary plot is a bit cloudy. Lewis Polishook, Director of the New York Department of State’s Division of Cemeteries, explains that available burial plots should first be offered to the cemetery. If not, the cemetery may refuse to issue a deed to the grave site or recognize the new owner’s rights. However, the resale price of a plot is much lower when selling it back to the cemetery rather than selling to an individual buyer.