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A grave investment.

Want an unusual investment? Stock market, mutual funds, house and lots-these comprise the usual fare for the traditional folk wanting to earn passive income.

All these assets focus on the future of the living. But did you know there is a promising future in death investments?

Alternative investment

Cemetery plots aren't usually the first things that come to mind when real estate is mentioned. The morbid nature of these assets isn't exactly a great attraction.

Considering that cemeteries are still pieces of property, investing in plots is worth looking into. Chances are, if you buy a cemetery plot now, it will either earn or save you money in the future.

Buying graves, like other types of investments, have its pros and cons. If you are interested, you have to do your research and know exactly what you are paying for.

Affordable option

On the bright side, plots are often cheaper compared to other types of real estate investments. As they are smaller, the idea of maintenance and security is less of a concern.

As burials require permits and preparation, there is little chance that your property in the cemetery will be seized or occupied by others.

Prices of graves usually rise as time passes. The plot you bought in the past can yield significant returns today.

Nowadays, the space for cemetery plots is becoming more

valuable.

There is an estimated 8 percent growth per year in the value of cemetery plots. Reality assures you that there is always someone who will need to buy a plot.

Downside

Conversely, there are factors that might present some problems to grave investors.

For one, there is a growing shift from traditional burials to cremation. As land burial is often costly, buying urn wall plots might be a wise alternative.

In addition, one's future circumstances are something that cannot be foreseen. Some people, for example, relocate later in life and end up being very far away from the location of their cemetery investments.

Pre-bought family plots may also fail to consider future spouses and children in the allocated spaces. Future possibilities have to be anticipated in buying pre-need cemetery and funeral investments.

Selling vs. keeping

In buying graves, location is still the primary factor. Views can't be appreciated by the dead, but they entice the living.

Trees, fountains, and other natural features may influence the cost of graves. Adding such elements can enhance the value of the cemetery plots. It would help a lot if you walk around and explore potential locations before confirming any purchase.

Once you buy a plot, you can choose to sell or keep the property. Keeping the plots will allow you to be prepared in case of unexpected need in the future. It will also help your loved ones in a time of bereavement.

Selling your property, on the other hand, may need some waiting time to allow the value of the property to rise. The eventual returns, however, may be well worth it. Either way, selling or keeping the plots will help financially in the future.

Unique market

The business of selling cemetery plots has a unique market. Clients fall into two types, namely those who buy pre-need, and those who immediately need the plots.

There is a certain sensitivity needed to sell funerary products especially to the latter type of market. You would have to maintain your plots to ensure that these are clean and attractive.

Plots are prime parcels of real estate, but with the growing trend of cremation, it may also be wise to consider buying crypts or wall space.

Though smaller in size, wall spots can hold multiple urns. These might offer better returns if cremation become more popular in the future.

Bright future

Overall, there is much promise in this type of real estate. Beyond making money, these types of land will keep you prepared in case of any unexpected events in the future.

Death is something that everyone will experience eventually. It would be easier for loved ones to deal with bereavement if they are saved the headache and expense of preparing for funeral arrangements.

There is a bright future in the grave property market

Traditional land is a wise investment, but for those who are just starting out, cemeteries are also worth looking into.

Though the business of death is not the most cheerful way of earning money, you can be assured that there will always be clients who will need it. One's permanent place on earth will always be a valuable commodity to the dead and the living.

(Sources: www.buyandsellcemeteryplots.com; www.innovative passiveincome.com; www.theguardian.com)

The author is a licensed architect who studied abroad and currently works for DSFN Architects. Her family has invested in a group plot but she doesn't hope to avail herself of the property any time soon.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 1, 2017
Words:913
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