Finding Space in Cemeteries: What Costs are Associated with Burial?

Cemeteries are still the first choice for most people’s final resting place.  Despite the rise in popularity of cremation over the last decade, the majority of those who are making funeral arrangements either for a loved one or pre-planning for their own demise are still choosing cemeteries as their preferred place of interment.

But how much do burial or cemetery plots cost?  What options are available to you?  The answers to these and other questions you may have are discussed below.

Cost of a Burial Plot

Burial plots, cemetery plots, gravesites and cemetery lots are pieces of property.  Like any real estate, the price of any one burial plot is determined by location, supply and demand.  Not only do individual cemeteries affect the cost of the burial property, but also the location within the cemetery will affect the value of the lot.  For example, a lot located on a hilltop or a lot in an exclusive portion of the cemetery will cost significantly more than a lot located somewhere else within the cemetery.

Most burial property pricing starts at or around $1000, with the average cost falling somewhere around $2500 per lot.  It’s possible to buy property direct from a cemetery, but it’s better to use a pre-owned registry like The Cemetery Registry, an online directory connecting both purchasers and sellers of burial property.

Pre-owned cemetery and burial lots are not actually previously used, as the name implies.  Pre-owned property simply means that it was previously purchased and owned by someone who has since chosen to not use the property for a variety of reasons (relocation, divorce, etc.).  Often these owners are looking to recoup their original purchase price rather than take advantage of the inflation rate of burial property like the funeral homes or cemeteries would be.  Choosing to buy a pre-owned lot is a sound economical decision.

Additional Costs of Burial

In addition to the cost of purchasing the actual gravesite, you will also need to consider the other costs of burial.  For example, most cemeteries will require that you purchase a burial liner or vault.  The burial container (not to be confused with the casket) will keep the grave from collapsing, causing maintenance issues for the cemetery.  There are affordable options, so be sure to compare pricing.  Typically a concrete grave liner is the most affordable option, starting at about $250.

You will also need to choose a casket for the deceased.  If you are using a funeral home to assist you with your arrangements or pre-planning, they will be able to offer you a selection of caskets that they offer, but know that you have other options as well.  You do not have to purchase a casket from a funeral home.  There are also online directories for discount caskets.  The selection of the casket can be one of the most expensive choices you make if you do not shop around.  Final Arrangements Network offers online directories to connect you with affordable options.

Too often, especially in the case of last minute funeral arranging, those in the funeral industry may try to guilt you into purchasing a casket that is much too expensive.  If you know that your grief and emotions will make it difficult to make good decisions while making arrangements, be sure to have someone who is less affected by the passing accompany you.

Other costs incurred with burial that should be considered are the prices of the grave marker, the opening and closing of the grave, the installation of the marker, and the ongoing care and maintenance of the gravesite.  Cemeteries all vary by way of which of these services they charge for and the pricing for each.  Be sure to compare all costs associated with a cemetery burial when arranging or pre-planning a funeral.


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