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How to Purchase a Cemetery Burial Plot

Learn How and Where To Purchase a Burial Plot (Lot), Grave or a Gravesite In a Cemetery or Memorial Park in Pittsburgh or Southwestern Pennsylvania

Cemeteries and memorial parks have been traditionally used by families in the Pittsburgh area for burying (interring) bodies or cremated ashes.  Many cemeteries in Pittsburgh will offer you the choice to bury your loved one in the ground or in an above ground mausoleum or crypt. If the burial, interment or inurment involves cremated remains, most cemeteries in Pittsburgh offer entombment of cremains in columbariums or mausoleums or plots in urn gardens.  You can expect the cemetery to take care of preparing the burial site and placing the remains in the grave or cremation space. In some cases Rome Monument will install the gravestone or monument and in other cases, the cemetery will set the stone.  At Rome Monument, we know the best cemeteries in Pittsburgh - it is our business.

Like all businesses (even if they are non-profit entities) cemeteries must compete for customers, so don't feel bad about negotiating when you are purchasing a burial plot or space in a cemetery in Pittsburgh.  You might be able to have the price lowered or you might be able to upgrade to a more scenic section of the cemetery.  Click here for burial plot price ranges in Pittsburgh.

When planning to arrange a burial, interment, cremation inurment or buy a monument knowing how to purchase a cemetery burial plot is likely to save you time and ease the process. Thousands of cemeteries serve millions of families every year, helping them plan for and acquire burial plots. Families planning for future burials are often doing it for the first time, so understanding basic burial-plot issues is important to ensuring satisfactory arrangements are in place when the time comes. We have answers and are happy to guide you on how to purchase cemetery burial plots in your area. Just give us a call anytime at 724-770-0100.

Overview of Information

  • If you are a planning to purchase a piece of property within a cemetery or memorial park in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area or Southwestern Pennsylvania, the information contained on this page may come in handy.
  • In the event that you or your family are making "final arrangements" and are planning a funeral or burial of human remains or cremated remains that will occur in the near future, the information listed below should help you.
  • Rome Monument has prepared the following information to help you understand options worth your consideration including the cemetery, burial plot type, prices (costs) and location. 
  • Even if you are not expecting a burial to take place anytime soon, there are numerous advantages to making interment preparations in advance.
  • Listed at the bottom of the page is information on how to purchase a burial plot for a grave for a pet, dog or cat in Pittsburgh.
  • In 2016, in the United States, the rate of cremation now exceeds the rate of traditional ground burials as the method of disposition of human remains. As a result, residents of the Pittsburgh area frequently call Rome Monument at 724-770-0100 to ask us what cemeteries offer ground burial space for cremation because they want to have a monument or memorial designed to commemorate their loved one who chose to be cremated.

Phrases or Names Used in Place Of, Or To Describe Types of Burial Plot (s)

  • Burial Lot (s)
  • Grave (s)
  • Gravesite (s) or Grave Site (s)
  • Burial Space (s)
  • Ground Burial Space (s)
  • Grave Space (s)
  • Grave Plot (s)
  • Family Plot (s)
  • Cemetery Lot (s)
  • Vault
  • Mausoleum
  • Crypt
  • Columbarium Niches
  • Cemetery Property

Basics of Purchasing a Burial Plot in a Pittsburgh Cemetery

  • Individuals and families typically purchase burial plots directly from cemeteries and memorial parks in Pittsburgh. Click here for a select list of Pittsburgh cemeteries with links to their contact information.
  • To view monuments and memorials built by Rome Monument that are installed in Pittsburgh cemeteries, click here.
  • Residents of Southwestern PA who want to save money on the cost of cemetery space use cemetery space exchange or brokerage sites to buy a gravesite from an existing plot owner.
  • Some people use cemetery space exchange or brokerage websites to purchase grave spaces because the cemetery in which they desire space has "sold out" of spaces in the desired section or entire cemetery.
  • While not directly involved in the final purchase transaction, church ministers, funeral directors and even the management staff at Rome Monument often assist people in their purchase of cemetery space in the Pittsburgh area.
  • Believe it or not, but people even buy burial plots located in Pittsburgh cemeteries on Ebay or craiglist.com.
  • Click here for additional information on buying burial plots.
  • Click here for information on "Title and Rights of Owners of Plots, Grounds, or Graves."

Cemetery Grave or Burial Plot Sizes in Pittsburgh:

  • A standard grave is about 8 feet long and 2 1/2 feet wide.
  • This sizes provides room for an upright monument or flat grave marker.
  • Some burial plots may be up to 9 feet long or 4 fee wide to accommodate a person of larger size.
  • Most cemeteries use standard sizes for single and double plots.

Payment Types Used To Purchase Burial Plots or Cemetery Space in Pittsburgh

Most cemeteries in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area accept the following methods of payment:

  • Cash
  • Personal Check
  • Money Order
  • Cashier's Check
  • Debit Cards
  • Credit Cards Such as MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express
  • PayPal (Rarely Accepted)

Private individuals or cemetery plot owners generally only accept cash, checks, money orders and cashier's checks as payment for burial plots and cemetery lots.

Burial and Cremation Laws in Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania has laws that affect what happens to a body of someone who dies.
  • It is important to understand the state guidelines for burial or cremation, procedures for scattering ashes and how to get a death certificate.
  • If you are curious about about where bodies can legally be buried in Pittsburgh, click here.
  • If you want to find out where your family can store cremains or where the cremated remains can be scattered, click here.
  • To get more information on Pennsylvania laws regarding burial practices and cemeteries, click here.

Basics of Purchasing Burial Space for Cremated Remains (Cremains)

  • In the United States in 2015, the rate of cremation exceeds the rate of traditional ground burials as the method of disposition of human remains.
  • In Southwestern Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh, families and individuals are choosing cremation, more frequently, as an alternative to traditional ground burials of the body of the deceased.
  • Cremated human remains, also known as cremains, are interred in the ground in graveyards or they are placed in columbarium niche.
  • Pittsburgh area cemeteries are now offering cremation options such as scattering gardens, columbariums with cremation niches.
  • Cremated human remains, as so referred to as cremains, may be interred in the ground or placed in a niche in a columbarium or mausoleum.
  • Full size burial plots are normally more expensive than small cremation niches or ground burial space for cremation.
  • The Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh offers an above ground, indoor niche for cremated remains in their Quiet Reflections chapel mausoleum.
  • Numerous cemeteries and memorial parks in Pittsburgh sell burial plots in their "Urn Gardens". If you are considering burying a loved one's cremated remains, talk to a Certified Cremation Arranger at Rome Monument to discuss your options by calling 724-770-0100 or by clicking here.
  • The historic Union Dale Cemetery has numerous sites for cremation placements including a Memorial Walk, a Cremation Garden, Private Columbarium Grave Space, a Columbarium and graves for cremation.
  • Burial plots in urn gardens in cemeteries in Southwestern PA normally are much smaller than full-size plots and accordingly, are priced much lower.  Some cemeteries will require that a small outer burial container for the urn be purchased. The Allegheny Cemetery has a beautiful lawn garden for cremated remains.  The Homewood Cemetery has a cremation garden in one area that features a manicured, formal-garden-like expanse of green which has been set aside for the in-ground burial and memorialization of cremated remains.
  • Rome Monument designs and sells a wide variety of cremation memorials such as cremation urns, granite memorial benches, boulder monuments, flat grave markers and upright monuments.

Buying in Advance

It is less stressful and often less expensive to buy a burial plot in advance, before a death occurs. But, buying in advance is a decision to make carefully, especially if you may not reside in the area in future years. It makes most sense for families with deep ties to an area or a particular cemetery, or in cases where a desirable cemetery is running out of interment space. 

Family Plots

If family members desire to be buried alongside each other, buying a family lot or multiple plots saves money and ensures that desired burial arrangements and plans can be accommodated in the future.

Interment Rights

When you buy a burial plot you actually purchase “interment rights,” not a piece of property. These interment rights give the holder the right to be buried in the plot, but the interment-rights holder can usually allow another individual to be buried in the plot by transferring or assigning the rights in writing.

Cemetery Buy Back

Cemeteries often retain a “right of first refusal” to buy back your cemetery plot should you decide you no longer want it. This requires you to first offer your plot to the cemetery before selling it to a third party, but doesn’t require the cemetery to buy the plot.

Types of Plots Available for Advance Purchase

You can purchase four distinct types of ground plots in a cemetery:

  • Single plots: The most common type of plot, single plots are for the remains of one person in a casket.
     
  • Companion plots: Typically these are two adjacent plots sold together, usually for a married couple. While most companion plots are two plots side-by-side, in some areas they can be a double-depth single plot in which two caskets are buried one on top of the other. Double-depth plots can save money because they require one large outer burial container, instead of two separate vaults.
     
  • Family plots: Many cemeteries permit families to purchase a defined area of the cemetery dedicated to burying family members. Family plots commonly feature a large family monument surrounded by smaller individual markers for each grave. These plots permit a family to arrange graves within the area as they prefer. Alternatively, a family plot may be a number of adjacent single plots purchased together by a family.
     
  • Plots for cremated remains: Cremated remains are often buried in cemetery plots alongside buried caskets. A standard sized single burial plot can often be used to bury multiple cremation urns (because they take up so much less space), but this depends on cemetery rules and regulations.

Types of Burial Plots For Sale in Pittsburgh

  • In Pittsburgh the four most common types of burial plots are single plots, double or companion plots, family or estate plots and plots for cremated remains.
     
  • Individual or single plots are the most common type of plot purchased by families who live in Pittsburgh. The remains of one person are buried in these plots in a casket of vault.
     
  • Double plots are sold to together and are usually purchased for or by a married couple or "life partners". Cemeteries also get requests for companion plots for same sex couples and while most deny these requests, attitidues are changing.
     
  • Family or estate plots are areas in a cemetry sold to a family. Rome Monuments designs and manufactures estate memorials which often take the form of a large headstone engraved with the family name which marks the area of the graves or burial plots. In some cases individual monuments are used to mark the specific graves and in other cases, as each family member is buried, the name and dates are engraved on the large estate memorial.  
     
  • Some cemeteries such as the Saint John Vianney Parish Cemetery in Pittsburgh require that people who purchase a grave are Catholic, although Non-Catholics are allowed to be interred in their cemetery if the grave owner is a Catholic. The New Light Congregation in Pittsburgh operates the New Light Cemetery in Shaler Township. Their congregants receive a 20% discount on grave sites after a two year membership.

Plot Costs

Rome Monument welcomes the opportunity to help you understand how to purchase a cemetery plot. Given the many issues involved in selecting and purchasing a cemetery plot, it’s a very good idea to understand the issues in advance. And if you need help, just call us at 724-770-0100 and one of our cemetery specialists will help you get the answers you need to plan and manage your burial plot purchase prudently and effectively.

Prices for Burial Plots in Pittsburgh (More Info >)

  • For information on ground burial prices and ground burial space for cremation in Pittsburgh, call (724) 770-0100. Prices usually start at $500.00 - $1,000.00 for each grave or space and go up from there depending on the cemetery you choose and the section in the cemetery you pick.
     
  • Some cemeteries that have architecturally appealing buildings, exqusite statues, stained glass chapels, beautiful and open pastoral landscapes, quite and peaceful environs, tree-lined drive, stands of mature trees, sweeping vistas, tranquil fountains, ponds and lakes, parklike atmospheres, great historic value, top-notch security and well maintained grounds often charge a premium for their burial plots and gravesites.
     
  • Plots in Pittsburgh cemeteries with a lake view or a private garden cost more than plots that have less than optimal vistas. "Just like real-estate, it's location, location, location," said David Michener, president of Allegheny and Homewood cemeteries in Pittsburgh.
     
  • The price for a burial plot in Pittsburgh cemeteries is based on the type of plot, which section of the cemetery the plot is located and the number of plots purchased. For example certain sections in the Round Hill Cemetery in Elizabeth, Pa, located about 19 miles south of Pittsburgh cost $500.00 for a grave, while burial plots in other sections cost $950.00. They charge about $2,700.00 for double depth lawn crypts.
     
  • For information about the costs of cemetery lots, grave openings, crypts and niches at the Beaver Cemetery and Mausoleum in Beaver, Pennsylvania, click here. Prices for cemetery lots, as of October, 2015 range from $490.00 to $2,250.00. Prices for crypts range from $7,040.00 to $22,000.00.
     
  • For good ballpark prices for gravesites, graves and burial plots, read the article posted on CostHelper.com titled "Cost of Gravesites - Consumer Information and Prices Paid."

Moving Forward With Your Purchase of a Burial Plot in a Pittsburgh Cemetery

Start by calling Rome Monument at 724-770-0100 to get our recommendations for the cemetery that best suits your needs or for advice on purchasing a burial plot in a specific memorial park.  We also highly recommend that you read the article titled "Final arrangements: Cemeteries must compete for customers."

To get information about purchasing a burial plot or a gravesite in one of Pittsburgh's most historic and popular cemeteries, click on the links below.

If you are interested in buying grave space in a Catholic cemetery in Pittsburgh, The Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh sells monument and lawn level graves in the following cemeteries.

  • All Saints, Pittsburgh PA
  • Calvary, Pittsburgh PA
  • Christ Our Redeemer, ittsburgh PA
  • Good Shepherd, Monroeville PA
  • Holy Savior, Gibsonia PA
  • Holy Souls, Coraopolis PA
  • Mt. Carmel, Verona PA
  • Our Lady of Hope, Tarentum PA
  • Queen of Heaven, McMurray PA
  • Resurrection, Moon Township PA
  • Sacred Heart, Monongahela PA
  • St. Mary, Pittsburgh PA
  • St. Joseph, North Versailles PA
  • St. Stanislaus, Pittsburgh PA

Click here to learn how to purchase a burial plot from the Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Find Private Individual Plot Owners Selling Burial Plots on "Buy and Sell" and Exchange Websites

  • The Cemetery Exchange: Where a few people from Pittsburgh buy and sell cemetery property.
     
  • The Final Arrangements Network: A source of information on buying graves, lawn crypts, burial lots and cemetery space in Pittsburgh from private owners.
     
  • Gravesolutions.com: A website where people in Allegheny County buy and sell cemetery lots, burial plots, crypts in Mausoleums and cemetery plots with one or more spaces in Pittsburgh cemeteries.
     
  • eBay: Cemetery Plots for Sale in Pennyslvania
     
  • craigslist.com: Cemetery lots, cemetery plots and mausoleum crypts for sale by owner.

How to Purchase a Burial Plot for a Grave for a Pet in Pittsburgh:

  • While most families in Pittsburgh bury their companion animals such as dogs and cats on their own property, usually in their backyard, more and more cemeteries in Pittsburgh are offering burial options for both humans and pets.
     
  • One example is the Jefferson Memorial Cemetery which offers pet owners the opportunity to purchase a single burial plot for their pet or they can purchase property within the Garden of Faithful Friends so that they can be buried near their pet. Prices for burying a pet in its own plot start at $350 and go up to over $1,000.00 depending on the animal’s size.
     
  • Both pets and humans must be buried in caskets or alternative containers.
     
  • Hillcrest Memorial Park in Hermitage, Pa., which is about 70 miles north of Pittsburgh has a section in the cemetery that permits the burial of pets and humans together.
     
  • Peaceful Pastures Pet Cemetery, which is owned and operated by Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes, is located next to the Beinhauer’s human cemetery, Woodruff Memorial Park which is located about 12 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
     
  • Rome Monument sells pet memorials which are appropriate for pet cemeteries in Pittsburgh.