You should consider this article carefully before buying a house on a busy street, so you won’t regret buying it. A busy street will be noisy with traffic for most of the day and into the night, which is why you may regret buying house on busy street.
To avoid any regret buying a house on a busy street visit the house on a few occasions before you buy to assess the level of traffic and noise at different times of the day. Make sure to stand in the front and back garden, and ask if the vendor minds if you open the windows to assess traffic noise.
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Do you get used to living on a busy road?
You will get used to living on a busy road, but that doesn’t mean you will like it. If you are a light sleeper you will find it more difficult to get used to traffic noise, and you are more likely to regret buying a house on a busy road.
Should you take notice of what the estate agents say when buying a house on a busy street?
You should ignore what estate agents say when it comes to buying a house on a busy street, as estate agents are working for the vendor or seller of the house. Estate agents are only interested in selling the house and being paid their commission, so their comments will be biased against you.
Do your research on sold comparables before you buy a house on a busy street
To avoid the regret of buying a house on a busy street because you over-paid for the house, make sure you do your research into sold comparables first.
You can use websites like Rightmove and Zoopla to check sold prices of houses in the same area. Make sure the price of the house reflect its location on a busy street, as it should be less than similar houses away from busy streets.
What to do to avoid having regret buying on a busy street
To avoid regret buying a house on a busy street, visit the house on a number of occasions before you buy. Visit the house when traffic noise is at its busiest, but also make sure to visit at night. Spend time in the front and back garden, and inside the house and ask the seller if you can open the windows to assess the noise levels.
Also try to visit the house after it has been raining too, as traffic noise is at a higher level on wet roads.
If necessary and where it’s legal to do so, park on the street at night with your car windows open to assess the traffic noise at night too. This will give you an indication of the noise levels you will need to content with as you sleep.
To avoid having regret buying a house on a busy street, try it before you buy it by living in a similar house on the same or a similar street to the one you are considering to buy. You could rent a house for six months first, as this will be cheaper in the long run than buying and regretting your purchase.
Renting before buying your next house is also a savvy way of buying and selling a house in any event. You should take a look at this article about how you could save £71,475 on your next mortgage if you sell your house and rent before buying again. Even I was amazed when I did the calculations!
If you don’t want to rent for six months, try finding an Airbnb house and live in this for a few days, as this will help you to know if you’re going to regret buying a house on a busy road. Make sure the Airbnb is on a similarly busy street in the same area.
When are you more likely to regret buying a house on a busy street?
Consider who you are as a person before you buy a house on a busy street, as everyone is different. May people say you get used to the noise, but some people don’t and you might be that person.
With that said, consider the following points:
- Are you a light sleeper? If you sure a light sleeper,. you may struggle to sleep in as house on a busy road. This is especially true in the summer months if you like to sleep with the windows open.
- Do you like sleeping with the bedroom windows open? If you like to sleep with open windows in the summer and winter, you need to consider how noisy this will be when living in a house on a busy street.
- Are you used to living where it’s quiet? If you’ve been used to living in a quiet location until now, you may struggle more than most if you buy a house on a busy street.
- If the house is next to a T-Junction or a roundabout on a busy street? If the house is on an intersection, near a T-junction or near a roundabout, there will be more noise from traffic that will be breaking and accelerating at the junction.
- What type of traffic uses the road? Before you buy a house on a busy street, assess the type of traffic that uses the road. For example, if the street is a busy bus route or is a road used by large lorries, these will probably shake the house too. I discovered this when I lived in a house on a main road.
- When the bedrooms are at the front of the house. If the main bedrooms are at the front of the house where the busy road is located, this will be worse than if the bedrooms are at the rear of the house.
- If the windows are not insulated. If the windows are not double of triple glazed you will hear more noise inside the house.
- If the walls are not well insulated. Make sure the walls are well insulated for sounds, as this will help cut down on traffic noise inside the house.
- If you have pets. Having pets, and especially cats, may lead you to regretting buying a house on a busy street, as they are more likely to get killed on busy roads.
- If you have children or plan to have kids. Living on a busy street is not good for children, as this can stunt the growth of their lungs and cause diseases like asthma.
- If the street is a fast road. Fast roads make it must more dangerous to get in and out of your driveway.
Avoid buying a new house on a busy street if you think you may regret buying
You should avoid buying a new house on a busy street if you think you may regret your buying decision, as new houses are sold at a premium and you will lose this premium if you sell within five years of buying a new house.
Avoid buying a house on a busy street you may regret in a down-market
If the current market is a down market, be even more careful before you buy a house on a busy street, because if you regret it and want to sell soon afterwards it’s likely the price of the house will have fallen.
What are the pros to consider buying on a busy street to consider?
- A busy street means there are more people around so your house is more likely to be safe from burglars.
- If you live in a snow-prone area, a busy street is more likely to be snow-ploughed first.
- The price of a house on a busy street will be less than a similar house in a quiet location away from busy main roads.
- Busy streets have bus routes which make transport better.
- A busy street will link to commuter routes and make it faster for commuting to work in the morning.
- Traffic noise can be mitigated using double of triple glazed windows, white noise devices inside the house and water features in the garden.
- Buying a house of a busy street where the traffic is at a constant flow, as this will sound more like the sea in the background. This is apart from the few passing fast and noisy cars and motorbikes.
What are the solutions if you regret buying a house on a busy street?
- Sell the house immediately. If you sell straight away, this may put new buyers off, as they will know from details held online that you’ve only owned the property for a short period. This will also mean you will lose money as a result of the buying costs that cannot be recouped.
- Wait to see if you get used to the noise. New noises, which in this case is traffic on a busy street, takes time to get used to. Allow yourself time to get used to the new noises, as in time you may find you are okay with the traffic sounds.
- Live in the house and suffer in silence. Whilst not an ideal solution, you could live in the house for at least 12-24 months so you don’t give concern to new buyers when you come to sell.
- Move out and rent the house to tenants. If you let the house out to tenants, the house should ‘wash its face’, which means the rental income should cover the outgoings. However, get permission from your lender before you rent your house to tenants.
- Install better windows. You could install double glazing if the house has single glazed windows, or triple glazing if it has double glazing. But this will not help with the traffic noise when you’re in the garden or if you like open windows in the summer.
- Build a sound barrier. If you have the space in front of your house, build a berm* together with planting a thick line of conifers or a hedge to help deaden the traffic noise. Or simply plant a hedge or plant conifers to mask the traffic noise, as a berm will not work if you have a small garden, as they take up a lot of space.
- Buy a white noise machine. A white noise machine can help to create a more relaxing bedroom environment, as these devices produce ambient and natural sounds such as chirping birds and crashing waves to drown out the traffic noise. A fan by the side of your bed will also work well to drown out other noises.
- Install sound-blocking blinds. Sound blocking blinds will help to reduce road noise, which are cheaper than installing expensive double or triple glazed windows.
- Buy ear plugs. Use ear-plugs to help you sleep at night.
- Buy a water feature for the garden. Water features or garden fountains are good at drowning out traffic sounds when you’re in the garden.
- Buy outdoor speakers. Outdoor speakers playing white noise in the garden to reduce the traffic noise.
* A berm is a wall of earth or a mound built as a barrier.
Consider the levels of traffic on a busy street and getting in and out of the driveway
Make sure you consider traffic volumes on the busy street at peak times, as it’s possible the traffic may back up. This will cause you problems getting off your drive way, as often times drivers are selfish and won’t let you onto a road and into the traffic flow.
Final thoughts to avoid buyer’s remorse buying a house on a busy street
Make sure you take your time when buying a house, as you may buy in haste and repent at leisure. Buying a house is expensive, with solicitor costs, moving fees and stamp duty. You don’t want to regret buying your house, resulting in you wanting to sell soon after moving in, as you will then also have estate agents fees to pay when you sell.
But if on the other hand you have bought a house you regret buying, you may consider making improvements to sound proofing, as these improvements will add to the house value when you sell.
However, follow your gut, and if your gut is telling you that you may regret buying a house on a busy road don’t buy it. There will be other houses to buy, so be patient and wait for the perfect house for you to come along.
But on the other hand, if you have bought a house on a busy street and you’ve got buyer’s remorse, give it time, be patient and make the most of your new home.
Finally, you will be able to save money buying a house on a busy street vs a property that’s not on a main road, so this may sway your decision to buy. But be careful you follow the guidelines I set out above before you commit to the purchase.
Also, you’ll be able to make a not so nice house that’s not on a busy street look good, but you can’t change the location of the house that’s on the busy street and you will limit the number of buyers when you come to sell the house in the future.
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