Author Topic: Living on a "fast" street?  (Read 11609 times)

senecando

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Living on a "fast" street?
« on: December 21, 2014, 03:51:03 PM »
Hey all,

We're looking to buy a house, and we've found one we really love. The only real draw back is that it's on a 30mph street that appears to be a bit of a thoroughfare (and people might be driving closer to 40). I was wondering if anyone here lives in a similar situation. Does the noise bug you? Is it hard to get out of the drive way? Would it be really hard to find a buyer down the line?

If I had to guess, I'd say being on that street is making the house 40k cheaper. That seems like a pretty big discount.

FWIW, the road has a school on it, a bus line, a bike lane, sidewalks on both sides and parking on one side. All thoughts and opinions welcome.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 03:57:55 PM by senecando »

marty998

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2014, 04:25:01 PM »
Hey all,

We're looking to buy a house, and we've found one we really love. The only real draw back is that it's on a 30mph street that appears to be a bit of a thoroughfare (and people might be driving closer to 40). I was wondering if anyone here lives in a similar situation. Does the noise bug you? Is it hard to get out of the drive way? Would it be really hard to find a buyer down the line?

If I had to guess, I'd say being on that street is making the house 40k cheaper. That seems like a pretty big discount.

FWIW, the road has a school on it, a bus line, a bike lane, sidewalks on both sides and parking on one side. All thoughts and opinions welcome.

Traffic means different things to different people.

Also 30mph is normal to me, all our resi speed zones are 50kph.

Unless you are going to stay forever think about your exit plan. If it is 40k cheaper now it'll still have that discount when you go to sell.

TerriM

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2014, 04:32:15 PM »
Hey all,

We're looking to buy a house, and we've found one we really love. The only real draw back is that it's on a 30mph street that appears to be a bit of a thoroughfare (and people might be driving closer to 40). I was wondering if anyone here lives in a similar situation. Does the noise bug you? Is it hard to get out of the drive way? Would it be really hard to find a buyer down the line?

If I had to guess, I'd say being on that street is making the house 40k cheaper. That seems like a pretty big discount.

FWIW, the road has a school on it, a bus line, a bike lane, sidewalks on both sides and parking on one side. All thoughts and opinions welcome.

Noise issues are up to you. Some people hate noise, some people need the TV on in the background to stay sane.  If you're a heavy sleeper and need noise/white noise/TV noise, then it won't bother you.  If you are a light sleeper, and need quiet, you will go crazy.

As for the 40mph.  Yeah.  It's hell.  I have a friend on a street where the cars can only go 20-30 because they get backed up and there's a light nearby. I back into her driveway so that I can see the cars pulling out--takes me 2-3 minutes to wait for a break in the traffic, but at least when i pull out, I can see what I'm doing and the kids aren't the ones who'll get hit if I pull out wrong.  I would consider living on her street if the price were right.  But recently, I saw a house on a similar street (parking/bike lane/one lane each way) that heads to the highway, and the traffic was going 10-20mph faster than my friend's.   So help me, I would not live there if it were free!  We watched the neighbor pull out while cars were coming, and that was the end of that house for me.  There was also both a curve and a hill on each side of the road, so it made it that much harder to see.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2014, 04:40:03 PM »
How well can you see coming out of the driveway?
Is the street likely to become even busier as the neighborhood grows, if it does?
Can you rally the school moms to your cause and turn it into a 20 zone?
Are you a light sleeper or do you find background noise soothing?

windypig

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2014, 04:45:08 PM »
Personal choice really. We wished we had bought on a side street, and we constantly mentioned when we fantasize about our next home that it will be on a more quiet street.

When I see people speeding down our street I really resent it and it puts me in a sour mood. Obviously I should lighten up a bit, I try to, but the feeling that people dont respect your neighborhood etc can be frustrating. I would think long and hard about how it might impact your enjoyment of the house.

We still love our house though and the perk is the bus stops half a block away.

Cassie

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2014, 04:45:29 PM »
Our bedroom is in the back of the house so we can't hear the traffic when sleeping.  We have our guests run a fan when they sleep in one of the front bedrooms because of the noise.  When you sell you will have to take less $ just like the current seller.  WE don't have to go anywhere early in am so getting out of our driveway not an issue for us.

TerriM

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2014, 04:50:57 PM »
BTW:  If you have kids now or plan to later, their safety will be an issue.  It changes getting into the car with  a toddler from an everyday event to an everyday emergency.  You'll want to park in the garage to make sure you don't end up with a dead kid.  You might want to put up a fence on the front to prevent issues, and install an alarm at every door that goes off when opened.

Cassie

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 04:53:40 PM »
I have moved many times & have lived on both busy streets & not with little kids.  One that was on a busy street when I had 2 under the age of 4. No I did not need any of the things mentioned in Terri M's post. 

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 05:01:37 PM »
I used to live on a major road, three lanes each way, 80km/h (50mph), in a front bedroom maybe ten metres from the action.

I got used to the noise, and pulling out the driveway didn't bother me a lot because I either walked to the station (avoided driving to work) or parked around the corner.

YMMV of course. My current apartment is set back from the road a bit and is a fair bit quieter as a result.

Another Reader

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 05:09:23 PM »
The house would not appeal to me because of the speed, the traffic, the bus line and the school.  The location cannot be fixed.

The problem with these properties is that in a fast moving market, the house is not discounted enough for the location.  In a slow market with lots of competing inventory, the house would be difficult to sell and would require a big discount.  You can't arbitrage by buying in a slow market and selling in a hot market.  Because the market at the time of sale cannot be predicted, I would pass on this house and buy in a better location.

BlueHouse

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2014, 05:23:14 PM »
I think it depends on whether you're in an urban, suburban, or rural setting, as busy streets have different advantages in different settings.  I lived on a small street in a suburb, and the main street eventually became a 4 lane highway.  The people who bought the corner lot were screwed (IMO) but maybe they liked it.  I live in a city now and chose to live on a busier one-way street because all the streets around me are built out (so this won't become a highway), the avenue is wider and tree-lined and my house can be taller because the street is wider (height restrictions). 
In a suburban area, I'd want to be on a quiet street without traffic -- isn't that the appeal of the suburbs?  In a rural setting, I'd only care about having the house set far far back from the road. 

senecando

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2014, 05:26:52 PM »
The problem with these properties is that in a fast moving market, the house is not discounted enough for the location.  In a slow market with lots of competing inventory, the house would be difficult to sell and would require a big discount.  You can't arbitrage by buying in a slow market and selling in a hot market.  Because the market at the time of sale cannot be predicted, I would pass on this house and buy in a better location.

What would you think would be the right discount percentagewise?

Another Reader

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2014, 05:40:34 PM »
There is no across the board "right" discount.  In a really hot suburban market, the discount can be less than 5 percent.  In a really depressed market, it could be 30 percent or the house might not be saleable if there are ten others like it in better locations.  Sometimes you can buy rentals cheaply this way. You will have to discount the rent while you own it, but when the market heats up, you can renovate and sell at the end of the lease term for a much smaller discount.

I personally would not live on a street as you describe.  I don't think most families with kids in a suburban area would, either.  If this is an urban area, the rules are different.  The discounts are less because of the expectation of traffic and noise on every street.

Emilyngh

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2014, 05:58:05 PM »
Hey all,

We're looking to buy a house, and we've found one we really love. The only real draw back is that it's on a 30mph street that appears to be a bit of a thoroughfare (and people might be driving closer to 40). I was wondering if anyone here lives in a similar situation. Does the noise bug you? Is it hard to get out of the drive way? Would it be really hard to find a buyer down the line?

If I had to guess, I'd say being on that street is making the house 40k cheaper. That seems like a pretty big discount.

FWIW, the road has a school on it, a bus line, a bike lane, sidewalks on both sides and parking on one side. All thoughts and opinions welcome.

We live on a country road, so there aren't a ton of cars, but when they come, they come zipping down (much faster than 30mph, probably 50mph+).   We have the front yard lined by a huge privet hedge.   Privet grows super fast, is now like 10+ ft tall, and actually saved the house from being hit when a drunk driver crashed into it veering off the road in the middle of the night a couple of years ago.   The hedge cuts down on noise and keeps a mental barrier from the road, and with the hedge, I really I don't find the noise etc to be an issue at all.

We also built a nice fence along the sides of the yard once we had a kid though to keep her from ever taking off into the road.

I tend to have anxiety issues, and am sometimes a little worried about having to cross and stand on the edge of the road to get the mail, or the dog getting loose and getting hit, but the reality is that crazy road accidents can happen even on a cul-de-sac, and in the scheme of things, it's not really what I'd consider worthy of even being an "issue" with the house we chose.

AlanStache

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2014, 06:23:03 PM »
Have you gone by at all hours of the day?  Does the traffic die off after 6pm?  Also if the house is set back farther that came make it much more manageable.  Maybe some larger bushes in front could hide the road?

senecando

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2014, 06:40:55 PM »
Thanks for all the responses!

A little more information: It's in a sort of wooded suburb--not rural, not really urban. The school is an elementary, so I think we're going to try to visit both at "school rush hour" and normal rush hour. I'd like to see it later at night too.

I'm actually not super concerned with sleeping, since inside the house it's pretty quiet, and the bedroom is furthest from the road.

Getting back on the road, however, seems a bit tougher. It's on a hill, so visibility isn't phenomenal. I'm thinking more along the lines of annoying rather than dangerous, but I'll keep thinking about it. I'd have to either back into the driveway or back out.

More and more, I guess I'm concerned about resale/renting if we decide to move. People with kids who are concerned: would a good fence help? (We'd likely install one for dog purposes anyways.) I guess if I was confident enough that it wouldn't be much harder to sell than it is now, I'd be happy to save the money and deal with the slight inconvenience. The discount, if I've guessed it correctly, is 20 percent.

TerriM

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2014, 07:33:49 PM »
What's the lot size?

senecando

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2014, 07:53:25 PM »
What's the lot size?

9000 sq f, and it backs on to a 100 acre park, so the backyard sort of feels limitless. The house is pretty close to the sidewalk though, with a garage underneath.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 07:55:07 PM by senecando »

Goldielocks

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2014, 10:54:56 PM »
I live very close to one, and friends are right on it.
Note that at 3 am, there are often single cars racing down there at 70mph.


Problems:

Backing out of driveway.  This is a busy road, so most homes share a wide "turn around" driveway with neighbor.   I was caught once for at least 5 minutes before I attempted a three point turn (avoiding lawn) to get faced out to traffic.

No street parking -- not a problem here with extra long driveways.

Kids walking to school / playing / riding bike -- definitely dangerous.  Only kids over 9 years are on their own in the front side of the home. 

No trick or treaters.   

Not a lot of neighbors "just walking the neighborhood" to chat to as you garden or walk the dog.  This make it harder to get to know who lives near you.

Pros:

Noise is not too bad -- highways, bridges, etc are far far noisier around here.   Backyard is actually very quiet, and we don't care about a bit of front-side noise. 
City just built a new secondary highway, so have removed the through traffic off this street, and the property price has jumped
Many historic / attractive homes here.  This was the first major street, with deep front yards and higher end homes.  The yards and homes are still really nice in comparison to others.
Street is plowed first (or was) in winter.

I would not recommend this if you have young kids, or if the home is ideally suited for families with kids, as resale will be hard.  BUT, if you kids are older, you plan to stay a long time, or have a no-kid household, then it is very feasible, depending on how close to the road you are, what the noise is like, and if this is in an otherwise very dense urban setting (where street / noise is common).

Good luck!



Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2014, 06:19:20 AM »
I would worry about the noise.  I like a quiet house, and if road noise is audible in doors... I'm gonna have a bad time.

I wouldn't worry about "safety" though.  When I was little, my grandparents lived on a busy (55mph) rural highway.  Us cousins would spend all day playing outside around their house.  A simple: "Kid, don't go in the road" from the accumulated parents seemed common sense enough.  When the basketball would bounce out into the road, an uncle was always called to retrieve it. :-)

GuitarStv

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2014, 10:04:59 AM »
Problems:

Backing out of driveway.  This is a busy road, so most homes share a wide "turn around" driveway with neighbor.   I was caught once for at least 5 minutes before I attempted a three point turn (avoiding lawn) to get faced out to traffic.

Not sure if this is really a problem.  One should never back out of a driveway.  There's always through traffic when coming out of a driveway, it's more dangerous to back out.  You should always back IN.

Jack

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2014, 10:19:00 AM »
Can you rally the school moms to your cause and turn it into a 20 zone?

In general, this is impossible. Drivers are going to drive at whatever speed they feel is "safe," regardless of what the speed limit says. The only way to actually slow down drivers is not with signage, but by changing the actual geometry of the street (using traffic calming devices such as speed humps or chicanes).

AlanStache

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2014, 12:19:46 PM »
Can you rally the school moms to your cause and turn it into a 20 zone?

In general, this is impossible. Drivers are going to drive at whatever speed they feel is "safe," regardless of what the speed limit says. The only way to actually slow down drivers is not with signage, but by changing the actual geometry of the street (using traffic calming devices such as speed humps or chicanes).

There is a 35mph street near me that has all big old trees and side streets coming off it where everyone does ~35-cuz that feels right, then it goes onto a bridge with no trees or side roads and feels like a freeway so everyone speeds up to 50 but it's still a 35mph zone.  Cops love to hide over the hump of that bridge. 

Exhale

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2014, 12:30:36 PM »
Are you a light sleeper or do you find background noise soothing?

+1

Also:
- Can you use the alley in back for exit/entry/parking?
- Can you put up fence/put in plantings in front for keeping/kids pets in and noise out?

Guses

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2014, 12:40:58 PM »
The only way to actually slow down drivers is not with signage, but by changing the actual geometry of the street (using traffic calming devices such as speed humps or chicanes).

You do NOT want a chicane on your street. They actually make the road unsafe, slowing traffic is just a byproduct.

Speed bumps are less dangerous but much more annoing. You will be able to hear every car/bus/truck hitting the bump and then speeding off. Sometimes you also hear them brake....


BBub

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2014, 01:14:51 PM »
We live on a busy street, and the positives outweigh the negatives for me.  You can hear traffic from the front living room, but it's really only noticeable during rush hours between 7-8am and 5-6pm.  Otherwise it's quiet except when an ambulance comes by.  In the back of the house, and even in the backyard, you wouldn't know we face a busy street.  We have a very nice and serene back yard with ample space.  New visitors are almost always shocked to see the backyard and often comment on how lovely it is.. it's very well kept with neat hedges, a fountain, flowerbeds, small vegetable garden and a good sized back deck.

Ironically, my favorite part of living where we do is the privacy.  We park in the back, so nobody ever knows if we're home.  Anyone driving by passes at 35mph, so there's no time to check out what we're doing.  When I visit friends in subdivisions there's often a running commentary of what everyone else in the neighborhood is up to... jack & jill are out of town, jim's been at home this week and not working, suzy's always shopping, etc..  everyone knows exactly what everyone else is doing.  Nobody knows what we are doing unless we share the information with them.

Not to mention the money.  We got a screaming deal on our home and will save significantly on interest and taxes because we chose to live on a 35mph street.  Ours is a beautiful historic home with 12 foot ceilings, marble fireplaces, handmade plaster molding, heart pine floors, chandeliers, built in cabinets, tall french doors and windows, big porches, etc.  We looked at almost the exact same house in an historic neighborhood listed for nearly double the price... it was a couple of blocks away from out current home. 

dragoncar

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2014, 03:15:13 PM »
Obviously noise is a personal thing, but I passed on a house because of nearby traffic.  It wasn't just wooshing because there was a stop light nearby, so cars would accelerate from a stop up a hill.  The road also carried larger delivery trucks and motorcycles which have worse sound profiles.

I really liked the house too, and wanted it to work.  But I spent an evening parked in front of the house in my car around bedtime and the noise bothered me too much.

southern granny

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2014, 08:58:10 PM »
I wouldn't worry about the noise, eventually you won't even notice it.  The only issue for me would be getting out of the driveway.  That will probably only be an issue, if you will need to be leaving during high traffic times.  We live on a quiet street, so getting out of our drive is not a problem, but the problem is getting out of the neighborhood.  We exit onto a busy street so the light to let us out of the neighborhood only turns for us after about 3 minutes (seems like 30) and then only stays green for a short time.  Just drive the neighborhood at different times of the day  and see what it is like. 

.22guy

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2014, 09:26:08 PM »
I'd be most worried about a drunk plowing into my house.  But that's my personal slant on it because it happened to us and my then 17 month old almost lost his foot and it's a miracle he wasn't killed outright.  It's why I live on a quiet cul-de-sac in a house with all the bedrooms on the side and only the kitchen and garage in the front.

Zarya

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2014, 11:27:13 PM »
We used to live on the "fast" thoroughfare in our residential neighborhood and we got to hear the accidents that happened every month or so on our corner. Only once did they come crashing through our fence (fortunately only into the garden and not the house), but the people across the street from us actually had cars in their front yard three times in the six years we lived there. Now we've moved literally one street away to a quiet, one-way street, and it is so much more relaxing for me. I've got three kids (youngest now 5) and love it that they can play soccer in the street or walk over to visit the neighbor's dog without me worrying about some idiot who's late to work plowing into them.

FWIW, the traffic noise was never an issue because we had good windows and insulation. I didn't like the danger factor, though.

CommonCents

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2014, 07:21:14 PM »
We live on a 30 mile street where people often go 40 and cut through across town.

The sad truth of house buying is you need to pick a few of these as non-negotiable, a few as "plus - desired" and let a few go.  Everyone makes different decisions based on their priorities:
- Price
- Location: town, within town (near cool/good things?), dead end street, not near noisy train, etc.
- Bedrooms
- Bathrooms
- Layout
- Backyard
- Updated

We love our house.  We chose it primarily for location.  Why, you ask, considering I just said it was a busy street?  (The house is only set back a touch over a car length too.)  We're in a great town (easy suburb commute to Boston, great schools and bonus of being in a really pretty and charming town).  We're on a pond.  I love water, so being able to look out the water at the pond is super relaxing, plus we can canoe, ice skate etc on it.  It's got a reasonable layout, the beds/baths we wanted, and a great backyard (large, because so little of the yard is in the front of the house) leading to the pond.  The downside is that it's not updated and the street's a little busier than I'd like.  You do get used to the noise, as everyone said.  So we are careful backing out and allot an extra two minutes to our trip just in case, so we can wait if there's some traffic.   If we had kids, we'd just be careful loading them into the car like our neighbors do.  (And to those who say they don't meet neighbors out walking - we do, so it probably differs by location.) 

Our neighbors have never mentioned any accident issues, and one of them is active in trying to get the road slowed down.  They were going to put in a stop sign but learned that can make things worse.  His new efforts are to redraw the line and get a permanent parking lane put in on one side.  Right now, parking is permitted both sides although people don't do it - and it can stop traffic if you do.  According to him, a narrower road will slow traffic down.

How does this house compare to others?  What matters most to you?

senecando

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2014, 09:36:13 AM »
As for safety against drunk drivers, I don't think there is too much of a concern:

The living quarters are all above the garage, which is a bit above street level. The driver would need to get past any parked cars, then up and over what is a sort of earthen fence/super steep hill. It's a possibility, but I'll go with safety is an expensive illusion on this one since I think the risk is small.

senecando

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2014, 09:48:42 AM »
We live on a 30 mile street where people often go 40 and cut through across town.

The sad truth of house buying is you need to pick a few of these as non-negotiable, a few as "plus - desired" and let a few go.  Everyone makes different decisions based on their priorities:
- Price
- Location: town, within town (near cool/good things?), dead end street, not near noisy train, etc.
- Bedrooms
- Bathrooms
- Layout
- Backyard
- Updated

We love our house.  We chose it primarily for location.  Why, you ask, considering I just said it was a busy street?  (The house is only set back a touch over a car length too.)  We're in a great town (easy suburb commute to Boston, great schools and bonus of being in a really pretty and charming town).  We're on a pond.  I love water, so being able to look out the water at the pond is super relaxing, plus we can canoe, ice skate etc on it.  It's got a reasonable layout, the beds/baths we wanted, and a great backyard (large, because so little of the yard is in the front of the house) leading to the pond.  The downside is that it's not updated and the street's a little busier than I'd like.  You do get used to the noise, as everyone said.  So we are careful backing out and allot an extra two minutes to our trip just in case, so we can wait if there's some traffic.   If we had kids, we'd just be careful loading them into the car like our neighbors do.  (And to those who say they don't meet neighbors out walking - we do, so it probably differs by location.) 

Our neighbors have never mentioned any accident issues, and one of them is active in trying to get the road slowed down.  They were going to put in a stop sign but learned that can make things worse.  His new efforts are to redraw the line and get a permanent parking lane put in on one side.  Right now, parking is permitted both sides although people don't do it - and it can stop traffic if you do.  According to him, a narrower road will slow traffic down.

How does this house compare to others?  What matters most to you?

This is especially useful because this house has an otherwise great location. The backyard backs up on a 100 are conservation park that is just gorgeous. The backyard is large, which is important to us. Half as much commute for me, and she'd have a twenty minute straight-shot bus ride.

The real questions left are how it compares to others. I think, luckily, there is enough time to wait on this house to do a lot of investigating: sitting near the house during different times, seeing other houses, etc.

Unfortunately we're out of town in LA, which means a) we can't look at anything and b) my sense of "reasonable traffic" might end up a bit skewed. ;)

senecando

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2014, 09:53:32 AM »
Are you a light sleeper or do you find background noise soothing?

+1

Also:
- Can you use the alley in back for exit/entry/parking?
- Can you put up fence/put in plantings in front for keeping/kids pets in and noise out?

The bedroom is in the back of the house, which makes the idea of sleeping less of a worry.

No back alley at all.

There are already plantings in the front, and we just talked to the RE agent, and fences are allowed. It'd be some work, but I think we could put them in pretty quickly.

CommonCents

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2014, 10:05:26 AM »
We live on a 30 mile street where people often go 40 and cut through across town.

The sad truth of house buying is you need to pick a few of these as non-negotiable, a few as "plus - desired" and let a few go.  Everyone makes different decisions based on their priorities:
- Price
- Location: town, within town (near cool/good things?), dead end street, not near noisy train, etc.
- Bedrooms
- Bathrooms
- Layout
- Backyard
- Updated

We love our house.  We chose it primarily for location.  Why, you ask, considering I just said it was a busy street?  (The house is only set back a touch over a car length too.)  We're in a great town (easy suburb commute to Boston, great schools and bonus of being in a really pretty and charming town).  We're on a pond.  I love water, so being able to look out the water at the pond is super relaxing, plus we can canoe, ice skate etc on it.  It's got a reasonable layout, the beds/baths we wanted, and a great backyard (large, because so little of the yard is in the front of the house) leading to the pond.  The downside is that it's not updated and the street's a little busier than I'd like.  You do get used to the noise, as everyone said.  So we are careful backing out and allot an extra two minutes to our trip just in case, so we can wait if there's some traffic.   If we had kids, we'd just be careful loading them into the car like our neighbors do.  (And to those who say they don't meet neighbors out walking - we do, so it probably differs by location.) 

Our neighbors have never mentioned any accident issues, and one of them is active in trying to get the road slowed down.  They were going to put in a stop sign but learned that can make things worse.  His new efforts are to redraw the line and get a permanent parking lane put in on one side.  Right now, parking is permitted both sides although people don't do it - and it can stop traffic if you do.  According to him, a narrower road will slow traffic down.

How does this house compare to others?  What matters most to you?

This is especially useful because this house has an otherwise great location. The backyard backs up on a 100 are conservation park that is just gorgeous. The backyard is large, which is important to us. Half as much commute for me, and she'd have a twenty minute straight-shot bus ride.

The real questions left are how it compares to others. I think, luckily, there is enough time to wait on this house to do a lot of investigating: sitting near the house during different times, seeing other houses, etc.

Unfortunately we're out of town in LA, which means a) we can't look at anything and b) my sense of "reasonable traffic" might end up a bit skewed. ;)

In that case, I think you'll find that you meet the nearby neighbors in your backyards enjoying the conservation land.  Btw, this is exactly what the neighbors across the street from us have - conservation land (a bonus for us, when we go over there to walk around the big pond/small lake).  We have no fences up in the back, which means we still get a great friendly neighborhood vibe.  The neighbor mentioned above delicately inquired if we were planning on putting any up, and said that in the summer the kids have a great time playing back and forth in all of them.)  The prior owners had 4 kids, so they participated the most likely, but we, even with no kids, still have had parties, used the swingset, had weekend conversations, etc.  I suspect you get a bump in value from backing onto conservation land.

Your drawing is very similar to ours.  Substitute "garage" for "parking spaces"  Then where you have a left part of the house, behind the parking space, is a one-car garage that's too small/difficult for cars.  (Very steep driveway so our car bottoms out getting into it, and at 9 feet it's too narrow to fit most modern cars.)

Let me know if you have other questions.

monarda

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Re: Living on a "fast" street?
« Reply #35 on: December 24, 2014, 10:24:18 AM »
You mentioned that the house was on a hill.  Bottom, top, middle of the hill?
We owned a house on a fairly major street, bottom of a hill. Folks would accelerate going up the hill, vehicles are louder when accelerating, and some people are obnoxious, too. In fact, each evening, a guy on a VERY noisy motorcycle zipped up the hill, and boy was that disturbing.  This house is now one of our rentals, and it will definitely make it harder to sell. Made us not want to live on a main street ever again. But we're very noise sensitive, and we like to spend time outside all around the house. 

Comments that other posters have made are important. Depends entirely on your noise sensitivity. Good that you're considering this ahead of time. If you plan to live there a very long time, then resale won't matter so much. Have you ever rented a place on a fast street so that you know how you feel about noise? I should also say that when we stay at my sister's place in Chicago (that's not even on a main street)  there's so much noise outside that we can't sleep.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 10:35:50 AM by monarda »