Home is Where the Highway Is
November 2, 2013 7:35 AM Subscribe
What is it like owning a home near a *loud* highway or other noisy high-traffic roadway? How do you cope? Will I regret buying this house?
posted by falldownpaul to home & garden (47 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
After a long search (5 years, I'm in a good rental situation and can take my time) I've finally found the house that I want to live in. It is really special, and I've never seen anything like it in my price range (nor am I likely to again).
But I hate where it's located. As much as I love the house, I am really afraid that the location would ruin living there.
It's the highway. Just over the hill is one of my region's busiest state highways. You can't see it from the house, but you sure can hear it.
The street itself is lovely. Pricey homes, landscaped lots, trees, everything looks well maintained. Normally far out of my price range. (The sellers have dropped their asking price $40k over the last 12 months.)
Somehow, apparently, the residents of this neighborhood have learned to live with the constant thrum? Maybe I would, too?
I've visited the property 3 times now, different times of day including commuter rush hour. There's no sugar coating it. It's loud.
So loud that if it were any other house, I'd never consider it. But 5 years in local real estate have revealed my options.
Nice, quiet houses in the country = $$$$$. Country houses I can afford = rundown or bleh. It seems that I have to choose between the house I want and the place I want my house to be.
Inside the house, the noise was imperceptible - but all the windows and doors were closed for the winter. Step outside - it's a constant humming throbby drone.
I know that we learn to tune out background noise... and that headphones, fans, radios, etc. could help block it out. But can a person live that way and not feel besieged? The house features a deck, balcony, and a landscaped haven of a back yard - one of the reasons I want to own property is to have a yard and go outside! - would I be able to enjoy any of it?
Also: I've lived in urban apartments for a long time - the garbage trucks, the sirens, the BOOM BOOM bass. It just becomes part of the background, I know - but here I'm cooped up indoors with the TV on. I'm never outside.
I value your thoughts, advice and experience. Thanks!