While buying a house on a main road isn’t all bad, there are some key considerations that you need to think about before making a purchase like this. Keep reading to learn the advantages and disadvantages that come with buying a home on a busy street.
Advantages of Living on a Busy Street
Despite what some people might think there are some advantages that come with living in a house that sits on a busy street.
Close to Main City Attractions
It's typical to find most of the main attractions in the heart of the city. If you enjoy having easy access to everything the city has to offer, living on a busy street can give you that benefit. You won't have to worry about driving to town and dealing with rush hour traffic.
Easy Access to Public Transportation
Many people use public transportation as the main way they get from one place to another. Busy streets and main roads have bike paths, bus routes, and sidewalks that are useful to residents. For people that don't own a car, having access to these amenities will be helpful.
Better Street Maintenance
Busy roads are sometimes main roads that have their maintenance paid for by the local city government. This means you can expect the road you live on to be well kept and taken care of regularly. For instance, main roads get plowed first when there is snow. Potholes get filled first and when it’s time to resurface, busy streets get first dibs.
Understandably, not everyone wants to live on a busy street. It's possible that someone bought a house on a street that developed too quickly over the years, and now they no longer want to live there. Reasons like this are why a seller might need to offer a reduction on their listing price.
As a buyer who prefers the hustle and bustle that comes with living on a busy street, this is a win-win scenario for you. You get a house that you like at a discounted price while living in your desired location.
Disadvantages of Living on a Busy Street
Buying a house on a busy street does come with some notable disadvantages. It's important to take some of these factors into account before purchasing a house.
If you have never heard of noise pollution, it's defined as annoying or harmful noise in an environment. This is commonly found in big cities or areas that have frequent noise, such as areas close to a highway or construction site.
A busy street is full of traffic, horns blaring, and many people walking around, thus creating noise pollution. If the city you live in has an active nightlife, you're going to have noise pollution at all hours of the day.
If you have small children or family members that are sensitive to sound, you'll want to consider this. When you go to tour a home on a busy street, ask about the types of noise pollution most residents deal with. Noise pollution is also another common reason why a homeowner’s home value will decrease.
Aside from noise pollution, you also have to consider air quality. Research has shown that poor air quality can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat, and aggravate asthma. It can also lead to various respiratory problems that arise due to prolonged exposure.
Busy streets are full of cars, trucks, and other mobile sources that emit ozone. Ozone is a colorless gas formed through photochemical reactions involving sunlight and heat. Extensive morning and evening commutes, as well as a high number of single occupancy cars on the road, contribute to poor air quality.
When touring houses on busy streets, ask your real estate agent what they know about the air quality. Air quality might not be a top priority on your list at first, but it's important to consider the long-term effects of it.
Access to Parking
Some main roads have specified parking areas that are for residents only. But most of these roads allow guests and drivers to park in those spots during certain times of the day. It's important to note that there tend to be fewer restrictions on the weekends for guest parking. If you know you need guaranteed parking at all hours of the day, or a week, a busy street won't give you that.
If you're going to buy a house with the intention of selling it for profit, reconsider buying a house on a busy street. There typically is a reduced amount of buyers looking to purchase homes on busy roads, which might cause you to sell for a lower price.
According to Mark Ferguson's data, one house that he had invested in ended up being worth 20% less than it would be if it was on a quiet street. He tried lowering the price twice and still had not received any offers. Most interested buyers never put an offer in solely because it was located on a busy street.
If there had been more houses for sale in that current real estate market, a busy street could have affected the value even more. Even if you aren't an investor, the value of your home affects you as a homeowner. Low home value can lead to being underwater on your mortgage or having to foreclose on your house.
As a homeowner that lives on a busy street, you also need to consider other factors that lower your home value. For instance, the city might decide to build an establishment that affects the quality of living for residents. Or you might need to think about applicable zoning laws, which have been known to affect property values.
If you live on a road that has people walking around all times of the day, you'll have minimal privacy. You might be able to put a fence in your backyard, but most front yards don’t have one. This means passing pedestrians will be visible from your front window. For homeowners that don't want their blinds closed all day, a busy street might not be the location for you.
Living on roads with a lot of traffic can be a safety hazard for many reasons. Drivers can get distracted and larger amounts of vehicles can mean high chances for accidents. If you have small children, pets, or senior family members, be wary of buying a house with many cars traveling down your road.
Buying a house on a busy street has both advantages and disadvantages. In the end, you are the one who decides where you buy your next house. But, it's important to consider all the pros and cons before making a big purchase like this.
The home buying process is confusing and there are a lot of important decisions, such as this one, to make. By working with Clever, you’ll be matched with a Partner Agent who will help you find and vet prospective properties. They will ensure you understand what it will be like to live in a home on a busy road and that you don’t overpay for it.