Intender, Home Buyer in Lake Forest Park, WA

What is it like living on and then trying to sell a house that fronts Bothell Way NE in Lake Forest Park, WA?

Asked by Intender, Lake Forest Park, WA Thu Jul 8, 2010

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Your value/price tradeoff will be very similar in buying or selling this kind of home. I think the discussion below about lifestyle basically covers it for you. If the traffic doesn't bother you, it may be a good value.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010
Hi Intender,

Anytime you own a property on a busy street, you have the road noise to deal with. To sell a home on a busy street, you have to discount just for the busy street. The reverse is, when you buy a property on a busy street you have to buy at a discount.

So, if your comparables are the same size, quality, etc. but they are a block or two off the busy street, far enouph away that the road noise is no longer a factor, then you discount $25,000 to $75,000 for a road the size of Bothell Way NE. The amount of discount depends on your prices range and the current market conditions..

When the market is a Buyer's market, such as now, there is more inventory and the buyer has the advantage, so the discount is steeper. When the market is a Seller's market and there is less inventory from which the buyers can choose, the discount is less.

On my website, http://www.karenmcknight.com , you can find some graphs that show you Market Trends by clicking on "Market Statistics". You can also do a search for comparable properties in the Lake Forest Park area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 9, 2010
I will point out one other "problem of selling" the house on a busy road, or near freeway noise, or with an electrical tower in the yard that is not in the internet photos or any other negative that is not in the picture display.

The "no show".

People see the house on the internet. It looks fabulous. They make an appointment to see it. You clean for two hours making everything perfect and leave your home during the showing.

The agent pulls up with the clients and the clients say "I don't want to go in" or the agent forces them to go in and pretend they are "looking at the house" even though they decided from out front that they don't want it.

It's a heartbreaker and a huge inconvenience, especially for a family with children. The Mom is usually crying that she made her children not touch anything for two hours, cleaned her house to showing condition, took the kids and the dog around the block 50 times waiting for the people to "come"...and they don't even come inside.

If you are a single person who travels a lot...not such a big deal when it comes time to sell the house. But if you are a family with a dog and 2 small children when it comes time to sell...the Mom is usually on the verge of a nervous breakdown by that time it sells. That's the hard reality that agents see time and again over the years. It's a heartbreaker. Lots of stress and tears usually by The Mom vs the man of the house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 8, 2010
I don't know about a "risky investment," at one time, the houses sold for five figures, now they sell for six.

Every property represents some sort of compromise, marketwise. You can get a bigger house for the same money on a busy street, or you can get a smaller house for the same money on a quiet street.

The truth is, when you drive by at night, there are lights on in the busy street houses as well as the quiet street houses. It really comes down to whether you need the space or can get by with less.

Then, the secret comes from remembering, when you go to sell, why you bought it in the first place, and then price it accordingly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 8, 2010
You have to have a compelling reason to buy a home on a busy road.

Often that is that you can't afford a house off of a busy road. For instance, I know many parents who want the very best schools for their children, but can't afford to live in the school boundaries. Often the house on the busy road accomplishes their primary objective, which for them is to live in that school boundary.

What is your primary objective and can it be achieved without living on a busy road? If the answer is no, then maybe house on a busy road is for you.

As to living on a busy road, I will add dirt in the house. The road traffic kicks up more dirt into the air and you will need to clean and dust more and change your heater filters more often, etc...

Once in awhile a house on a busy road is a spectacular home with a lot of character, built in the days when it was the only home on a very large lot. Over the years the land was sold to developers, leaving the gem of a house on a busy road. There was one like this in Kirkland recently that sold for over a million dollars. There was a "compelling reason to buy" that house on a busy road...it was awesome and could not be duplicated in a quieter location.

What is your compelling reason to buy a house on a busy road? You may have a good one. If you don't, then the answer is don't do it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 8, 2010
Intender
I agree that homes, unless business or commercial zoning are a risky investment.
Mary
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 8, 2010
my in-laws have a house off of bothell way in LFP. Dan's comments are basically what it is. The added noise and safety concerns are a detriment, ... unless the house has something else going for it ...like a fantastic view of lake washington... and really good windows. ...then pricing gets a little interesting. If the house has nothing unique, be prepared to pay a price that reflects that negative point and be prepared to accept less when you sell. How much ... well..that's subjective like Jirius implied.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 8, 2010
Why not ask the residents of the house you have in mind?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 8, 2010
A home on a busy street suffers from two primary issues. First, the noise inherent with the setting. Second, the stigma to buyers of being on a . The price you pay needs to reflect the downgrade in location. When you sell you'll need to do the same thing for the next buyer. In general, I would not recommend buying on a busy street. The risks tend to be much greater than the rewards.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 8, 2010
It is all so very personal. I live 1 mile from Bothell ways so drive it every day. It will be very noisy outside, a lot worse at rush hour. You should drive there, get out of your car and try & imagine if you can get used to the noise. If you think it is a possibility, then grab your agent (I hope you have one, if not get one) and listen to the noise inside the house and in the back yard.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 8, 2010
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