Road noise can drammatically effect your value. As an appraiser for many years, I can tell you that it can seriously impact value.
For a time, I was an appraiser for what used to be World Mortgage. They used to portfolio their loans and would not lend money, in most cases, for purchases of homes which were on very busy streets or had lots of other external adversities.
Do yourself a favor and remember that LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION is the most important thing in choosing your home because it is the one thing that you can't change. You can redecorate, send your kids to different schools, etc., but you are stuck with the view and surrounds of the locale that you select.
Sellers in single family neighborhoods, often wonder why it takes a 10% discount (or so) to sell while other homes on the interior of the neighborhood sell faster, for more money.
Perhaps, if the community is "all" in what appears to be a high traffic area...and all back to the road, they all may suffer or "be about the same" for price to purchase or for resale. I'd be a little hesitant buying a home directly backing to the road, if there were other options.
Unless, of course, the offer they made was absolutely way below market...way below market including the surrounding area.
All the best!
You have struck a "real estate nerve."
Although it may not be a problem for you, it will most definately effect the future marketability of this property. We see its impact on a daily basis and witness people first hand that walk away from absolutely beautiful homes that match their criteria perfectly because....................of road noise.
With this in mind, it will most certainly affect the value and sale of the home.
One of the considerations we point our for our customers is the importance of considering the resale value of any home before purchasing it. With desirability weighing in heavily, road noise, dust and dirt, and its affect on general maintenance will be a major distraction. We would conservatively estimate that the "road noise" issue would be a negative factor for about half of the future buyers.
Good luck with your decision.
The "Eckler Team"
What may be as much of an issue as price is the fact that such homes are harder to sell, which can mean it will be on the market longer when you decide to move on. However, if you are getting the home for less than you would pay for nearby homes, and will then sell it for about the same percentage discount, the noise may not be much of an issue when you sell. One thing to keep in mind is that this is still very much a buyers market. Right now, buyers are demanding much. Eventually that will change, which means that there may be less competition when you sell. Of course, the house market, like any marketplace, is hard to predict. The best you can do is make an educated guess. You are wise to think this through carefully.
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Though you may mitigate the sound inside the house, it is a little harder to mitigate the sound level in the yard.
For valuation purposes, if you can live with the high decibels, I would roughly put the discount at roughly 10 to 15%. (In my region) It could be better or worse, depending on the highway. I defer to local San Mateo Realtors for a clearer answer.
As a general issue, it does affect a home's value. In your case, it may depend on the street, neighborhood, type of traffic, etc. I highly recommend you speak with a local Menlo Park Realtor who will know those streets and their traffic patterns like the back of his/her hand. I personally know 3 that would provide you with straightforward feedback. Arn Cenedella, Kevin Boer, and Joe Parsons. Arn's website is below for your reference. The other two will be easy to find online also.
Marian Bennett, Coldwell Banker
Well it seems that your are concerned about road noise affecting the future resale value of the property you are thinking to purchase. If this is a concern to you it means that potential future buyers might think the same way. But than again in a good market condition when the supply is lower than the demand those concerns will pretty much desappear. As you are metioning in your question the school district is also one of the best in the Bay Area which will be a major pivot for future buyers. Also the fact that the houses are brand new is also a positive point for future buyers. Now you also have to take in consderation of the amount of time you are going to keep this property. Don't forget when the house will be appraised at time of purchase, the appraisor will take those items in consideration and will reflect them by adjusting the value/dollars amount from the comparables.
Since you are buying it today at a buyers market maybe you might be able to negotiate a liitle bit on the price and also ask for the seller or the builders to pay for your closing costs. Again street noise can be a negative think when selling your property, it all depends on when you will be selling it. I hope this will help you decide on your purchase. If you have any other concerns just. shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Century 21 Realty Alliance
SAn Mateo, Ca 94402
However, if you are willing to consider a home in an otherwise desirable area, there are likely others who also look for similar values. Then, it becomes important to demonstrate that the noise not an issue. Noise from roads, transit lines, railroads or even noisy neighbors typically enters thru the windows. I work with a manufacturer of a window insulation product that not only looks great (meaning you can't really see it) and provides thermal insulation, but also reduces the sound coming thru the window by 50% or more.
Indow Windows are interior window inserts that fit into the inside of your existing window frame to provide superior thermal and noise insulation for at an affordable price. Because they require no screws, nails or adhesives, they can be easily removed or reinstalled as desired. Check them out at http://www.indowwindows.com.
The reason they are "reasonably priced" is that they are next to a freeway. I have a listing just like that. If this property were relocated two blocks away that value would increase by 20%. So you are buying a home that is worth 20% less than a home on a quiet street. When you sell it, you'll get 20% less than a comparable home that is not by the freeway.