How bad is the Train noise in Estates of Princeton Junction?

Asked by pg, Warren, NJ Sat Oct 20, 2012

We are looking to buy a townhouse in Estates of Princeton Junction. The Train tracks are right behind this house. We are concerned about few things -

1. how noisy it gets (considering it a busy Princeton Junction train station)
2. How does it affect the resale value of the house?
3. The taxes in this area seems to be rather high as compared to Princeton twnp.. any particular reason?

any help is appreciated.

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Sal Jahagirdar’s answer
Sal Jahagird…, , Princeton Junction, NJ
Thu Jul 11, 2013
I live in the Estates at Princeton Junction and really close to the train tracks. It is not bad at all, if you are worried about the noise waking you up , it does not. Once in a while Amtrak does go through but still the noise is not severe. Let me know if you would like to go see homes in the development. I know of 3 listings currently active. When I bought the town-home in 2010 it appreciated 100,000+ and taxes are not too high but then again you are in the best school district in the area and I can attest to that because I graduated from West Windsor schools. Give me a call when you get a chance and I answer any other questions you have.

-Sal Jahagirdar
Weichert Realtors - Princeton
350 Nassau St

732-692-0283 Cell
609-921-1900 Office
0 votes
Donna Lucare…, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Wed Jul 10, 2013
The Estates of Princeton Jct. are desirable properties as you can walk to the train station. However there are parts of the development that you can hear the train louder than other parts. The louder the train the less money you get for your house. The taxes reflect the assessed value of the homes according to the tax assessor. These homes are newer and and close to the train station The newer the homes, the higher the assessed value.

The condition of the home and privacy in the backyard also reflect the value of the home.
0 votes
Sujatha Prak…, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Tue Jan 22, 2013
Just this past summer we sold a house in 'Estates' tha backs to the train station.
The sound level is more like a "woosh" when the train passes by.
As long as you buy the house at the lower end of the price-range, it is a good buy. About 5-10% lower than the marekt value of comparable homes, is a good guideline.

You do need an area expert to help you evaluate your needs, what this house offers, what are the other options open to you and come up with where you want to be between the 5 and 10% that I mentioned above.

The way I worked with my buyer is I helped the family tour the house at different times of the day, particularly peak hours. We came up with landscape ideas too. My buyer client is happy and gave me a recommendation in Linkedin and that you should answer your question.

Regard the taxes, these homes do pay a higher tax than other older West Windsor homes. There are other good communities in the area that may interest you.

Pl contact me and I can meet you at my office at Princeton Jct . to discuss these factors.
0 votes
Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Mon Oct 22, 2012
the tracks are already there so the effect upon value is already going to come into play. The noise is noticeable but not such that the house shakes (like in Annie Hall) . Taxes are high all over NJ. What you are seeing is newer homes built closer to the peak of market seem to be assessed higher. I live in Princeton twp and what you may be seeing is that similarly priced homes in Princeton are assessed lower than those in neighboring communities. This is true and is a result of the fact that Princeton is a much more expensive municipality to buy in. (taxes are relative to the others in tax base, if you have the cheapest home in the municipality your taxes should be among teh lowest) If however when you purchase the matrket value,aka- what you pay, is considerably less than what the equalised value should be based upon the local assessors ratio, you may want to appeal your assessment . Lowering assessment will lower your taxes (unless everyone else does same)
0 votes
Drew Cifrode…, Agent, Millstone, NJ
Sun Oct 21, 2012
Hi Pg,
1. The noise tolerance of a buyer will depend a lot on their point of reference. I know people that come from NYC and they think it is so quite in PJ. The occasional train passing by is of little concern to most people coming from the city. Many people are more concerned about the quality of the school system and shortening their commute in exchange for having a train passing by. You can definitely hear the train, so you need to check it out for yourself and see how you feel.

2. Resale values are very location dependent, and The Estates are in a prime location, with great schools and great commute. Your not going to change the location, so figure that is a constant in the value of the property and there is nothing you can do to change that. The location will affect you one day when you go to sell, just like it's affecting the seller now.

3. Taxes are a complex issue: Taxes are primarily consumed by the school system. Look at virtually any municipal budget and you will see that about 70-80%, of it goes into the schools. Then look at where the tax revenue is coming from and you will find that towns with more corporations might not have to get as much revenue from the home owners. You can also look at the age of the homes and you will notice that Princeton homes are much older than Princeton Junction homes, so newer homes are often taxed at higher rates. Look at the earned income of the two towns and you will noticed that Princeton has a much lower earned income than PJ. You will also notice that a 40 year old split level in Princeton will be worth more money than a 40 year old split level in Princeton Junction, if you could find a comparable. The tax savings are typical replaced with a higher mortgage payment, so you might say it all comes out in the wash. Except that eventually you can pay off your mortgage, where as taxes just keep going up.

I hope that was helpful.
0 votes
Deborah Cart…, Agent, Princeton, NJ
Sat Oct 20, 2012
Hi Pg,

Great question. If the house is right on the tracks then there is some effect on value. I would have to do a market analysis of this exact house to figure out how much the affect is. There is noise, and the best thing to do is to be both inside and out when the train goes by to see how loud you feel it is.

Pg, it is very difficult to compare townships on taxes. Every township has it's own tax rate and assessments. I would be happy to help you compare the two townships on various area.

Let me know if I may be more specific on this house.
0 votes
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