I am looking into a house in Lexington next to the highway. How does this proximity impact livability and value of the property?

Asked by msyed13, Lexington, MA Mon Jan 23, 2012

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Marie Souza…, Agent, Centerville, MA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Most buyers do not like highway noise. The house should be significantly reduced because of the location to the highway, as it is a real drawback for most people. Make sure you take this into serious consideration before purchasing it.

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3 votes
Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
I used to live right next to route 28. As trucks passed, the house vibrated. The stretch of road I was on was known for wrecks, and I was woken up more than one time by deadly crashes.
The house was huge though. Brand new. Met my needs then. When I sold it, the buyers thought it was great also and paid top dollar.
Who is to say how a road and the noise effects/affects a property. In "My Cousin Vinny" he sleeps better in prison on some nights and gets woken up by the train going by his hotel on others. Who can figure?
I do think that the buyer pool for homes next to busy roads is smaller than the buyer pool for homes not near busy roads. There are probably comps that can provide the math to answer your question better than the opinions of people. Get a real estate professional with experience in that area to help you.

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2 votes
Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Highway noise is a very subjective issue. Which highway you'll be proximate to will also be a deciding issue as to road volume. If you're working with a buyers agent then you can look into historical neighborhood data over the last several years to see how that has affected values. Depending upon how long you are planning on living there you can also look into natural sound barriers if given enough time to grow. Landscapers can give you additional ideas on sound breaks. Alot will depend upon the properties proximity to the roadway involved. To some and I use as an example people from Revere, Winthrop or East Boston it might be quiet compared to the aircraft from Logan, others it may be unacceptable. You could also take decible measurements prior to offering and seeing what those numbers mean. Many sections adjacent to major highways have been slated for sound barrier coverage, this might be something to look into on the local & state level to see what progress has been made. For example all along the Rts. 93/128/3 corridors people have for decades advocated for better barriers to be met with some success from the state & federal govt. You could look into this.

At the end of the day does it satisfy your needs & is the home insulated from the noise or will you have to retrofit? Is it acceptable for you? I would suggest visitng the property during several days at rush hours to see what actual noise is while you're there. It's a bit more work but the legwork pays off.

I once sold a home located adjacent to a train tracks, I made sure that the prospective buyers were there when the trains went by so they could verify for themself what is acceptable with them. There's no hiding it at the end of the day, it will all depend upon the eyes of the prospective buyer & the market conditions at the time you sell. Which properties you are up against, pricing, features etc.

Good Luck, check back & let us all know how you made out & what decisions you made & what influenced you,

1 vote
Amy Mullen, Agent, Shrewsbury, MA
Mon Jan 23, 2012

It's hard NOT to sell a house in Lexington! It's an extremely desirable area and easy highway access is a huge plus!

Depending on what you are seeking in a home and what you are comfortable with - is what will determine the "livability" in relation to the highway access.

Is there a particular property that you have been looking at online?

1 vote
Manish Patwa…, Agent, burlington, MA
Thu Nov 14, 2013
In Lexington, you have 95/128 on one side and Route 2 on another.
You have more than million dollar homes next to highway. Of course, values are impacted, otherwise, they would have been even higher - you can see similar homes in other parts of the town. Again, the areas/location matters too. I hope this helps.
0 votes
Tom and Joan…, Agent, Boston, MA
Mon Feb 13, 2012
Home Buyer:

Highways, trains, and other noise producing items effect your quality of like. They are annoying, but in time your body will adjust to them and they become a "white" noise. I would say that they will effect value anywhere from 15-20%. This means that if two homes are identical and one is on a cul-de-sac and one next to a highway the one on the cul-de-sac will be 20% more. Best
0 votes
Judy Boyle, Agent, Marlborough, MA
Mon Jan 23, 2012
Hello Msyed13,

A home in Lexington near the highway will always sell....because it is in Lexington. As for "livability", that is a personal choice. I would recommend you visit the home and see if it meets your needs. If it does, visit it a few more times during different times of the day and week to get a sense of any undesirable noise and/or views. Keep in mind that any trees that separate the highway from the property will fill in during the Spring months so the noise level may be reduced and the view will be different.

Best wishes!
0 votes
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