Would you buy a home backing up to a semi-busy street?

Asked by NR, Fremont, CA Wed May 4, 2011

WE are looking to buy a house that backs up to a semi busy street. There isn't any traffic noise inside the house. There is some noise in the backyard. We feel we will be fine with that limited noise. However, does it matter a lot from a resale point of view?

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14
Pamela Bellah, Agent, Bellevue, WA
Tue Feb 5, 2013
I would ask if there are other more suitable alternative options available- the name of the game is to stack odds in your favor when factoring in a homes resale position..as there are other factors ( e.g. higher interest rate, stricter lender guidelines) that you will not know until that time comes.
0 votes
charo bhatt, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sun May 8, 2011
Hi NR,

I have read that you dropped the idea of buying home where there is noise in backyard.

You were thinking of buying a home in San Ramon and not in Fremont.

With my 20 years of Real Estate experience serving community, I have noticed that every property can sale possibly within one week of time, once marketed in multiple MLS if the price is right, I would stress the word "right price". If you think you are fine with that limited noise, the question was for the resale value. If you buy it below market today, in today’s economy, you sale it when property values go up, you certainly will benefit in equity gain much more than your some neighbors home where they paid more to stay away from the noise factor. In good economy and good market conditions every thing/home/property sale for a good/higher price. I mean you will benefit if you picked up the property at a below market value. Since you are fine living with it, why not take benefit of the market and get the home that has lower mortgage payment, good neighborhood, where schools API scores are excellent, age of the property is much younger where not much of maintenance required? I want to express my thoughts to you this morning of Mother’s Day.

Have a Happy Mother’s day and good luck on your search.

Charo Bhatt
510-381-2105
http://www.HomesByCharo.com
CharoBHatt@gmail.com
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu May 5, 2011
What is your agent advising?

Has she/he checked if the property has previously gone into contract and whether there were inspections performed?

It does not sound like you have made an actual offer. An actual offer might change the dynamic and a willingness of the Seller to come to an agreement.

This is an important financial decision for you and without specific knowledge of the transaction I/we can only provide options that may or may not apply.

Best, Steve
0 votes
NR, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu May 5, 2011
Hi Steve,

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

We were actually looking to buy this place in San Ramon and not Fremont. I selected the location incorrectly based on where I live right now.

As far as the noise insite the house is concerned, the owners have upgraded it to include two dual panel windows and that makes it totally soundproof. However, there is a fair bit of renovation that needs to be done in the house - wooden floors are scratched and dented everywhere, kitchen needs an upgraded cabinets and countertops - and we are not able to negotiate much of a discount for the locational disadvantage and the fact that the house is not in top condition. The best we are able to do is get about 5% below comparables in the area. Also, it worries us that the house has been on the market for almost 70 days now - that is much more than most non-short sale properties listed in San Ramon.
0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu May 5, 2011
Hi NR,

I agree with many of the comments provided below; however, I wanted to interject some points and punctuate other thoughts.

1) What you are describing is known as an "incurable defect" in the industry. The noise level will vary based on morning/evening commute times as well as weather. Such a situation can be mitigated via through the use of landscaping and/or a water feature.

2) You did not provide what area of Fremont you were looking at. The individual demand of an area can also mitigate such an issue in the mind of a Buyer. For example, I live in the Mission San Jose School attendance area, which is a very sought after location for families with children due to high academic performance. At times, I can hear freeway noise from 680 when I'm outside. I have lived in my home over 20 years now. My point: location can easily override such an issue.

3) I do not agree with the notion you would automatically be taking a 10%-20% hit on market value when you sell. Assuming the "market reduction adjustment" for street noise in the area you are looking is 10%-20%, would not the current sales price logically reflect this market adjustment right now? If you believe this to be true then there is no issue. However, if you are hesitant to accept this theory then you make yet another observation, that being, the "market reduction adjustment" for this property will always be influenced by the condition of the property, location, amenities, and overall market demand. Theoretically, under a fixed market demand the adjustment remains fixed. Improve the property to mitigate the street noise (or other upgrades) and/or have a condition where market demand increases and this same adjustment improves, benefitting the Seller.

My $0.02

Best, Steve
0 votes
NR, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed May 4, 2011
Thanks everyone. We let go of that house.
0 votes
Brian Ripp, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed May 4, 2011
Lots of answers here.
Some might say
0 votes
Ken Vasan, Agent, Fremonet, CA
Wed May 4, 2011
I have seen many buyers who knowingly buy such homes because they have had their childhood in such busy neighborhoods. However, their decision is then mainly based on the way how it is priced. Typically, you can buy it slightly cheaper than the market value and when you want to sell it, depending on the market conditions, you may get top dollars. Bottom line, it depends on your tolerance level to decibels you can take
Web Reference:  http://www.kenvasan.com
0 votes
Ayub Azam, , Fremont, CA
Wed May 4, 2011
Yes it is matter when you sale your home. Price will be 10-20% down from market value. So when you buy home on busy street, price will be down 10-20%.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed May 4, 2011
It really depends what semi busy is, semi busy in a small town would be different than a suburban area street as it would be different to a large city. If you look at it through your eyes, if you think there is a problem, the next buyer may alse think there is a problem and make your house less desirable.
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Wed May 4, 2011
What is a semi-busy street may someday turn out to be a busy street. It usually works that way; so take that into consideration.
Web Reference:  http://www.321property.com
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed May 4, 2011
NR,

Whether or not I would consider a home with a serious location issue would depend upon a number of factors beginning with what the home has to offer with quality and value.

Important to keep in mind is the if you are having reservations because of the homes proximity to noise from a busy street, it would be fair to assume that future buyers would have the same reservations. Homes in a close proximity to airports, freeways, industrial centers, railroads etc. always have sales issues in which price becomes a factor.

If you are considering a home in one of these scenarios, we strongly advise that you purchase at a substantial savings and understand that at some point in the future, it may be necessary for you to pass along the same or even greater savings.

Best wishes,

Bill
0 votes
Bryan Van He…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed May 4, 2011
Hi NR,
Will it affect the resale? The short answer is yes. You will no doubt lose buyers for the simple fact that you're backed up to a major street, but how many is the question. And I would say that depends on the area. People will ALWAYS prefer to not have a major street behind them, but if it's the only home for sale in the area, they may just jump on it.

Hope this helps.

Best Regards,
Bryan Van Heusen
(510) 557-5952
0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Wed May 4, 2011
most people prefer not to back a busy street so yes it can effect resale. If you love the house and are okay with it just make sure you get it at a great value cause you should.......
0 votes
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