Does traffic volume, speed and/or safety concerns have an impact to home value? Please see details below.

Asked by billray784, New Berlin, WI Fri Dec 21, 2012

I live in a suburbian town of New Berlin, WI that is 15mins SW of Milwaukee (~40,000 residents). Our small subdivision (~250 homes) has 4 streets that connect to a newly developed City Center (some businesses and some large appartment/condo complexes). The street with the most direct route (for cut through traffic) has traffic volume around 650 cars per day (measured recently by the City Engineer). Due to safety concerns of the neighbors on this street, the Alderperson (who also lives on this street) submitted a request to close the street and it was approved by our Common Council. Temporary baricades have now been installed as a test. The point of closure also cuts off two of the other through streets, so that all the traffic is flowing on ONE remaining street -- yes, my street. The effect has been a dramatic decrease in traffic in the closed streets (people are happy - feel safe again); BUT AlSO, a dramatic increase in not only traffic but speed and safety concerns on my street

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My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Fri Dec 21, 2012
Increased traffic can have an effect on value and the effect is consistently negative. Buyers will express concerns regarding both road noise and safety for pets or children. In general I've seen this translate into a homes value depreciating by anywhere from $5000 - $20,000 depending on the severity of the traffic and the overall conditions of a specific market.

While some neighbors may be happier, obviously people who purchased on your street are not and I feel that you can honestly say that one of the reasons you did not buy on one of the primary roads was specifically to avoid the traffic and that the buyers on those main thoroughfares knew or should have know that there was going to be more traffic on those streets.

Perhaps there's a solution that would block the one street without effectively blocking the other two main through streets?

It may be that you and your neighbors will need to meet with your Alderperson and try to work out something that leaves no one 100% happy but that left everyone reasonably satisfied.
1 vote
Great feedback, Larry...thanks! Your suggestion to move the closure point to another location that would still maintain the other two streets remaining open was discussed but rejected.
Flag Fri Dec 21, 2012
Cindy Lehrer, Agent, Waukesha, WI
Tue Sep 17, 2013
In the era of looking for homes on line, (over 80% of home buyers start looking online) when a potential buyer actually takes the time and effort to pull in the driveway of a home for sale, the curb appeal is seen and heard and felt for the first time. We all know that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So...showing a home at a time when the traffic is minimized is something to consider when scheduling to show a home. The 3 o'clock rush hour when the schools let out, or the obvious 5 o'clock rush hour should be avoided if at all possible.
0 votes
Allison Fish…, Agent, Ann Arbor, MI
Sat Dec 22, 2012
Although that does not specifically determine the value of the home (comparable homes sold in your neighborhood does), it absolutely can effect a potential buyer's decision to purchase, make an offer, or pass over your home.
0 votes
Thanks, Allison
Flag Mon Dec 24, 2012
Rich Moen, Agent, Watertown, WI
Fri Dec 21, 2012
Sorry I did not see your whole question.

I understand your frustration. Were you notified of the intent to consider the closure before it occurred?

I would certainly at minimum request they slow down the traffic and monitor it closely.

Recently with a DOT project taking a portion of a customers lot for the installation of a new road in the country was able to show a $40,000 reduction in value due to a side road being put in. Not sure I can accomplish the same thing based on an increase of traffic.
0 votes
Great question about prior notification, Richard. This is a sore spot for us. The alderwoman made a different proposal that closed all 4 roads -- this was very well communicated and listening sessions held. When this original proposal was shot down, the new proposal was submitted without the same notification.
Flag Sat Dec 22, 2012
Rich Moen, Agent, Watertown, WI
Fri Dec 21, 2012
Good Question! It will have some effect. But the market value is going to be set by similar home sales.
The issue is many people will not consider a home that is exposed to high traffic noise. So with few potential buyers it can have a negative effect.

But then so do swimming pools for many, or two story homes for others.

The key is pricing in the market based on a quality market analysis.

I would be happy to provide if needed.
0 votes
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