How close is too close when buying a home near the railroad tracks? We are looking at a home near 377 and are worried about railroad noise!

Asked by Heather12, Keller, TX Fri Feb 17, 2012

The house is less than a mile from the tracks, near the Ranchette Estates neighborhood. Thanks!

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Don Tepper’s answer
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Feb 17, 2012
I don't know your area, but I grew up (and still live) in pretty close proximity to railroad tracks. So here's some general advice:

First, you get used to the sound of the trains. You really do. It still may make your home more difficult to sell when it comes time to sell, but if you're half a mile away or more, you'll find that it won't bother you at all after a few weeks or so.

Second, it depends on what's between you and the tracks. The flatter the land, the fewer the trees, the more the sound will carry.

Third, it depends a lot on the house itself--what it's made of, and the type of construction. Some types of construction will block the sound a lot better than others.

Fourth, it depends on the mix of freight and passenger. Where I live, there are both. Really, you don't even hear the passenger trains. The freight trains will make somewhat more noise. And it depends on whether there's a station or grade crossing nearby. If there is, the trains will whistle (long-long-short-long) as they approach.

Bottom line: You'll get used to it. But recognize that if it's a concern for you, it may be a concern to buyers whenever you decide to sell.

Two tips:

First, go out to the property some evening. Bring some sandwiches and/or a book. Then just sit there for a while and listen. See what it's like.

Second, if the house is unoccupied, ask your agent to ask the listing agent whether you can bring some sleeping bags and spend the night in the house. That'll tell you exactly what the noise is like. (Just remember, though, you will get used to it.)

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Robert D Hug…, Agent, Devon, PA
Fri Feb 17, 2012
Heather12, Don gave you a good answer. I too grew up with a B&O Freight train 1 street away. It became my lullaby. I couldn't sleep some nights without hearing it. The first home I owned had a trolley within 1 street away as well. So Don is correct you will get used to it.

We have an area nearby where people tend to pay more for the home with train stations nearby because they are taking the train into Philadelphia every work day. So it really comes down to choice for you and your family. However, have your representative to do a full market analysis between homes within a mile of this Railroad and non railroad locations. The properties closer to the noise usually sell for less, just make sure it is not significantly less, because if you re-sell the property years later will you be facing the same situation as this seller?

Best of luck to you,

0 votes
I'm curious what someone who did NOT grow up next to a train thinks about moving next to a train as an adult?
Flag Fri Nov 21, 2014
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