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Buying A House Near Train Tracks All Locations : Nationwide Real Estate Advice

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Showing results for Buying A House Near Train Tracks [Clear search]
Fri Jul 2, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
In that case, ask the neighbors.

But the answer you've gotten is pretty normal, really. I live near a town with tracks running through it. And, really, unless you're within a block or two (and sometimes even then), you really do get used to it. Where I am, and where the track is (in Northern Virginia), the track serves freight trains, Amtrak, AND a local rail commuter line (VRE). If I had to guess, I'd say trains probably average once an hour . . . but, really, you get so used to it, it's not an issue.

Meanwhile, where I work is about 300 yards from a power plant (in Alexandria, Virginia). There's a rail line about 100 feet from my window, and trains are going back and forth all the time delivering coal to the plant. In fact, looking out right now, there's a Norfolk Southern train (locomotive number 3536 for all you train buffs) just parked there. Honesty, you get used to it.

One thing you should do is look at the comps for other properties about the same distance from the rail lines as yours. That'll give you some indication of how much the tracks/trains are affecting property values and thus "if this property is worth buying." And, again, do ask the neighbors.

Hope that helps.
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Sun Jun 20, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
I don't think your Realtor had to "disclose" that you were under a flight path. The airport wasn't hidden. Same as if your home backed up to a major Interstate. Or a house directly under high-power lines. It's there; you can see that it's there; and you make your choice.

As for the appraiser: The appraiser used comps--comparable properties--to determine the value of your home. In all likelihood, comparable properties are ones close by, also underneath the flight path. So while the value of your property might be affected by the flight path, so are the values of the comparables. It would have been relevant to mention and adjust the price accordingly if yours were under the flight path but the comparables weren't.

Having said that, I understand your situation and your concern. And, yes, it may make your home more difficult to sell. But while the flight path may lower your resale value, it also meant that you were able to buy the home for less than you'd have spent for a similar home a few miles away.

There are ways to reduce the sound somewhat.

And you probably will get used to the sound. Quick story: My wife grew up in a medium-sized town, with her home maybe 1/4 mile from the airport. There weren't big jets, but there were a lot of smaller planes flying in and out--vacationers, business, etc. The first night I was at the house, it sounded as if we were right at the end of the runway. And we almost were. I commented on it, and she said she didn't even notice the sound.

Interestingly, her brother and sister-in-law recently bought a nice home in the same state, different town. We were going up to visit them, and I pulled the location up on MapQuest. Their nice home--on a lake on one side--was literally at the end of a runway. There was the house, maybe a 25 yard driveway, a two lane road, and the end of the runway right across the road. Now, the airport wasn't as busy as the house my wife and her brother had grown up in, but still . . . They didn't notice the planes at all.

Hope that helps.
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Tue Jun 1, 2010
Christopher Lefebvre answered:
This is definitely a negative for the house and some buyers will steer clear because of this. Location is everything in real estate. This is a similar issue to a home that is right next to a busy highway or on a busy main road. It doesn't mean that the home won't sell down the road, it just means that your pool of prospective buyers may be smaller than if the home was in a more desirable location for example a low traffic quiet side street.

I recommend that before you buy the home, ask your buyer's agent to provide you with comps of similar homes that have recently sold that are also near the train tracks and compare these with similar homes that are not near the train tracks to try to see what the difference in prices are.

Good luck with your purchase and don't rush into anything. If possible, try to find a similar home in your price range that is in a more desirable location.
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Sat May 22, 2010
Ruth and Perry Mistry answered:
Good school district always pays off and helps sell now and in the future.

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Thu May 27, 2010
Kristopher Furrow answered:
Hello Mei,
As a possible buyer of this home it would be a good idea to visit the house during different times of the day to see/listen if the varying traffic volume or increased train traffic has a serious impact on your ability to enjoy the home.

As far a resale value it may be impacted slightly, but remember all of your new neighbors home values will be impacted equally. The value will depend greatly on how the development as a whole performs over time as future buyers and appraisers are not going to be able to compare only homes adjacent to Front Runner or those that have views of High Voltage power lines.

I have sold numerous homes in the Kaysville/Layton/Clearfield area and the power lines has only been a small issue.

Good luck in you home search & thank you for you using Trulia.

Kristopher Furrow - Associate Broker

Member – 2010 Young Professionals Council
Salt Lake Board of Realtors

Windermere Real Estate - UTAH
Salt Lake City and Park City
2348 South Foothill Drive
Salt Lake City Utah, 84109
Direct: 801.999.8679
Office: 801.485.3151
Fax: 801.485.3152
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Tue Apr 16, 2013
Brian Ripp answered:
The home prices will not be effected any more than they already are, since the railroad tracks are already there. The only change is the addition to the BART tracks. BART is not that noisey and now that Washington Blvd. goes over the tracks, trains will no longer need to blow their horns and no noisey crossing bells.

So I feel there would be no additonal impact in values from recent sales on Driscoll. However, home prices that do not back to tracks are always slightly higher due to the noise & safety factor.

Hope this helps,
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Tue Apr 6, 2010
Leah Pham answered:
I completely understand your situation. I recently assisted another family in the same exact situation as you! They owned their dream house in Ballard (completely renovated with tender care by them) but needed to relocate. They expect to return to Seattle in 2 years time, and they just couldn't let the house go - they didn't want to sell if they could come back to Seattle. So they DID end up renting it out for $3000/month on a 18 month lease. I think there ARE renters out there that can help you keep your home. I would suggest you contact your Realtor to get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) done to see if you can get a ballpark feel for what the house would appraise for, then shop your refi around with a mortgage broker to see if they can get you a better rate on a refi than what BofA offered you. Good luck! ... more
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Mon Mar 29, 2010
Steve Watson answered:
The answer to your question is, "it depends." No one knows or can predict with any degree of accuracy the market conditions for real estate 5 to 10 years down the road. That said, if your 34 year old home has good bones and the structure and mechanical, plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems are sound and in proper working order, the age of the home does not in and of itself pose greater risk of poor re-sale then newer homes. A competent qualified home inspector will be a tremendous help to you, along with a strong buyers agent in making the determination if this is indeed a wise purchase. ... more
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Tue Apr 27, 2010
Ralph Esposito answered:
FYI - You can expect freight trains operating at night, both late evening and early morning. If this would pose a problem with sleeping patterns you might want to reconsider. How loud is a matter of opinion, If you do not have a fence, trees, or anything of substantial height or thickness between your complex and the tracks, you could expect the noise would be similar to having your house adjacent to a major freeway. ... more
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Wed Jun 25, 2014
Tim Ambrose answered:
Hey Mmyk 72,

Real estate 101, Location, Location, Location. While the place might work for you it will have a negative impact to some people and certain cultures. How many times has the property changed owners since being built? How has the value held up to other properties in the area. If the one you are interested in has sold for less that others, that is a good indication of the perception. Have your Realtor run some comps to get a picture of how the value has held up over time.

I hope this helps!

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Wed Feb 24, 2010
Dan Chase answered:
You are describing a house with multiple negatives. As you are concerned about those things being a problem today so will other buyers tomorrow.

A house like this will take a lot longer to sell and have a lower price because of the problems you described. If you wish to sell in a few years it would be better to buy something without all of the problems you describe.

You could ask the neighbors about the train schedule. I bet they know.
If carts from the store hit and damage your house I believe that store would be liable for that damage. It is their property that would be damaging yours.

It really sounds like you are trying to find reasons not to buy this house. I would look for others without the problems this one has if it was me looking.
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Sat Feb 27, 2010
Scott Godzyk answered:
Zelo if you purchase a home next to anything that puts a negative note on a property it will affect the value. Train tracks are negative, to figure the extent of how negatove, it depends on how close, how many trains pass by and the level of the noise. I have been in houses where the track run through the back yard, although there was only 2 trains that ran on teh tracks. the house shook every morning and every evening. The key is are you purchasing the house at a big enough discount that you are not over paying. If the house has something, amenities, extras that no other house has, or is the perfect house for you... and you are getting it at the right price, then you are ok. You should have a buyer broker determeine what the value is and what if any discounts should be applied. good luck with your purchase. ... more
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Mon Jan 18, 2010
Marla McWilliams-Lopez answered:
Certainly, being next to R/R tracks, or a busy street, or next to a highway are negatives.

During upswings in the market, everything seems to sell, but these properties may not appreciate at the same rate, but there is no set "formula" to calculate this.

Here's the big question, "Do you want to live there? Can you find something not by the tracks for the same price?" This is your decision, and YES, it will take longer to sell a property near tracks or a busy street in any market.

As far as the structure, you should always hire a professional inspector prior to buying any property.

Good Luck on your purchase!!
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Wed Dec 9, 2009
Gretchen Szostak answered:
Dear Ty,

My first instinct is Santa Barbara, and there are some areas that seem to hold value and appreciate better than others (the Upper East, San Roque and the Riviera for example); however, it really depends a lot on how much you'd like to spend and how long you plan to hold this investment.

In Montecito in the last six months, there have only been five homes (listed in the MLS) that have sold, are pending or are currently active below $900k. The majority of them needed work and/or updating. If you were to buy a "lesser" house in Montecito, how much would you consider putting into it to fix it up?

Also, do you plan to use this home strictly as a second home or would you want to rent it out? The more information you provide, the better I can help you.

Lastly, I do have some informative charts and statistics pertaining to real estate trends in both Santa Barbara and Montecito that I'd be happy to email to you. Just shoot me an email if you'd like them. Thanks!

With kind regards,

Gretchen Szostak (pronounced Shaw-stack), e-PRO, green
Prudential California Realty
3868 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Cell - (805) 886-8244
DRE License # 01807206
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Thu Nov 26, 2009
Dawn Rivera answered:
Hi you will most likely be able to hear the horn... But, I think you should find out how often it goes by and how late at night and how early it goes by. Then you can decide if you will be able to either get used to it or at least have it not.bother you....Dawn ... more
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Fri Apr 16, 2010
Gina Frattini answered:
I believe that if it is the right house for you (as you are comfortable with the noise) you should buy it! But I will also say that it could hurt in the future if you decide to could take longer to sell the home but I don't feel it would hurt the value! ... more
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Thu Oct 17, 2013
Grace Hanamoto answered:
Hello Pooja and thanks for your post.

There's a good and bad side to a railroad used primarily for freight service. First, the good side--the train only infrequently (usually only once or twice per day) uses the tracks. The bad news is that the trains travel late at night (when commuter trains are not running) and often consist of slow moving trains of between 150-300 box cars clickety-clacking down the track. My in-laws live near the freight train tracks that run through Milpitas, and they can hear it late at night (11 p.m. to 2 a.m.) moving slowly down the track. They are not so much bothered by the train than the train-crossing bell located about 1/2 mile away that rings the entire time that the train is crossing Capitol Avenue.

To see how the train will affect your home and the sound inside the home, talk with the listing agent for more information about when the trains will run in the area and then make plans to be in the house (if vacant) when the train rolls by. For many, the sound of trains on tracks is comforting or seldom noticed, and for others it's much like highway noise and they cannot deal with it. It's all a matter of personal preference and choice.

Good luck!!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA
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Fri Mar 12, 2010
Michelle & Tom Stone answered:
Dear Home Buyer:

This would depend upon your situation. Which Amherst school is it? Are you a first-time homebuyer? It would be advantageous for you to please contact you and we can educate you in regards to the home buying process. If you have children that would be in the age category of the school system, that would be favorable for them to attend school, after school programs etc. I would expect that there would not be any problems of a resale. The key is to keep your home maintained, updated for a resale. If you would like further help, please contact us and we can help with your questions, searching, financing, etc.

Thank you very much and we look forward to hearing from you soon!

Hunt Real Estate ERA
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Sun Nov 29, 2009
Brad answered:
I should note that it is a brand new home, not yet built, and so staying the night to check out the noise is NOT an option. Thank you!
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Wed Jan 5, 2011
Norman Alessandrini answered:
Hi Newbie,
I don't have first hand knowledge of this, but I have a few clients who bought near there and they did not mention a " smell " to me and I have been in contact with them. I have heard that once in a great while if the wind is right there is a smell coming from the Alvsio area. As I said I don't know this first hand, if I were you I would go to this area at different times of the day and smell for yourself. Personally I would think the train noise right near there would be a bigger factor.

DRE# 01397256
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