Dilemma - perfect house, but on a busy road

(33 Posts)
JenL Tue 01-Feb-11 09:57:02

Wondering if anyone could offer their advice? We've just seen a beautiful house, basically perfect but it's situated on an "A road" so there's constant traffic. It is however, set back and screened by trees, and any road noise is pretty much inaudible from the inside. However, the garden is fairly noisy, so much so, that I doubt I'd ever enjoy sitting outside, BUT there is a gate from the back garden which leads to a communal meadow/field.
I know buying a house is all about compromise. This particular house is on at a great price, walking distance from the train station for DH and within catchment area of an outstanding primary for DD - am I just being overly fussy?? We've just spent 8 months trying to offload a difficult flat and I'm terrified of making another similar mistake again!

NancyDrewHasaClue Tue 01-Feb-11 10:03:25

Presumably you couldn't afford the nice house on a nice road so which is more important?

If you were in a not so nice house but could sit out in the garden in peace would you be happier?

Only you can decide what your priorities are.

FWIW I think property that is competitively priced always sells so I wouldn't be overly concerned about what happens when you want to sell in the future provided you don't pay over the odds now.

mollymax Tue 01-Feb-11 10:05:17

As you say it is all about compromise.
Do you actually sit in your garden and read? Or is it a dream?
If the house itself is ideal and you can not hear road noise from inside, i would go for it, personally.
Is there a drive to park a car in?
Would it be extremely dangerous if a child ran out of the front door?
Just a couple of things to consider.

JenL Tue 01-Feb-11 10:10:43

Nancydrew - we may be able to afford a nicer house on a nice road if we stretched our budget, but there just isn't anything available around where we are in our price range, so we're quite limited.

Mollymax - you're right, I have never in my life sat in a garden to read! There's a garage and it's actually on a slip road off the main road, so no danger for toddler daughter there.

LifeInTheSlowLane Tue 01-Feb-11 10:10:52

Having lived on a busy road, I would compromise on the house to live somewhere quiet! We moved a while ago and now live in a boring looking fairly modern house, on an extremely quiet cul-de-sac. Although it's not at all how I imagined my dream house would look like, I love it because I am not constantly listening to cars and buses thundering past, alarms going off etc, and like Mollymax said, I'm not worried about the DCs or the cats running into the road. Plus I am a rubbish driver so I am pleased I don't have any hassle pulling off my drive smile

NancyDrewHasaClue Tue 01-Feb-11 10:40:57

JenL in that case personally I wouldn't buy the house you have seen because you will always think "we should have waited for the right one" and will be unable to console yourself with the thought that you wouldn't have been able to afford it.

Also (and obviously I have no idea what your budget is and where this house fits on teh scale) I would be concerned that this house is overpriced if the difference between buying this is one and a nice house on a nice road is just a matter of "stretching" teh budget. Realistically there should be a fairly significant differnce in price for a house that is on a buy A road and one on a "nice" road.

JenL Tue 01-Feb-11 11:35:22

Thanks Nancy, I do think it's a little overpriced, but stretching the budget would mean paying an extra 10-15% of what this house is currently on the market for...we'd be stretching the budget as currently we are very luckily finance free, but would need a mortgage in order to get a house on a "nicer street"...decisions, decisions!

Decorhate Tue 01-Feb-11 11:36:25

I think it would be worth visiting the house at different times of day & night to see what the noise & traffic is like. I live on a B road, busy at rush hour & then fairly constant stream of traffic during the day but very little at night. Still enough to not want to sleep with the windows open at the front of the house though...

Sitting in the back garden the traffic noise doesn't bother me at all, though a friend lives on a busier A road & the traffic is more intrusive even at the back of the house.

One of the most desirable streets in my town is a busy A road - but the houses are set back & detached with large back gardens. Still too noisy for me though...

noddyholder Tue 01-Feb-11 11:41:26

I lived on an A road set back like you describe. I moaned a fair bit although the disturbance was actually minimal and it is the one house we have had and renovated that we wish we had kept!I really miss it

risingstar Tue 01-Feb-11 11:45:50

you need to visit the house many times to really understand the noise.

traffic noise is much louder in wet weather, so factor this in. is it in a spot with road humps, a junction or anything else that will make traffic brake? the noise of lorries changing down and then moving off is quite incredible- is it near a bus stop? - same thing.

also think about where the main bedrooms are- most kids will sleep through anything so if kids can be in the front and you at the back all the better.

lastly- do not forget about the summer when you need to have windows open.

really if you can afford no to do this, i wouldnt compromise/

Fiddledee Tue 01-Feb-11 12:20:53

Is you plan to resell it in the future - houses on A roads are difficult to shift. Recently looked a road well set back from "quiet" A road probably 100ft. Though the back garden is very quiet and very big. Noise at the front of the house wouldn't bother me, unless on summer evenings you sleep with the window open and all the main bedrooms face the road. I couldn't live with a noisy garden though.

Mirage Tue 01-Feb-11 14:34:55

Our first house was in a terraced street leading off from the main road to the nearest city.The traffic was pretty constant,but I never noticed it,despite never having lived in a town before.After 9 years of living there,it did start to intrude and get a bit wearing though,especially cars with thuimping steroes that you can hear coming from several miles away.

I'm not much help,am I?

JenL Tue 01-Feb-11 14:57:24

Yikes, I guess re-sale is the main issue I have...if I'm already thinking about it now, it means that any future buyers would feel the same way...

freshmint Tue 01-Feb-11 14:58:46

very difficult to sell. road noise is a big concern of buyers
I'd say keep looking

NorbertDentressangle Tue 01-Feb-11 15:04:41

I would also consider the fumes side of things.

If you are sensitive to smells, living near a busy road could be pretty horrible.

I used to work in a building on one of the busiest roads leading into a city and used to hate the smell of traffic fumes, particularly buses and lorries.

In the hot weather when you wanted to throw the windows open the smell and noise put you off.

higgle Wed 02-Feb-11 16:58:58

The house my mother has lived in for over 50 years and where I grew up is on a very busy road, nice house, big garden, lots of traffic noise. When you are in residence after a while you stop noticing. I never noticed it much when I lived at home, now I do. This is a rural A road, so no fumes or smell.

hocuspontas Wed 02-Feb-11 17:10:44

It's when the children get older and want more independence, then the road becomes a problem.

goldenpeach Wed 02-Feb-11 19:45:05

No, I did this before but selling it on wasn't easy.

hester Wed 02-Feb-11 20:39:36

It wouldn't bother me, to be honest. I've always lived on busy roads: flats over shops in London high streets. I still live on a busy road, and I know we got this house cheap because of it.

But just because it doesn't bother me doesn't mean it won't bother you. I would second the suggestion of visiting at various times of day. Our road is busy by day but gets quiet very early in the evening. Whereas our last flat was over one of the main roads out of London; it never got quiet, day or night, and there were sirens going past every two minutes. It was so noisy we couldn't open our windows in summer, and that is a bit extreme.

I think you are right to worry about re-sale. I might be the only person prepared to live in your house grin

youngjoly Thu 03-Feb-11 18:39:42

Personally, I wouldn't.

The main things that would bother me are:

1. Where would the children be able to go out and play?

2. What's the noise like in summer?

3. Would it affect resale and resale prices?

JenL Thu 03-Feb-11 19:49:41

Oh well, have discounted house. The search goes on...

willowstar Fri 04-Feb-11 22:30:08

I was just about to post and tell you we live in a great house with a hedge screen set back from the road which is a busy A road and I really like it.

We live in a semi rural location, so our house is an old farm house and surrounded by fields though with neighbours across the road. The road is noisy but it really doesn't bother me one bit.

it closed for 2 months for resurfacing works and while it made a huge difference...we were able to hear loads more wild life etc...I found it too quiet and our house felt too isolated and I was relieved when the road reopened.

so I was going to say to keep an open mind but then I read your last post to say you had discounted it!

BeenieBaby Mon 29-Jul-13 15:37:01

I'm resurrecting this thread in the hope of getting more opinions! Found a sweet house within budget in a nice location but it is on a busy road. There is a gate that will stop dc getting on to the road and a double front door for safety. The owners haven't done double glazing in the front yet and it's hard to know how much that will improve the noise level. (Hardly any noise at the back where there is double glazing). The garden is noisy though.... On the plus we're unlikely to be able to afford a house of this size on any of the side streets off the main road and would have to look a bit further out (and be further from the nice cafes/green spaces etc). Worth considering? Or is it just going to be too much of a pain to sell?

Spickle Mon 29-Jul-13 18:22:33

I'm on an A road, having spent the majority of my life living in quiet cul-de-sacs. I love it. You can hear traffic at the front of the house but not really at the back or in the garden. We don't have problems with people parking along the road, unlike the cul-de-sacs where people can get very precious! We have a good sized driveway so we don't have to reverse on or off. We have a secure gate so children can't wander round the front and I have cats but they seem to stay at the back of the house most of the time. The road is very busy at rush hour but not too bad the rest of the day and is quiet at night.

Hope that helps!

orangeandemons Mon 29-Jul-13 18:26:14

We're on a B road, and its awful. Can't leave windows open at night, Brands Hatch is running all night outside. I hate walking down our road, and hate dd walking down it.

We have just sold it, and have had problems due to it being on a main road. I would never ever buy a house on a main road tbh

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