Let’s make some noise!

| Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 | No Comments »

It’s a bit of coincidence (or a coinkidink if you’re from 1989) that over the last week I met with 4 buyers and 1 seller and each outing resulted in seeing at least one home on a busy road. The busy roads ranged from 405 to 520 to Avondale to Redmond Woodinville Road. The degree of noise level and proximity to the road differed and I found the different reactions to the road noise interesting.

The homes (there were 2) that backed up to 405 resulted in the following comments from 2 different buyers: 1. The road noise didn’t bother either one. 2. Both found it acceptable because it was a continual state of noise and one went as far as to say it sounded soothing. 3. The only real draw back was both worried it would negatively affect the resale value of the home when it was time to sell. Neither one ended up making an offer on the home but it didn’t have anything to do with the freeway noise. I also didn’t offer my advice on the topic until after I heard their thoughts because once upon a time before I was a broker, I looked at a home on the freeway and the broker told me if I closed my eyes it would sound like the ocean and that has always bothered me. It sounds like a used car salesman’s tactic and I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now. I did however explain to them (after I heard their initial opinions) that if the exact same house was selling down the street and away from the freeway, it would no doubt be priced a little higher than one that backs up to a freeway. They agreed and we moved on.

The home that was on Avondale was set back about 50 feet from the road. One of her complaints about the road noise was the loud accelerating of cars going by and the intermittent, unpredictable noise from all kinds of vehicles. There were also no sidewalks which I think bothered her more than the road noise. She initially passed on the home but then decided she wanted to pursue it until we found some other defects with the home unrelated to road noise.

The condos on Woodinville Redmond road are separated by a fence but it does not block the road noise or the sight of cars passing by. However, these are condos without a yard or deck so the number of times spent outside and hearing the noise would be far and few between. The noise level was definitely not a negative factor for this buyer.

Lastly I met with a seller who was right next to the sound wall of 520. It not only overlooked 520 from one whole side of the home, there were two decks and a decent sized yard from which the sound of the road noise is hard to escape. This seller did not believe this should negatively impact the price of his home, in fact he thought buyers should pay a premium for the mountain view that you can see out the same windows from which 520 is so clearly visible. I think you would have a tough time convincing buyers of this so we agreed to do a little more research and meet again later.

Regardless of the type of busy road a home may be on, it may not necessarily deter a buyer, especially in this market where we are a bit low on inventory. I think location and price will sell a home, even if it means you have to close your eyes and pretend you are vacationing on the Oregon Coast.

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