My husband and I are in the process of looking at lots to build a house on in the future. We are not seriously looking as we already own our house, but in the future we plan to keep our house as a rental property and move to a more family friendly area. However, we did recently find a lot that is in the neighborhood we would like to live in and it is priced to sell. It would be very reasonable for us to buy this now and build whenever we decide we are ready (which will be when we get pregnant, which is still TBD).
I am really torn as to whether or not to buy this lot though. It is located on a fairly busy street. It is not a main thoroughfare, but it definitely has a consistent flow of traffic. Since we are not currently parents I am struggling to decide how much this really matters. We will obviously build something with a gated backyard and our children could play out there, but I am not sure I would ever feel comfortable with them in the front yard, at least unsupervised. Just curious if you all would buy a lot or house in this situation or if you have personal experience living on a busier street, kids or no kids. Thanks!
I'm not buying, but I grew up on a busy street so it might be useful for me to give my input?
We had a large back garden where we played, and we never played out front. I got used to all the traffic noise (my bedroom was at the front) and it really helped me 'block out' noises that I find other people have trouble with.
THAT SAID, we did have a quieter street nearby that we would play in - we were always taught to tell our parents if we were going to play there, and we didn't have to cross a busy road as it was on our side, so we were pretty safe.
We had a weekend home elsewhere, where we'd go on weekends and in the summer, so I guess I got all my 'playtime' then, where I could ride my bike and play in the street.
We definitely were safe living where we did, but I did enjoy the weekends away where I could go and play with the other kids easily. Many of my friends lived in quieter areas and I think maybe I would have been more social if I could have played with other kids out front like they did.
we wouldn't, we prefer to be on a court/cul-de-sac.
Well we live on a fairly busy street. Currently we have a 16 month old child. This spring/early summer we are talking about putting up a fence in the back yard. I feel pretty safe with munchkin because we are rarely in the front yard and if we are, one of us is with munchkin anyway.
@Miss Jackrabbit: Thank you, this is very helpful! Exactly the kind of perspective I am looking for.
@MrsWBS: +1 i do too and when you have kids, i just feel abit more safer then on a busy street.
What is the speed limit? My rule of thumb is if there are lines painted on the street, I'm not interested.
@MrsWBS: I definitely see the benefits of a cul-de-sac. Part of me wants to keep looking until we see something like that go up, but I do like this location other than how busy it can be.
We bought a house on a fairly busy street last fall and there are three requirements I'd have for living there with kids:
a) Large front yard so that the house is actually off the street quite a ways. (Ours has this and it's great - you really can't hear any street noise.)
b) Tall fence around the front yard with a tall & difficult latch.
c) Large backyard where kids would mostly want to play.
It gets loud, especially during the spring and summer when motorcyclists drive by regularly.
I wouldn't. Uneless I couldn't afford something else. I really dislike the noise of traffic and having a reasonably quiet setting is important to me.
I wouldn't, that's a deal breaker for me. I like to walk outside and hear quiet, not busy road noise. I also worry about my dogs if they ever slipped out of the yard somehow. And kids, even though they can play in the backyard, are eventually going to want to walk to friend's houses, ride their bikes, etc. When we were looking at homes the ones on busy streets did not sell very fast.
@LGenz: I am pretty sure the speed limit is 35. However, it is fairly near two school zones that are 20 mph. It has a high school and an elementary school about half a mile away in each direction.
Nope Nope Nope!
@Westwood: Yup, this one has been on the market for 300 plus days and I am assuming the reason it hasn't sold is because of the busy street.
When teen LK was small we lived in a town house on a busy side street. I was so glad to move away from the street noise. He played in the back yard and alley, so that wasn't much of an issue. It was really the noise that bothered me the most.
I wouldn't buy a house on a busy street. Also, if it is in a neighborhood, something to consider is whether the HOA will let you put up a fence in the backyard (unless you plan on having a pool, many HOA will not allow fences). Just a thought.
No, I'd like my kids to be able to play in the yard safely.
We live on a main street. Our backyard is huge and fenced, and the front yard is deep and set back from the road with a giant 10' tall hedge lining the front yard where it meets the sidewalk. We play in the backyard, and the front yard itself is very large so there's enough room for kids to play safely if we're doing yard work or something.
The traffic noise is annoying (speed limit 30) but this wasn't reason enough to pass up on this house. The area is overall very quiet and a lakeside community, only ten minutes from DH's office, and so on. DH and I both grew up in quiet culdesacs and would prefer that type of neighborhood, but they tend to be a lot more expensive and rarely hit the market in our area.
We bought our first home on a busy street.. At first I was leery of it and worried the noise would bother me, or it would be hard to get out of our driveway. We've been there 3 years, and I don't regret it at all. We have a nice big fenced in backyard for our future children.. our frontyard is pretty big too, so we're not right next to the street. If I was outside with the kids I wouldn't have any fear with them playing in the frontyard.. but I think they'll mostly be in the back. I've gotten used to the noise & we don't usually have trouble getting out of the driveway. And I like the fact that since we're on a main road it is ALWAYS plowed in the winter!
@LGenz: I have the same requirements. We bought our house a year ago and when looking one of my specific requirements was it couldn't be on a street that had actual lanes marked on it. With cars passing by all the time I would never feel relaxed in my own home.
The house we bought is on a tiny street, (I would say 3/4 normal width with parking only on side of the street.) However it's not a culdesac so there is still some thru traffic that goes by to access other streets in the neighborhood. DH and I agree that our next house has to be on a culdesac or near the end of a street because we would love even less traffic going by.
So to answer OP's question, no I wouldn't buy a house on a busy street, even regardless of the kid situation.
@hotpinkbride: Too fast for me. Plus if the lot sat this long I would be concerned about resale value
We're looking at houses now and that is definitely a dealbreaker for me. There are two amazing houses for sale on a busy street in my area and they've both just been sitting on the market for months. Even if I could deal with living on a busy street, I'd be so worried that we'd never be able to sell it if we needed to.
I wouldn't. That was one of the criteria we have our realtor. Those houses are also going to be harder to sell.
Nope. We even passed on rental apartments and homes to buy (before we found our house) that we loved simply because they were near busy roads. If it were the only place available? I would consider, but so long as there were other options I wouldn't look at it twice. It's not a danger thing. It's an annoyance thing.
Thanks for the feedback everyone! It has definitely given me more to think about. I think we need to go look at it at 5 PM on a weekday and see it at the worst possible time.
@hotpinkbride: that's what we did! AM commute times and PM commute times, and we decided it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. We almost put an offer in on a house that was less than a mile from a fun club with a shooting range because we'd only seen it at the same time of day...learned our lesson after that!
Also, our next door neighbor's house sold on the fourth day of being listed last month so I don't think that it will necessarily be harder to sell just because of the location.
We live on a fairly busy street-- a popular cut-through between major thoroughfares--- rush hours are pretty brutal on our block, and we have had a constant battle with the city trying to get traffic control like speed bumps and no-left-turn-during-rush-hour to wreck the shortcut factor. BUT we also have a ton of kids on our block, probably 12 kids between 3 and 8, and they play outside all the time. They are absolutely always supervised which is a must, and they rarely ever try to go into the street because their parents have done an excellent job of teaching them not to, and because the parents have set up all sorts of games and toys and play areas to keep them entertained whilst staying on yards and not letting them get bored enough to wander off.
I definitely understand the concern but I think if you think like a kid, you'll be better able to gve them what htey need so that they don't feel attracted to the street.
@hotpinkbride: I would. Being honest with myself-I'll never let my kids play alone in the front yard. Ever. I wasn't allowed to do that and I sure as hell wouldn't let my kids do that. And walking to school? No. Never. It's just not something I'd feel comfortable doing ever.
So, busy streets wouldn't bother me.
No, and we don't have kids. I really want an attached garage, which here means the front yard and getting off the driveway onto a busy street is not easy, especially during rush hour. It's more difficult for people to park if you have people over. It's a deterent to getting to know the neighbours, especially those who live across the steet. I wouldn't feel as comfortable grabbing anything from the mailbox on the house like the newspaper in my PJs. The noise is also an issue. Right now we're just near a busy street, and I constantly hear traffic when the windows are open.
Many city kids live in row houses or standalone houses grow up on busy streets. Its not that uncommon. Its really only a consideration once you get to the suburbs.
I love that my gram lived on a busy street in the city. All the kids played outside on the sidewalk because backyards were not connected and not especially large. It was a great way to meet everyone.
no!!! not again. we live backed up to a busy road and I hear sirens all night (police and fire station nearby, not to mention regular traffic noise. it's so annoying.
I think if you have a fences back yadb it will be fine. We live in an apartment off one of the main streets in our town and while it could be quieter, unless there is a lot of semi truck traffic it really isn't a big deal.I lived.on a quiet street but we never played in the front anyway.
Nope. Between having dogs and kid(s), we will only live on less busy streets. Lower chance of anybody getting hit by a car.
We also will always have a fenced backyard, but that's not 100%, dogs can jump and dig, or dart out the front door.
I wouldn't. I grew up in a cal de sac and loved being able to play out front of the house. I also hate the idea of having trouble pulling out my drive in my car if there's high traffic.
From what I can tell the street is never so busy that you wouldn't be able to pull out. It's not bumper to bumper or anything. It is a connecting street between two main roads and has two lanes on each side. It also has an extra parking lane on each side, so parking for guests would not be a problem. The only time you can't park on the street is during pick up and drop off times for the neighborhood schools which I consider a good thing. I just don't know how much kids actually play in front yards these days. I wish this were an easier decision. It is so close to schools, grocery store, banks, synagogue, and all the places we normally frequent. I have not done in it in traffic, but have frequented that area a lot during rush hour and believe it would be a 15 minute commute. In the city we live in commute times average 45 minutes to over an hour.
@hotpinkbride: From what you describe here, I would probably go for it. Saving on commute (an hour a day) saving on errand driving time, convenience and not overly busy, this is not a bad location at all.
@ThreeMeers: Yes, saving the time on errands and commute are super important for me. I am ten times more likely to get stuff done if it doesn't require a long drive. Ultimately, I think we will move to that area regardless, but this lot is priced so much better than what most run for in the area.
We bought a house on street that;s much busier than we thought. Its not a main road by anymeans but people use it as a shortcut. It doesnt bother us since it doesn't conflict with parking or anything. Plus safety isn't an issue.
I also grew up on a small street that opened into a 12 lane road so I guess I'm used to it. But I was also firm on not living on major roads and I still dont =)
We house-hunted for a couple years before finally finding the right one recently. A busy street was almost always reason to delete a listing without a second thought. There were a few where the house was so beautiful or the price so low that we visited hoping the street wasn't that bad, but we always ended up saying "no way." I LOVE our quiet street! The neighbors actually sit on their front porches in the summer waving to people walking their dogs, and kids play roller hockey in the street. It's like Norman Rockwelltown!
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