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How Roads Impact Home Sales

When searching for the perfect home, you've likely considered most of the details such as what type of kitchen you'd like or how many bathrooms you need. But have you ever given any thought to how you'd like your home positioned in relation to roads? Possibly, but probably not. Interestingly enough, roads can play a major factor when it comes to both the interest of buyers and resale value of a home.

busy street in front of house for sale

Imagine this: You've found the perfect home. It's exactly what you've been searching for, down to the color of the front door. Now imagine that while standing on the front porch you see cars whizzing by in both directions on the busy highway only a few feet from the end of the yard.

This can be an unfortunate reality when searching for a home. The likelihood that a nearby street or highway will be mentioned in the home's listing is slim. However, it's likely that you will see this blemish reflected in the cost of the home, making it appear to be a fantastic deal until you realize the trade-off.

There's no magic number when it comes to what you can expect in the price difference for a house located near or on a busy road, but it's estimated that appraisers may take more than 10% off of the resale value (SFGate — based on this factor alone. So regardless of how you may feel about living near a busy road, it's definitely worth considering the pros and cons for resale purposes.

While it can be obvious that a busy road is not necessarily ideal, there are less straightforward "roads" to consider as well.

Roads that Negatively Impact Home Sales

"Roads" that can have a negative effect on the interest and value of a home are:

  • Roads or intersections near a traffic light — not only can the lights be irritating if they are close to a home (especially at night glaring into your windows) but it is also likely to indicate a busy road.
  • Roads with double yellow lines — these are not often seen in traditional neighborhoods and usually indicate a busier road.
  • Highways that can be seen from the house — not only can a highway be an eyesore, but you're likely to have a lot of noise generated by traffic.

types of roads and their impact on home sales

  • Dirt roads — most see dirt roads as a negative since it's difficult to drive on a dirt road without creating a dirt storm, which means a continuously dirty car or puddles to navigate on rainy days.
  • Gravel roads — similar to a dirt road it can easily create a dirty car and upkeep can become a hassle.
  • Dead-end roads — not to be confused with a cul-de-sac where cars can turn around, dead-end roads abruptly end and make for difficult navigating. Also, there is usually a large, bright sign identifying the dead end, which can be an unsightly and unfriendly sign.
  • Railroads — the noise and rumble that can be generated both day and night from trains is enough to make most shy away from a home nearby.

railroad in backyard

If you're seriously considering a home, we recommend that you and your Agent visit the home during the morning, afternoon and evening hours so you get a strong sense of the noise you might expect. It's a good idea to also ask the neighbors if you get a chance so that you have realistic expectations going in.

It can seem that there's a never-ending list of things to be aware of when buying a home but understanding upfront what you want (and don't want) is a very important step in the homebuying process. After all, you're MUCH better off discussing factors like road placement before being awakened in the middle of the night to beeping horns from the highway behind your new home. And on a positive note, it will help both you and your Real Estate Agent by narrowing down your search for a new home a bit more — hooray!

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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