Homebuyers these days have some useful tools at their disposal to help them determine which homes they may or may not be interested in viewing.
With Google Maps, for example, you can visibly detect some important nuances of a neighborhood that could possibly spell noise trouble.
Among the most blatant of these is the ominous appearance of railroad tracks. While the convenience of living near the train is a consideration, it needs to be measured against the effect it could have when roaring by your back yard in the middle of the night.
Another important red flag, particularly here in the Metrowest area, is the proximity of busy highways to some otherwise appealing subdivisions. Look closely at a map and you will see a number of instances in Hopkinton, Southborough and even a small portion of Ashland where some very attractive neighborhoods are bumping right up to major freeways.
The term "Commuters' Dream" can turn into a homeowner's nightmare rather quickly. And in a down market, these types of properties are not an easy sell.
If your plans are to move into the Bedford area near Route 128, you need to take special note of the jets flying overhead at Handscom Field. You may want to avoid being in their direct flight path.
Of course, some noise levels are relative to exactly where the person is coming from. I have had clients who are moving from New York City who think that highway, train and other transportation noises are non-issues since it they are only periodic rather than the constant levels they have endured.
When you settle into a suburban lifestyle you begin to hear other sounds that to some may be considered noise, but to many of us they are equal to lullabies. While the chirping of birds is melodic and comforting, the thrashing of a woodpecker or the hooting of an owl can definitely keep you up at night.
Then there is my least favorite suburban noise, the perpetually barking dog. So very useful are these canines in guarding a home - but at least with an ADT alarm you can shut it down when it goes off.
In the more bucolic areas you hear the croaking of the toads; but not so much of that in the greater Metrowest where we have a pleasant mixture of slight road traffic, the sound of children playing and a constant symphony of nature's tones.
Before you settle on a particular neighborhood check the maps, the proximity to local transportation routes and do a thorough drive through of the area.
And, keep in mind - what is music to one set of ears may actually be noise to another.
Copyright 2011 "Nice Neighborhood - If Your Don't Mind the Noise"
This post was written by
Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230
An Exclusive Buyer Brokerage serving the Greater Metrowest area