When we began our real estate careers, we listed a lot of busy street houses because many experienced agents avoided them. “They are head to sell, the owners want too much,” they said. So, we looked for all the ways to make lemonade from lemons. A bonus, from our perspective, was that every time we sold a busy street house, our sold sign got a lot of views. Here are five reasons to consider buying on a busy street.
1. The busy street discount allows you to buy more house for the same money. Fronting, backing or siding a busy street is about a 10% to 20% deduct from the same house a block away on a quiet street. This means a $50,000 savings on a $250,000 home, a $100,000 on a $500,000 home, even a $200,000 savings on a million-dollar home. Just remember that years from now, after your home has appreciated with the rising market, you will be expected to pass along the busy street discount when you sell.
2. Busy street homes rent for just as much or almost as much as the quiet street homes. Investors know this is a no brainer and you may never plan to be a landlord. But, you never know what the future will bring and you may keep this house as a rental in the future. For example, your circumstances change and you need to sell only 6 months after you buy. In this circumstance you may not have enough equity, so leasing the house makes sense for a while to build equity. Your busy street house will be more likely to rent for enough to cover your expenses and provide a monthly income, while the quiet street house could cost you money every month.
3. Sound abatement options are plentiful. Single pane windows can be replaced with double pane. Double panes can be upgraded to triple pane. New weather stripping not only cuts sound but saves on energy costs. Choosing carpet over tile can reduce sound bounce. Solid core doors are not only quieter, but they feel richer. Outside opportunities abound adding to the height of walls (subject to city codes), to planting the right tree or shrubs with an eye to cutting the noise.
4. Neighbors are more likely to leave you alone. If you have a work truck that you take home each night, that quiet street may be home to neighbors who object to your vehicle. Same goes for daily visits by UPS or FedEx trucks.
5. It is easier to find. Seems silly and so obvious but having to deal with a hard to find address is a daily aggravation that can far outweigh traffic noise that you may become desensitized to over time.
Tell your agent you want to look at homes on busy streets. You just might find new possibilities in a market with limited choices.