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Last updated: September 17, 2020 • Marketing Tips

The Pros and Cons of Living Near a Highway

The sound of traffic can be a comforting sound to some, and the bane of city life to others. Along with the rush of cars whizzing by may come possible honking and squealing, but the drone of traffic might bring a sense of connection.A highway brings pros and cons to every neighborhood or real estate property, and while some may think it seems like a horrible thing, it can also make the house more appealing to certain home buyers.

In case you’re worried about a new highway plan, or thinking about investing in real estate near highway, here are some things to consider.

Pros of living near highways:

highway near in california

  • Accessibility. Highways make it easy to get wherever you need to go, without the hassle of figuring out random streets and complicated routes to your destination. Some studies show that home value increases drastically after a highway is added, especially when it’s connected to a bigger city’s road system. It makes getting back to town a lot easier!
  • Business potential.  For people searching for professional real estate property, a highway can mean more traffic and more exposure for their business. This also makes it easier for the big city to stretch its reach, and many businesses that can’t invest in inner-city real estate property usually aim for the next best thing, which is roadside-property.
  • Future development. A highway usually marks the rising trend of neighborhood developments, new city fixtures, extra stores and shops, and an encroaching suburban lifestyle. While for some, this is an exciting future, for those who invested in a quiet location, this can be a negative side effect.
  • Investment property. Put it this way! If you have a home near the highway you can live in it, but if you don’t like living near the highway, you can always use it as an investment property. Having a second home near the highway places you in a good spot if you want to travel around the city. On the other hand, it is easy to rent out as a vacation property or airbnb if you have a second home near the highway. It is such a convenient location for many therefore, it would be a really easy way to get some passive income out of it.
  • Affordable prices. One thing you can certainly benefit from is the fact that prices for homes near highways are usually more affordable. Although not always the case, most of the time you will find that home sellers have a hard time selling property near the highway, with most target demographics raising concerns about noise, traffic, and so on.
  • Good street maintenance. There is nothing worse than being in a rush and having to deal with poor road conditions. This might be a common occurrence on side streets or low traffic roads but not as much on main roads or highways. Highways are regularly maintained and by living near one you don’t have to worry about poor road conditions.

Cons of living near highways:

highway in sunrise day

  • Noise. Probably the most obvious downside to living near a busy road is the noise. While for some it’s just another part of life, it can be a serious problem for others. Depending on your home buyers, you may see the property become harder to sell.
  • Landlocked issues. While highways make it easier for people to get back into the city, they can also complicate existing routes to many houses. If there’s no proper way to get back to a house, this makes it hard for people to find alternative ways back to their homes. If you can, try researching extra roads in the nearby area, and inform buyers of the additional routes available to them.
  • Less safety. The iconic—and terrifying—scene in Stephen King’s ‘Pet Semetary’ did highways no favors when it came to parental approval. For many families with children or pets, highways are a serious no-go when it comes to buying a home. The risks and danger are a bit too much, and most families prefer the safety of more solitary streets.
  • Lack of privacy. Either there are neighbors walking by your home or people driving by in cars that will turn their head to look your way, there is certainly a lack of privacy to a degree. For a lot of people, this can make them feel insecure in the privacy of their own home and many might even consider installing reliable home security systems even though there is no actual evidence that homes near highways are more prone to break-ins.

How to sell a house near a highway

for rent for sale house concept

Now that you have a more complete understanding of why some people might or might not prefer to live near a highway, there comes a time when you might want to sell a home near a highway. Even though the process of selling a home near a highway doesn’t differ from the selling of a home in any other area, closing the deal is actually more challenging in the first case. If you have a family with children, you can assume that they would like a home in a quiet neighborhood, and most certainly not near a busy road.

For most buyers just the fact that they have to put up with the beeps and the vrooms from the nearby highway is just enough to turn them away. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t care about the street noise, and this factor certainly affects the home value of your property. It’s hard to say by how much because properties are valued differently around the country. However, it is more important to price your home correctly from the very beginning so you don’t have to negotiate later on or through potential buyers before they even show up because of the price. 

In order to get a good price, you need a good appraiser. Also, keep in mind that finding a real estate agent is key for a successful home transaction. If you want to encourage the buyer to go for the purchase, you can start looking around for noise mitigation ideas for your home. Things such as trees, fences, walls, and even water features such as fountains can really help with noise mitigation. Note that this feature helps not only with noise pollution but with air pollution as well.

If homebuyers are worried about living too close to the highway, reassure them by emphasizing on these features. Also, in any home selling process, the rules of preparing for the sale and doing everything by the book still apply, regardless of where your home is located. Some of these home selling tips for closing quickly are common sense yet very few people apply them. Prepare for the sale by improving the curb appeal of your home, freshen up the landscape, and take care of the small details, like minor repairs or get rid of bad smells.

Buying a house near a highway

street real estate agent giving the key

As a home buyer, you should be fully aware of what to expect when you decide to buy a home near a highway. You should know that there is actually a safe distance away from the highway to build your home as far as health safety is concerned. However, there are different factors that come into play when it comes to living near a highway.

If you are looking to buy a home near a highway and noise concerns you, you should know that not all highways are created equal. Because of fast urbanization, in many areas building homes near the highway was necessary even though it is already a known fact that there are health concerns that come as a result of living near a highway. Some of them are related to air and noise pollution. Some areas where the phenomenon is more prevalent, local authorities took note and improved the road conditions in order to reduce noise pollution.

Some types of asphalt (ex. rubberized asphalt) are actually proven to reduce noise by 50 to 90 percent. Also, be aware of how the homes near the highway are built. A difference in elevation between the home and the highway is ideal for dispensing pollution. Also, if you are looking to buy a home near a highway, look for homes with trees, fences, walls, or other backyard features or updates, that would really help disperse noise and air pollution.

Buying a home near a highway is similar to buying a home near an airport because you have similar benefits and disadvantages. But, now that you have the knowledge you can make informed decisions about your next home purchase near a highway, and fulfill your dream of homeownership.

What is the property value near a highway?

houses value

In terms of home value, it is good to live near the highway, but not to close. This is to say that the precise location of the home near the highway can make a tremendous difference in terms of your home value. There are situations where property value increases the closer you are to a highway. You might wonder how is that possible? The closer you are the more noise pollution, smog and traffic you have to endure. However, if a parcel of land has poor accessibility and in due time a highway is built, it is intuitive that the price is going to go up because you are going from a property with limited access to immediate proximity to modern transit.

Let’s say that your home didn’t have a highway near it when you built or purchased it. With the construction of a busy highway nearby, does your property value go down? In this case, it might depend on different factors such as noise, emissions, vibrations, proximity, and so on. You definitely don’t want to live in a house where there is constant noise from the road and dangerous levels of particle emission.

On the other hand, there was a noticeable difference in how property value varies based on home types. This is another example of how highway development doesn’t affect all properties equally. Some areas with housing near the highway reported a negative effect on the value for single-family homes, but a positive effect on multifamily residences. 

Nonetheless, one of the most important factors that negatively affect property value near the highway is the level of traffic. Regional traffic growth impacts property value near the highway more than it’s presence. Be on the lookout for traffic growth tendencies especially if you live near the highway, since this might significantly affect the quality of life and ultimately the property value.

Conclusion

Highways either bring a large amount of development and improvement to developing real estate or they can severely damage them, so it’s important to research the placement of your home before you buy or sell it. Whether it’s extremely close or relatively far away, a highway impacts the surrounding area drastically, so be sure to prepare yourself for all the possibilities!

Regardless of what you might think about living near the highway, it is a really great place to buy a home especially now that you know exactly what you should look out for. Also if you find this article helpful don’t hesitate to share it with your friends on your social media platforms and let us know in the comments below what you think are the pros and cons of living near a highway.

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