Noises near your dream house

Things to watch out for when you’re buying a house – hidden noises.

Have a good look around the area when you’ve picked a house you really like. Have a look on maps and overhead views to work out what the buildings are around the property. If they’re all residential then that’s fine, but if there’s something different in the neighbourhood you want to know what noise problems it might cause.

Roads can be noisy with motorways being fast and busy creating much noise. Stand outside and listen. Can you hear the traffic? Sometimes it’s a dull roar that sounds more like the sea, but on wet days the sounds can be more intense and the wind can change the noise levels too.

A pub is an obvious potential noise problem, not just with noisy drunks falling out on the street at closing time, but bottles being thrown out, barrels being bounced in by the draymen at dawn and other associated deliveries.

What about shops? Are they noisy? They might not be hugely noisy, but paper shops often get deliveries very early in the morning of the papers being dropped off. The slamming of van doors at 5.30am might not be something you notice on a viewing either. Shops are often where young people congregate in the evenings. Whilst you might think its handy having a shop so close you might not like the associated bustle that goes with it. So check it out. Visit several times in the evenings, on different nights at the weekend and see what the street is like. It might be very quiet, in which case it’d be time to question a neighbour about it and get the low down.

Factory units might work all week and be quiet at the weekend but it is best to check before you buy a property and discover that it’s a 24 hour a day, seven days a week business.

If there’s a patch of bare land near by it’s also worth checking out with the local planning office about what potential uses it might have, or even if any applications have been put in for it. You can often check this online, but sometimes a visit to the planning office in person can be really useful.

Other sources of noise to look out for are schools. These are not hugely noisy apart from at lunch and break times. They might have associated parking problems though, so if you have to leave the house at the time school crowds are forming you might get annoyed and cross every day of the school year!

It pays to have a good walk around the local area on foot too. Explore the footpaths and side streets near the house you want to buy. You might discover some lovely countryside or discover that there’s an area where the yobs hang out. You will also hear lots of noises too – whether it’s dogs at the dog training school, trains, or motorway noise!

It’s a serious business buying a house so it pays to take time to explore the local area well. It might also mean you stumble upon a quiet perfect street with a sale board up on your idea house.

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