Even when you know exactly what to look for in a potential house, not every issue can be seen. For all the time you spend scrutinizing roofing, plumbing, and foundations, you may never hear the shrill whistle of a passing train or the angry honking of nearby rush-hour traffic. The noise levels surrounding your home can be just as important as local schools and the latest heating systems, but these problems can be easy to miss in the brief time you get to spend with a property before purchasing. Follow these four steps to make sure you catch any noise issues before you've already moved in.
Checking for Train Tracks
Train tracks often aren't visible from a property, but trains can be audible for miles around. The closer the tracks, the more disruptive each passing train will be. If you are a household of light sleepers, check satellite or county maps of the surrounding area to learn where the local train tracks run. When you find a track that is too close for comfort, it may be helpful to wait nearby until a train passes or ask the neighbors if the noise levels disturb them. In more urban areas, you may also want to check subway, tram, and light rail lines for similar reasons.
Examining Traffic Patterns
Similarly, house buyers who only visit homes for sale on weekends or during the middle of the day may never be exposed to local traffic patterns. If the house is located near a major roadway or developed area, try driving by during rush hour to get a better idea of traffic flow at its worst. With any luck, you won't encounter congestion, heavy trucks, or honking drivers, but nearby roads that turn into snarling traffic jams every morning and evening might best be avoided.
Finding the Closest Airport
While you may know about all the major airports in your region, keep smaller county or private airports in mind as well. These smaller airfields will be less prominently marked and advertised, meaning you may not even know they're there until you're kept up all night by planes after moving in. This is another reason why it's so important to check satellite maps around a house before making a purchase.
Considering Future Development
Houses built in areas with open land and a growing population often see future development projects springing up all around them, and that can result in a constant hum of heavy equipment during working hours. It might be wise to investigate the real estate around you to learn about any upcoming projects and make sure that you won't be listening to years of construction on all sides. Of course, the best way to truly know what you're getting in a home is to choose a trusted real-estate agent familiar with the area. With an agent you can rely on at your side, you should be able to find your ideal house without worrying about any unpleasant surprises.