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A house backing on to a bigg(ish) residential road… would you??

(19 Posts)
littlecrystal Wed 27-Mar-13 14:07:05

Hello all mumsnettters. I am looking to move up the ladder and buy a bigger house, hopefully a forever home. Unsurprisingly, there is not much to buy out there and the clock is ticking (our buyers are waiting).

There is this house I viewed, it would suit us in every way apart that its garden backs on to a long, residential road. I would say it is about 7-8 meters between the house and the road. There are no lorries, buses, bumps, turn-arounds or pedestrian crossings which would make vehicles brake and make the traffic noise worse, and practically no pedestrians. But I stood there around 8pm in the evening and heard 1 car passing every 10 seconds on average – because the traffic bus is not constant, it felt more interrupting, and the road is long and straight, so some cars could be speeding. Two main bedrooms are in the back of the house and I am worried that will never be able to leave windows open when I sleep. I thought about planting some non-invasive bamboo for stopping the noise but that would block our evening sun, too.

There are dozens of other houses on the same road backing or fronting the road and boy they are expensive because it is a decent area. You can probably guess that I currently live in in a super quiet cul-de-sac. Living on the bigger road does freak me out because I am no more used to it, but perhaps I am too fussy without a good reason?

littlecrystal Wed 27-Mar-13 21:49:11


Jaynebxl Wed 27-Mar-13 22:58:42

Wouldn't put me off. We are just in the process of buying a house in a similar position, and I grew up in something like it too. You just get used to the sounds really quickly and factor them out. Plus for much of the year you will be indoors with windows shut, thanks to the glorious weather here, so you won't hear anything then.

MinimalistMommi Thu 28-Mar-13 07:52:10

I know this only works with the windows shut, but we're just about to have secondary glazing fitted to lower the sound of cars passing, apparently it is meant to be much better at sound reduction then double glazing. We're having STADIP silence glass fitted in our secondary glazing which will fit behind our original sash windows.

MinimalistMommi Thu 28-Mar-13 07:54:30

I agree with Jayne too, we've been here for a couple of months now and I'm definitely more used to it now, I came from a street where one car passed about once an hour grin
The cars will sound worse in wet weather by the way.

AliceWChild Thu 28-Mar-13 08:19:20

You get used to the noise. I wouldn't let it put you off

monkeytennismum Thu 28-Mar-13 08:22:28

It's a tough one. We're in a similar situation: nothing new coming on where we're looking apart from on the main road through Newtown. DH is keen on a couple of houses on this road but I just can't get past the noise; it's all I could focus on at the 2nd viewing of one house - especially the buses. I've vetoed it I'm afraid.

We currently live on a long residential road which can be busy in rush hour. Our living room etc are at the back so doesn't cause a problem. BUT our bedroom is at the front and we can never have the windows open at night as the cars keep DH awake - and he's the one who wants to move to the busier road!! hmm

I would suggest going and visiting in rush hour and/or school drop-off/pick-up times and see if it bothers you then. HTH

littlecrystal Thu 28-Mar-13 09:22:38

Thank you so much. When you say "you get used to it", do you get used to in a good or bad way? (good way - you would choose to live on such road again; bad way - yes you got used but given the 2nd chance you wouldn't choose again).
That road is only used by residents, but because it is a long road with many residents the whizz is fairly constant. There is a secondary school 0.2m away but mostly approached from the other end of the road, and in any case we work full-time and are out of the house 8-6 on weekdays for the foreseeable future.
The traffic will not bother me if I am awake and I believe it would not be overbearing for watching TV with the windows open - the main thing is sleeping with the windows open - which we tend to do in all seasons - and if there is a car passing at night let's say 1-2 car/min - would it disturb my sleep?

My only other option is the house No.2 with main bedrooms & living room facing south and kitchen/diner+small bedroom+garden facing east... superquiet location but I don't want to boil alive and I am not massive fan of sun. Does it sound as a better option?

clb Thu 28-Mar-13 10:15:10

We bought a big flat a long time ago in a beautiful part of Islington. Sold it a year later because we never got used to the traffic noise. You don't always get used to it - sometimes it gets more and more annoying. And that was before we had children; now I'd be worrying about their lungs, too.

yellowhousewithareddoor Thu 28-Mar-13 10:19:27

I never got used to it. And ambulance sirens as they whizzed down. That was London though and we moved out. Might just depend how busy.

flatbread Thu 28-Mar-13 10:35:57

House 2 sounds good. Love an east facing kitchen so you get morning sun flooding when you make the first cup.

AliceWChild Thu 28-Mar-13 10:57:08

Sorry I wasn't being clear at all. Get used to it in a good way. I have various sources of noise that are intermittent, and used to wake me up, but don't at all these days. I struggle more if I'm somewhere too quiet. I wouldn't fancy cars racing along though as that would make me angry so I'd struggle to ignore it.

littlecrystal Thu 28-Mar-13 11:17:19

Oh well then. Mixed opinions. I remember hearing from someone who lived on a long residential road that the traffic noise was unbearable and they were not happy – but that included buses.

Does it help for noise distribution that the space on the opposite side of the road in question is quite open? I used to live in a block of flats with an open space in front of the house. When we bought our first house in a cul-de-sac, even though the traffic is minimum, when a car comes the noise gets sandwiched between the two lines of terraced houses and is seems much louder than if a car would be next to an open space. Oh sorry my explanation may not be very scientific…

One of my best moments in life is to lie down in my bedroom in the afternoon, close my eyes, listen to the silence with a random remote plane passing the sky and dream… So maybe the perfect house is not that perfect (for me) after all...

MinimalistMommi Thu 28-Mar-13 12:52:17

Just to be clear, the street we're on isn't super busy (it's a back street) but it is on a one way system on the outskirts of town so come rush hour in the evening it is used as a bit of a cut through. I guess it's a bonus that traffic only goes one way rather then both sides of the street. If money was no option I would choose a cul-de-sac but we needed to buy what we could afford.

If you like to sleep with windows open ( we don't unless its high summer, we ventilate rooms during the day) I'd say the house is a no go.

I came from somewhere very quiet and thought I wouldn't become accustomed but I did. So yes, get used to it in a good way, you find if you're busy you don't notice but if you're not busy and listening out for it you will notice. We have two reception rooms downstairs and until the new secondary glazing is fitted our living room is in the middle of the house and we put our dining room in the front room. Odd, but it works for now.

Jaynebxl Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:44

Little crystal I'm choosing to do it again. I'm quite noise sensitive but mostly to banging sounds, next door's radio and sudden sounds. The drone of passing traffic for me becomes like a white noise.

xabiuol Fri 29-Mar-13 09:14:55

I won't even look at a house that is on/near a busy road even if it meets all my other criteria. I hate road noise and would never get used to it. (I know this as I have lived on main roads). On the other hand I don't mind intermittent noise. I'd much rather live at the end of a (not too busy) railway line than anywhere near a road that has a continual stream of traffic.

MumOfTheMoos Fri 29-Mar-13 09:25:23

I've lived on main roads all my life and am totally used to it. There was only one road that I couldn't get used to which had the express and telegraph print works on it and had big lorries braking all night.

claudedebussy Fri 29-Mar-13 09:36:29

i personally would not do it.

i also wouldn't buy an east facing garden. you won't get afternoon sun in it which is such a shame.

i'd sit and wait for a south / west facing garden in a quiet area and i'd also put up with a lot less space to have it. i currently have 3 kids in 1 bedroom so i can see that i am rather extreme in my view. but those two things are extremely important to me.

littlecrystal Fri 29-Mar-13 22:46:29

Thank you once again. I think I have decided to try for the second house (I don't mind the afternoon shade). Fingers cross we will get it.

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