Buying a house is so stressful. There is so much to think about. When you are thinking about location, the most common advice you will hear is to buy where there are good schools. People will also tell you that you should buy the smallest house in the biggest neighborhood. That is great advice, but it is also important to know where not to buy a home. These are the 8 locations you want to avoid buying a home and the reasons why you should avoid these locations.
Don’t Buy A Home On a Busy Street
There are several good reasons not to buy a house with a busy street in the front or the back of your home.
- Noise-If you live near a busy street, you may find there is excess noise at times of day you would rather have it quiet.
- Safety-There are two safety issues with busy streets. If the street is at the front of your home, it is more difficult for your children to play out front. Secondly, there is a greater chance there could be an accident involving your home or property. I’ve known at least 2 people who have lived on busy streets and had someone crash into their home with a car.
- Resale Value-Busy streets can lower resale value of a home.
- Accessibility-If your home is on a busy street, it may be more difficult for you to get in and out of your property. Especially if there is rush hour or construction going on.
Don’t Buy a Home Located Behind Stores or Strip Malls
It is always convenient to live near stores that you frequent, but there is a down side to it.
- Rodents-I’ll never forget when I was kid and my parents were looking at new home lots in a subdivision near a strip mall. I was a bored kid and I was not paying too much attention until I heard them talking about rats. Yes, rats. If your home is located behind a strip mall or grocery store you can easily attract rats or other rodents that are visiting the trash cans at the stores behind your home.
- Noise-Another reason I would never buy a home by a strip mall or stores is that the trash trucks often go there to pick up trash early in the morning and late at night. They are pretty noisy.
Don’t Buy a Home Near Railroad Tracks
Have you ever seen the movie the Blues Brothers? There is a scene where they are in one brother’s apartment right next to the elevated train track in Chicago. The apartment and everything in it shakes like crazy. While living next to train tracks may not be that bad, you want to avoid it for these reasons.
- Noise-You want to avoid living near railroad tracks for the same reason that you want to avoid busy streets and strip malls. The busier the tracks are, the more noise you have. Trains are loud.
- Resale Value-The other reason to avoid railroad tracks is they lower your resale value and make it more difficult to sell your home.
Don’t Buy a Home on a Corner Lot
The big beautiful corner lot. It seems so appealing, but there are reasons you may want to avoid it.
- Safety-A corner lot is not the absolute worst place to purchase a home, but it does have its problems. Again, just like a busy street you are at often in a spot where there is a higher likeliness of cars hitting your home.
- Yard Maintenance-Corner lots are bigger than other lots and may require more maintenance. If you are particular about your yard, you may not like having the corner lot as people and kids tend to cut through them.
Don’t Buy a Home Too Close to a School
Yes, you should buy a home that is zoned for good schools if you have kids. However, you may want to think about how close you live to the actual school building.
- Noise-If you have to choose between living near a school or some of the other places on this list, the school is not the worst choice. However, schools can be pretty noisy. Depending on your proximity to the school you may hear children outside at recess, marching band rehearsals, assemblies, intercom announcements or noise from Friday night athletic events.
- Traffic and Parking-Another headache from living near a school can be the traffic during certain times of day. If you live within walking distance to the school, you may also find that parking on your street is limited when parents are picking up or dropping off their children.
Don’t Buy a Home Close to a Highway
It is good to live near a highway if you have to use it to commute to work or you like easy access to your favorite amenities. However, you also want to be sure you are not too close to it.
- Noise-I admit, our home is in close proximity to a local highway, but not right next to it. If you buy right next to the highway you will have pretty significant road noise, especially during rush hour.
- Eminent Domain-There is always a slight possibility that if the local government wants to expand the highway, they can exercise eminent domain. So they could decide that they need your property for the project. While you would be fairly compensated for the value of your home. It would still be a horrible reason to lose your home and have to move.
Don’t Buy a Home Near an Open Lot
New buildings are going up at a frenetic pace in the town where I live. Every time I drive down a major street, new projects are going up. When I first moved here there was a ton of open land. As the years go by, that space is dwindling. Builders are starting to build on land that has sat vacant for years. The problem is that the vacant lots back up to residential areas. You never want to buy a home with an open lot behind it unless you know for absolute certain what will be built there. Open lots are great to live near, while they are open. If you buy a home with an open lot behind it, you risk losing your view, your home value and peace and quiet. Is it worth it?
- Noise-Last week, I noticed a gas station was going in behind a bunch of really nice homes not too far from where I work. Gas stations can be loud, dirty and smelly and many of them are open 24 hours. You could have noise at all hours of the day and night.
- Home Value-When homes are located near gas stations, busy intersections and other eye sores, people are less likely to buy them. When you buy near an open lot with no idea what will be built behind your home you risk losing massive home value.
- Loss of View-In another part of town there are some pretty expensive houses that once had a beautiful view of the mountains and downtown. Now there are 3 story condos being built behind them. So much for the view.
Don’t Buy Near an Airport Flight Path
Travel is wonderful and access to a nearby airport is great. The noise that planes create is not.
- Noise-Airport noise is one of the worst kinds of noise. I love airplanes, but they are loud! Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone when a plane is flying closely overhead? It’s not easy. If your home is in the regular path that airplanes fly to get to and from the airport, you will have noise. The closer you are to the airport the worse it will be. So be sure to find this out before you buy. Airplane noise will cause you the same problems as other places you shouldn’t buy. Noise from an airport will disturb you, lower your resale value and make it more difficult to sell your home.
There is so much to consider when buying a home. Location is one of the biggest items on the list. People will often say you can’t change your location and it really is true. As you shop for your next home be sure to consider which of these locations you would prefer to avoid. Be sure to drive around the neighborhood of any home that you are considering to be sure it is a good fit and does not have one of these issues.
If you are looking to buy your first home be sure that you also look for these warning signs that not everyone always sees as they are shopping around.