Noise pollution can be a silent killer on the value of property. It is often hard to determine if your property is going to be affected by noise – that is, until you move in. Proximity to main roads, public transport, industrial and commercially zoned areas, construction areas as well as noisy neighbours are generally not consistent – therefore it can be hard to tell if your sweet dreams will be disturbed by loud noises during an open house inspection.
Whether you’re looking to buy, or just invest in property, one of the biggest mistakes you could do is to ignore the importance of noise. Whilst you can’t control who lives next to you, you can choose the best possible property for you to purchase. By choosing a house further away from busy, main roads and shopping centres, hotels and restaurants, you’ll find that that property will more likely hold it’s value over time, and be much easier to sell when the time comes.
One of the big red flags in purchasing property will be when you come across a house too good to be true. We mentioned in our previous post that purchasing a home at a bargain price could cost you a lot more than you anticipated. Whilst there are many reasons why the seller is looking to sell cheaply, you need to do some research on your prospective property after speaking to your real estate agent. Noise is reported to be one of the biggest issues for people after they have purchased property, where many have expressed that they would not have signed the contracts if they were aware. Just remember – it is not easy (or cheap) to reverse this decision!
One way which you can find out is by looking at Noise Maps, which clearly show which areas are affected by high levels of noise through the use of colour, and often also show contour lines to discern the boundaries. These are created through calculations made over time – however these can fluctuate with time of day, and seasons.
If you do find yourself in this situation, there are some design considerations you could implement if you are set on a particular property impact day noise. Barriers such as fences, trees and bushes can significantly reduce noise, and choice of glass (double glazed over single) used for windows can also shield your home from from such issues. Materials used in the construction of your home can also dramatically impact how sound penetrates the home, where dense material such as brick or masonry can assist with deflecting noise, and insulation can also be used to absorb it. Also, careful planning of spaces can make a big difference in the comfort of your home, where bedrooms should be aligned furthest away from the source of noise (such as main roads), with living areas in the front.
Your Noise Pollution Checklist –
Is my property in close proximity to….
- Main roads or highways?
- Airports/Flight Paths?
- Railway Stations/Lines?
- Shopping Centres?
- Restaurants and Cafe’s?
- Petrol Stations?