Buying a house on a busy street, good or bad?

​I have a pending sale on a 3 bedroom 2 bath craftsman single family home built in 1912, it has a non-permitted but livable basement with it’s own full bath, sink & separate outside entrance.

The home is in a desirable neighborhood but faces a busy street & it’s been sitting on the market for 5 months w/ only 1 buyer who backed out. If the house was on a side street it would of sold quickly & for $100K+. The sellers marked it down almost $150K.

The house looks solid & has curb appeal plus I can rent out the 3 upstairs rooms & my roommates have their own bathroom to use, and I have mine in the basement. All 3 rooms rented will pay for my mortgage/taxes/insc.

I made an offer & they accepted, now we’re going to do an inspection. However I’m starting to think it wasn’t a wise investment despite the location & 4 rooms due to resale value, loss of appreciation due to the busy street, higher than typical taxes & future repairs on a 1912 home.

Should I back out of the deal as it’s too risky?

You’ve listed all the great reason(s) to buy this house.

The only reason(s) you want to back out is because you think it will be…

  • hard to resell
  • will require extraordinary repairs

Issue: Any house will require repairs. However, you do want to have an inspection that tells you the condition of the plumbing, electrical and mechanical condition of the house. Any bad reports bring you back to the negotiation table, where you get a better price, or upgrade of the failing system, or you walk away.

Here’s some more reason(s) that will motivate you to back out of the deal:

  • Whenever the buyer and the seller haven’t worked hard for the deal, there’s a temptation by one, or both, parties to second-guess the value of the transaction and fail to close. It’s just the law of negotiations.

  • The Buyer is always the ‘loser,’ because by definition, he’s the one willing to pay more than anyone else for the house, and that’s why the seller said ‘yes’ to the offer in the first place… You know, someone’s got to the be the ‘loser,’ otherwise there would never be a purchase of a property…

I invested in several, clean, 3/1 houses in S. Kansas City in the 1990’s. It turned out to be a mistake. I’ve realized nearly zero appreciation over 30 years.

In fact, I can buy rentals for practically the same price I did in 1995. The rents have been equally depressed.

The fact of the matter is, in the early 1990’s the Federal government began interfering and undermining the real estate market by converting FHA foreclosures into Section 8 rentals by the hundreds. Well, it didn’t take many low-income, high-maintenance, lack of personally responsible renters to run the entire region into the toilet …forever.

The local homeowners that ended up surrounded by the welfare state, and weren’t able to bail, sued to stop the government from converting more HUD repos into low-income rentals, but the damage was done; the negative reputation was established; and appreciation was torpedoed.

I mention this, only to say that unless there’s something going on in the area that would depress, or stall appreciation in the area, even a 100-plus-year-old house on a busy street will still appreciate at the same percentage rate (not dollar rate) as it’s surrounding neighborhoods.

It’s just that you can’t expect to suddenly get the same dollar prices as those who own houses on more desirable streets. It’s a trade-off. Better price, or Better Neighborhood.

You’re choosing a ‘better price.’ That’s not necessarily a ‘bad’ choice. Just don’t expect to suddenly buck the market and think you ‘should’ be a able to sell at the same ‘interior location’ prices as your better-located neighbors.

If you want a cheap place to live, and the area is ‘safe’ and the neighborhood is attractive, a busy street isn’t necessarily a mistake. It’s just what it is. Install insulated windows.

I would not choose to buy in an economically depressed area, despite the prices, or in an area with lots of government support, as illustrated by my story above. That would be a mistake.

if your job is like me don’t go for that

I’m working in the home and have a house near a busy street

it was near to metro but it was too noisy

Even though it is sitting on a busy street, there are still good sides on it, the house is very easy access to any transportation and maybe close to any public establishments such as police stations, fire departments, and hospitals.

My take on busy streets: I have flipped on busy streets and in each case used the "downside’ of the busy street in negotiating a lower purchase price. However, the same applies when selling the property - I had to lower the price to move it. Personally, I currently stay away from busy streets.

I don’t like a busy street, and extraordinary repair cost.

My goodness this has been really informative to say the least.

Thanks for sharing

A lot of variables come into play with buying a house on a busy street.

  1. Firstly are you located near the subway, hospitals, and schools.
  2. Secondly, is your family sensitive to noise?
  3. Are you light sleepers?
    And so on.