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LF: Experiences living across from a highway sound barrier

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  • Jan 15th, 2017 2:38 pm
Deal Addict
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Jun 9, 2005
1830 posts

LF: Experiences living across from a highway sound barrier

I'm looking at a house directly across the street from a highway sound barrier. It's basically exactly the house I'm looking for and it's in a great location, but directly across the street from the front of the house is the sound barrier.

I visited the house to see what the noise is like during rush hour and it just sounded like indistinguishable white noise, but quite loud. It's winter time, so I don't get to see how the barrier baffles loud engines such as motorcycles as they fly by.

Does anyone live across from a sound barrier? Would you buy your house again if you could do it again?
We're a couple with no kids yet, so we're ok with the noise. We're just not sure how we would feel about it 10 years down the road. How do you feel your kids are affected by the noise from the road?
After a few years, are you constantly aware of the noise, or do you just get used to it?
Would you consider the proximity to the highway a deal breaker?

I love the house, but I'm unsure about the long term with the noise.
11 replies
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
11734 posts
Was it noticeable INSIDE the house as white noise? Or just outside? Does the house have AC, or will you have to leave the windows open in the summer?

Heck... Some people get used to living close to train tracks. The highway should be no issue, if you want it. You probably won't sell it as easily (or for as much) as a house not close to the highway, but you should be able to get a discount on it now as well because of it. Basically, people will make decisions just like you're having to... They'll hem and haw and think about it longer than they would if it wasn't in that location.

Personally, I wouldn't do it, and I'm partially deaf and have continuous tinnitus... But what the heck... :)

Deal Expert
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Jul 30, 2007
28101 posts
Besides noise, think about extra dirt, debris, salt residue (from winter) which may make your yards less enjoyable to use.
Deal Addict
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Mar 8, 2002
4232 posts
When I first moved to Toronto, I lived in a place with no A/C, so had the window open at night. I could hear the drone of highway 401 THREE KILOMETERS away.

Whatever the road in question is, it's not going to get quieter, it's going to get worse.

I say no.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2009
3838 posts
Everytime I drive along South Service in Mississauga (by Dixie mall) - I always wonder who would buy the house facing sound barrier/QEW. You open your front door and you see big, dirty wall and hear cars flying by. I always wonder how those people look (maybe they are aliens with big heads and tiny ears, so the noise doesn't bother them), but you never see single soul in the front yard.
Deal Expert
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Feb 8, 2014
18469 posts
I would not, been there, the odd transport truck at night comes by with a angry engine pounding noise plus the motorcycles you mentioned.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburders eat people
Deal Addict
Sep 5, 2009
3090 posts
The fumes are my bigger concern. Not worth it.
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Deal Fanatic
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Dec 27, 2009
7107 posts
Victoria, BC
I would not want to live right beside a highway. I would keep looking if I were you. Just a no all around as far as I'm concerned.
Jr. Member
Aug 20, 2010
105 posts
From a noise standpoint alone you will notice it at the start but then it will become something you are used to and won't notice that much. I lived with a highway behind my house for 35 years and honestly it was never noticeable to me or distracting.
Deal Addict
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Nov 17, 2004
2732 posts
If the noise doesn't bother you (you'll probably get used to it) and it's a good location for a good price (lower than those not in front of the highway) and you acknowledge that the resale price will also be lower, then buy it.

The Toronto market is crazy right now, so you can't be too picky. It'll probably get less offers because everybody has the same concerns you do.
Deal Addict
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Jun 9, 2005
1830 posts
I love the house, so I'll make a relatively low offer and see if it goes though. If I get it at a steep discount, that takes care of the resale issue. I don't mind the noise inside and the backyard faces away from the barrier. There's no reason to hang out in the front of the house since the garage is on the back for coming/going. I'll do what was suggested above and install central air conditioning in case it ever gets too hot.

I check the window sills and there's doesn't seem to be much traffic dust. The snow around the house is also quite clean with no sign of exhaust residue.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!