Q: My wife and I are considering buying a home but have found out that a proposed 4-lane expressway has already been approved and will be located basically in our backyard.
There is a 30-foot buffer from the property to the expressway. My question is will this expressway hurt the value of the home?
A: When we bought our home thirteen years ago, our property was located on the main street through town. After we closed, we found out that the village planned to widen our street into a 4-lane mega-street. We knew that would’ve killed property values, so we organized all the neighbors and fought the village.
With more than 300 neighbors showing up to the village board meetings we were able to get our point across and the village backed down.
I’m sharing that story because I think that having a major highway in your backyard will not only limit the future appreciation of the home, but it’s a whole lot noisier to have cars whizzing by day and night than you might expect.
For the first five years of my marriage, my husband and I lived in a vintage apartment above Lake Shore Drive. We had good windows, and when they were shut, the sound was relatively muted. But if we left the windows open, it was like living above a racecar speedway.
A 30-foot buffer sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. Go to a highway and walk 30 feet from the edge and see what you think.
My advice is to take a pass and find another home.
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