Buying a House on a Main Road:
If you like being part of a stimulating environment and value convenience, a house on a main road might be to your liking.
It’s Where the Action Is – A main road in any town will be busy. This means lots of cars driving past, people on the sidewalk who will likely wave and say hello. If you love hustle and bustle, this could be a big plus.
Transportation Access – Bus stops, train stations and bike and walking trails are all often located near main thoroughfares. If transportation and recreational access mean a lot to you, centralized living could be a real advantage.
Businesses, Schools and Personal Security – Main roads are better lit and have more shopping options, school choices, fire stations and often a stronger police presence. The ability to walk to stores and to feel more safe and secure is enhanced in areas where there are more people.
Street Maintenance – Cul-de-sacs and side streets do not get the attention main roads get because they don’t get the traffic. Main roads are plowed first when there is snow. Potholes are filled first, and when it’s time to resurface, busy streets get first dibs.
Pricing Discount – Because most people prefer less traffic and noise than is found on a main road, houses on busy streets tend to sell at a discount. This can be an advantage for buyers without kids or pets.
If an up-tempo lifestyle does not appeal to you – or even if it does – the cons listed here may be enough to discourage you.
Noise – Noise is probably the primary objection people have to living on a main road. Although well-insulated windows and doors can help, you will be able to tell the difference, and if noise matters a lot to you, a busy street may not make sense.
Lack of Privacy – All those neighbors walking past and even people in cars will look your way and, especially when it gets dark, into your windows. If privacy is a major concern, living on a main street may stress you out.
Dust and Pollution – No doubt about it, a house on a busy street is subject to more dust, automobile exhaust and other forms of pollution. If you are particularly sensitive to air quality, especially if you don’t have a good air filtration system in your house, this could be a problem.
Parking – People who live on side streets can often park extra vehicles on the street. This is not always the case when you live on a main road. If you have more cars than your garage and driveway can handle, parking might be an issue.
Resale Value – The discount advantage you have as a buyer becomes a disadvantage when you sell. He cites a “smaller pool of available buyers” as the main reason for the need to discount the selling price.
The final decision is yours. You should compare the pros and cons of living on a main road with your personal lifestyle preferences. Keep in mind that you are choosing where you will live for the next several years. It should feel like home, not a trap.