Everyone’s heard that the three most important things to consider when buying real estate are “location, location, location”…
It’s true enough. Location matters. Location affects the value. Location affects how easy it is to re-sell. Location affects the enjoyment of the property (depending on a person’s tolerance levels). In a perfect world, everyone would live on a quiet, dead-end street, with professionally landscaped gardens, and friendly neighbours.
But that’s just not the case…
There are homes on main roads. And people buy them and live in them. Yet, pretty much anyone you ask will say, “You shouldn’t buy a house on a main road.” But, maybe you should…
Where Do You Draw The Line?
What is a “main road”? That definition is totally subjective, and relative to any particular area. You could say that a main road is one that has double yellow lines. But it could be a road without double yellow lines, and is just one the busiest roads in town. Maybe it isn’t even technically a “main” road, but people use a particular street in town as a common cut through, or short cut. The point is, in whatever area or town or village you are considering buying, there are going to be roads considered “main”, or “busy” roads, by the people in the area.
And it matters. How the people in town perceive a location is what ultimately affects the desirability and value of a property.
But, that doesn’t mean you should overlook a perfect house for you, just because the majority of people swear they would never buy a house on a main road. The double yellow lines shouldn’t be the determining factor in where you draw your own personal lines about whether you should buy a house on a main road. The only thing that really matters, is whether or not you are comfortable with the location.
Ignore The Stigma
People in general give homes on main roads a bad rap. And it might even seem like most estate agents agree that you shouldn’t buy a home on a main road. But most estate agents don’t entirely feel that way. There’s a person for every home. And a home for every person. Agents may “agree” with you if you bring up the topic, and suggest that you shouldn’t buy a home on a main road…
But that’s in part because if someone can afford a house in a better location that meets their wants and needs, then sure, it is “better” to buy a house that is not on a main road.
It’s also because when you say something like that to an agent, they’re probably just agreeing with you in the sense that they’re listening to your preferences, and respecting your point of view. If they sense you’re saying you don’t want to live on a main road, they’re “agreeing” with what you say you want. But not necessarily agreeing with the statement overall. In fact, a really good estate agent will also probably suggest looking at a house on a main road to you, once they get a handle on your likes and dislikes, and your overall financial ability versus the options available to you.
So, while you might feel like everybody and their brother (you included) believe that buying a house on a main road is a bad choice…ignore that. At least enough to consider some of the benefits buying a house on a main road might have for you.
Get A Bigger And Better House For Your Money
The biggest reason you might want to consider a house on a main road is that you will get more house for the money than you would if you spent the same amount on a house in a neighbourhood. There’s no absolute percentage less that a house should be worth on a main road. Be careful if you see some offhand advice that suggests you should offer 10%-20% less than an equivalent home on a side street. There are too many factors to say that. But the bottom line is that you should expect to get more for less. And it should be a good amount less. If it’s just a few thousand pounds less, then you would be better off going after a house on a side street, if they are similar in size and condition. The difference in savings for a few thousand mortgaged pounds is so insignificant.
But Do Keep In Mind…
There’s nothing “wrong” with buying a house on a main road, if you are fine with the location. But do keep in mind that when you go to sell the house, not every buyer will be ok with the main road. It will limit the pool of buyers who will consider your home. Don’t worry about that. There will be someone who will see and appreciate that what you have to offer is bigger and better than what they can otherwise get. Just don’t forget that you need to account for the main road location when pricing against other homes.
The biggest concerns and complaints about homes on main or busy roads are:
- The noise from traffic (but most people do get used to it…)
- It can be tough pulling out of the driveway
- Not as easy to be “neighbourly” (which can be a benefit, if you aren’t into being neighbourly…)
If you can find a home located on the corner of a side street, but located on a main road, you can get the best of both worlds…Buy a bigger, better house than you could otherwise, while getting the benefits of the side street. Not something you can necessarily bank on finding, but this is a great find if you are considering houses on main roads. Don’t overlook the opportunity!
To Tie This All Up…
“Location, location, location” certainly means a lot. And many people tend to look at homes on main or busy roads as less desirable, or something to outright avoid. But don’t let that get in the way of finding and getting the best home for your wants and needs. What other people tend to think is not as important as what you think. Hopefully this gave you some food for thought. In the least, take this all as “permission” to go after the house of your dreams if it happens to be on a main road.