Everyone knows the classic “real estate trade off” that you get for buying a home right near a freeway or an airport. You can expect a great price in exchange for the constant noise levels.
These days, however, there are so many different sources of noise that things just aren’t that simple. A nice, quiet looking street in a friendly neighborhood might be fairly noisy at night if it’s within a couple blocks of a 4-lane truck route, a Metro line, or an entertainment complex of some kind … and you might not know this unless you visit the property in the dead of night before you buy.
Visiting the property at all sorts of hours is, in fact, something I recommend people do … just to get a feel for how things are in that location on the “off hours” when you wouldn’t normally be viewing properties to buy.
Well, now a company called HowLoud has made this a whole lot easier. For a couple of years now, they have been creating a “noise map” of the United States. Their target is to eventually map the entire globe, but for now the service is in the U.S. only. It’s really simple … you just enter any address and the system will show you the location and display a “Soundscore” from 50 to 100. Be careful here, this is rather counterintuitive … 50 is the loudest … 100 is the quietest. It will also show you what items in the area are the noisemakers. If there’s a freeway, an airport, a significant traffic corridor. You’ll see just what is making the noise in the area and how the area rates overall.
Here’s a link directly to the HowLoud page where you can check any SoundScore you like: http://howloud.com/
Go ahead and check it out. See how your current neighborhood registers. More importantly, keep this address and check out any future properties you might be considering purchasing. This is a great idea and we’re sure it will “catch on”. They’re promising a “widget” available soon. When that happens we’ll make it available on this site.