There are plenty of movies and sitcoms that make a joke of noise pollution. The cute, young couple buys a home for dirt cheap only to find that they’re living all off a half mile from the train station that conveniently runs all night long. Hilarity may ensue in a sitcom, but in real life, it’s a slightly different story.
Noise pollution is a real thing and it can potentially affect property values. Considering LAX isn’t exactly a quiet airport, it’s worth exploring just how much sound influences price in El Segundo.
The Desire to Own in El Segundo is Stronger Than the Desire to Not Hear Airplanes
El Segundo home values are on the rise – the proximity to the beach, our schools, our Rec & Parks, and our safety are all very attractive to home-buyers. El Segundo is third with respect to home values in neighboring cities (Manhattan Beach #1, Hermosa Beach #2) and our small-town, pro-business city continues to attract home-buyers despite being next to LAX.
Noise Pollution Defined
Pollution essentially boils down to unpleasant or unwanted noise surrounding a home. There are plenty of El Segundo residents who have said they can’t hear their televisions turned up at full volume when a plane flies overhead, a complaint that’s been voiced again and again over several decades and countless flights. While LAX and the FAA collaborated to offer funding to residents to soundproof their homes, this program has not exactly gone the way it was originally proposed. High contractor bids and unreachable deadlines conspired to stop the program in its tracks.
Proximity to LAX Matters
Despite the urge to own in El Segundo home-buyers want to pay less when a home is closer to LAX in El Segundo. Homes closer to Imperial do feel the impact on home values more so than homes further from LAX. Although it’s hard to place an exact percentage on the impact, the closer you are the less you can demand. Other factors such as availability of other homes, home-buyer demand/needs, home size/condition, etc, also play a factor in the selling price of a home.
Measuring the Noise
To determine your own noise levels, you can use a decibel meter to take readings throughout the day and night (preferably at every hour.) You’ll use the average to determine your overall sounds to see how you measure up. For a more general reading of your noise levels (and to skip the work of taking readings), try visiting the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics. If your home is in a red or purple area, then you’re located in one of the louder parts of the city.
The Bright Side
You’ve probably noticed that El Segundo property values have been steadily climbing for a while now, so it’s clear that even extreme airport noise doesn’t mean property values will plummet. The location within the city, plus the proximity to LAX, make El Segundo valuable both for everyday professionals and frequent flyers alike. LAX is permanent noise, meaning the home prices reflect the true value of the property because the noise isn’t going to dissipate anytime in the foreseeable future. Plus, no one will feel duped while they’re home searching because it’s fairly impossible to miss the potential connection between the airport noise and the quality of life for the homeowners.
Despite the good news for El Segundo residents, it’s clear that most people in the country want to live in quieter homes. According to a Realtor.com study, being close to an airport can cause values to drop as much as 20% than homes that are located outside the danger zone. The average amount a homeowner will drop their price down when listing their home is about 13%, but keep in mind that this is a Country-wide average. As long as El Segundo continues to remain a popular area for the ambitious and hopeful, the likelihood that home prices will drop would appear to be small. As mentioned previously, if your home is closer to LAX, or Imperial Ave., your home value will be impacted by LAX noise pollution.
How to Make Your Home More Desirable
One of the best things a homeowner can do to increase their values is to take action against noise pollution by soundproofing their home (or at least some of the more commonly used rooms.) While it may cost several thousand dollars, the added incentive to a motivated buyer may be enough to help really push your home into the next price bracket. Depending on where the home is located in relation to the airport, a homeowner could add foam, heavy drapes or soft furnishings to further reduce the noise levels.