Noise Issues: Before You Buy a Home
When you buy a new home, coop, or condo, make sure that there are no
unexpected noise problems. We have come across apartments with noisy
elevators that were only shown to buyers during the lowest-traffic part of
the day. We measured one coop where the machinery next door was shut off
during the viewing. There are any number of other sources of noise that may not occur during a brief visit but can become a nightmare once you actually move in. The best way to protect yourself is to get a long term noise survey, before you close on the property.
- Before moving in, audition the place (even a private house)
- Ask the seller to tell you in writing if there are any noise problems.
- Ring bells and meet the neighbors. Talk to them about noise.
- Ask your attorney to check the minutes of Board meetings for noise issues.
- Stay inside quietly for a while, and ask the broker to stop talking.
- Open the windows, and close them. Check out different rooms.
- Close your eyes and listen. Ask yourself, "Will I need to sleep with earplugs?"
- Run the elevator.
- Dump garbage down the chute from an upper floor.
- Ask if there's a parrot/loud dog in the building.
- Look outside at other neighboring structures.
- Ask about the equipment on the roof, in the basement, even the in-between floors.
- What is the music practice policy?
- How loudly do stair and apartment doors slam? Or do they have slow closers?
- What else is in the building? A retail store or restaurant? A fitness room? A laundry room?