property next to fire house

6 Replies

Hello all!

My wife and I are brand new to real estate.

We recently had an offer accepted on a three family which is located next to a fire station. I reached out the fire department. they stated that Last month they went on 50 alarms, mostly "hot calls" (siren used),  with 75% of the calls between 2pm and midnight.

Should we back out of this deal? The location of the property is in Salem MA with close proximity to the downtown and commuter rail.

any advice is greatly appreciated!


Hi @Debra Tsantarliotis ! I think you are certainly smart to ask the question. It does sound like something that could be a potential deal-breaker for prospective buyers/renters.

Have you tried talking with the neighbors? That's where I would start (after talking with the Fire Station which you already did). I would ask them how much it truly is a bother to them, and if it was a consideration for them when they moved in. They may be able to provide some helpful insight!

This is interesting. At my first home, we lived about a mile away from a fire station. A bank that was roughly .5 mile away from my neighborhood went up for sale. They were going to turn it into the new fire station. Everyone in my neighborhood was against this happening(including myself). There is also a nice neighborhood by the local hospitals helicopter pad, these homes are hard to sell. I wouldn't think it would be very pleasant living right next to a firehouse. I would think it may be hard to keep this place rented you are looking at. I could be wrong though.

Everything is worth something to someone. Rent won't be as good as a comparable place a mile away, but it will still cash flow of you get it for the right price. To me, almost anything is worth buying for the right price unless it is a giant liability (i.e. abandoned or burned down house in Detroit)

I think you need to see this as something akin to having a house on a really busy street or near an airport. It hurts the value, but does it hurt it enough to no longer make it a good deal? That's the question you need to ask.

I work for a busy fire department so I'll add my two cents here. When we relocated our fire station several years ago, we moved into the edge of a residential neighborhood and the neighbors were not happy in the least. Everybody wants the benefit of a fire department until they have to live next to one. 

Here are a couple of things to note on both sides:

- we run the trucks, pumps, and saws at 7:30 EVERY morning out front

- we drive in and out at all hours and they'll hear horns, sirens, and back up alarms. We try and be courteous to our neighbors and not use the sirens until we exit the residential area but I can't speak for you

- we have rentals and owners all around us in a B/C area and it doesn't seem to have affected property values. 

I think this is really about finding somebody who doesn't care about the noise. Maybe they're not home a lot, single, work odd hours, etc. let me know if I can answer any more questions but it sounds like you're on the right track.