House with Railroad(tracks) behind house

7 Replies

I have a question that I would love feedback on. I have found a property (3 bed / 2 ba SFR) that I have the opportunity to purchase for $150k and it will rent (great school district and highly sought after area) for about $1,300 / mo. The property is in a neighborhood with the avg price per sq ft this year of sales of about $121 / sq ft. If I purchase this home it would be roughly / $91 sq ft. The property needs about $4k to make rent ready.

So that's the background, here is my question. The property has railroad tracks that run behind the back fence, about 150 yards away from the back of the house. The train runs several times a day, even though it is not too loud. The tracks are the reason the home has been on the market as long as it has.  I will plan on using as a rental and wanted to get thoughts on any experience anyone has with property with railroad tracks nearby.  Thoughts? Things to consider? etc. Thanks.

One thing to consider is that if you have RR tracks in the back yard you may have a hard time renting to a family with younger children (safety reasons).  Even in a good neighborhood and school district.  We were looking at a home that sounds similar to the one you are looking at and that is why we passes on it.  I felt that I would not live there for that reason and that was enough for me.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the comments and the link to a similar thread - both are helpful. Also, I failed to mention the back yard is fenced in, so kids would have to climb the fence to get near the tracks. Also, there is a neighborhood park with swings, basketball courts, etc. about 500 yeards from the home as well.

@Shane Benner  The railroad tracks may detract from potential renters and/or buyers. It's probably the reason the home has sat on the market for quite some time. There is opportunity here but also risk as well. Best of luck! 

I would use the train as a negotiating tool.  Bear in mind when you go to resell, it'll likely sit on the market for quite some time and your future buyer will also use the train as a negotiating tool.  Factor that into your purchase price.

As a mother, I wouldn't think twice about renting a place with a fenced in backyard by the railroad tracks providing it was in the school district I wanted and I liked the house.  I would never purchase a place that close to the tracks though.  

Since I really don't know much about the railroad industry, the first thing I would do is research what (if any) regulations exist regarding what can be transported via train through residential areas.

Not only do you have the concern of kids playing on the tracks, but the potential of derailment with hazardous or flammable materials. 

I live about a block from some tracks and I would never, ever buy or rent a house that close again.

When I bought here in 03, there were only a few trains a day and it was barely noticeable. Now there are trains rolling through 1-4 times an hour, sometimes within a few minutes of each other. There's one coming through as I type this.

It's not so much the rumble of the train that bugs me. That's actually kind of pleasant. The problem is the incessant horn blowing. A major road crosses the tracks a couple of blocks from me, and the horn starts blowing a half mile away and continues through the neighborhood.

Fortunately, the city has established a quiet zone through my neighborhood. Once improvements to the crossing are finished, the trains will no longer blow their horns in the neighborhood.

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