People who are considering a home in the DC Metro area have many types of properties from which to choose, and in the city, most of them involve living in pretty close quarters with your neighbors. And high density living can also mean high decibels.
A lot of our housing stock is in condos and row houses, and many detached homes are squeezed onto tiny lots. All of this can mean you hear more than is ideal from your neighbors.
It can be squabbling among family members, crying babies, barking dogs, lawn mowers and leaf blowers and when there is no pandemic, there are parties. The neighbors’ kid could be learning to play the violin, or even worse, an oboe. Whatever the source of the racket, it will bother some people more than others.
If you are particularly noise sensitive, high density housing might not be your best choice. The same may be true if you work odd hours and have to sleep when the neighbor’s children are playing in the back yard.
Back in the day, I lived in a condominium with a husband who, like me, was a professional musician. Our neighbors were treated to cello, flute and piccolo music for several hours each day, and while we both played quite well (and never late at night), I’m sure it was pretty annoying. Then a downstairs neighbor took up piano. He not only played really badly, but his instrument was way out of tune. It was truly awful, and probably bothered us more than most people. And guess what? There was absolutely no way we could complain about it.
Noise in the city is just a fact of life. If you live in close quarters, you will both make a racket and hear your neighbors create rackets of their own. And it’s not only from neighbors, but traffic, helicopters and fire engines. If you are near a school, you will get noise from the marching band, recess or soccer practice.
Whatever the source, most people are able to tune it out most of the time. If not, let your agent know that noise is one of your issues, and she’ll help you find peace and quite, though probably not right down town! And if you are a noisy neighbor, try to be considerate so when the boy next door moves his rock band into the garage, you will have some leverage with his parents!
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