Would You Buy A Home Near The Tracks?


Every buyer has a list of must-haves and deal-breakers when they start their home search.

As the search progresses, this list often changes.

Things that were initially important become less so when a buyer sees how little supply there is in the Toronto real estate market.

A few examples?

  • Having a powder room on the main floor.

  • Having a 4th bedroom on the 2nd floor.

  • Having a private driveway.

Don't get me wrong, none of the above items are impossible to find in a house in Toronto.

Depending on location though, any one of them might be very tough to come by.

Plain and simple: a Toronto home buyer needs to be willing to compromise at least a bit on their list of must-haves and deal-breakers.

One thing that almost always stays on the list though, is avoiding houses that are close to the train tracks.

This is such a negative in many buyer's minds, that it's not even up for discussion.

Anytime a new listing pops up that might work for one of my clients, I bring up the address on Google maps and check the house's specific location.

Too close to the tracks? Let's skip it.

Not every buyer has a clear-cut objection to being close to the tracks though.

Sometimes, if the house is only close-ish to the tracks, then it's okay.

Of course, every buyer's definition of close-ish is subjective!

I was recently working with some buyers who were shopping for a home in The Junction.

There's a pocket there, north of Dundas St. W, that sits just south of the train tracks. It contains streets like Quebec Ave, Clendenan Ave, and a handful of others.

A house popped up for sale there, only about 10 houses from the tracks. Certainly close enough to hear the train while sitting in the backyard or from inside the house when the windows are open.

Not close enough to deter my clients from considering it though.

Evidently, the tracks weren't an issue for a handful of other buyers either...

The house sold on offer-night, for a sale price well above list. In fact, it set a new record for that type of house in that area.

Another house popped up in that pocket a few weeks later, roughly the same distance from the tracks. This house broke the record price set by the previous house!

So, it's clear that being close to tracks isn't a deal-breaker for everyone.

What about a house that backs directly onto the tracks?

No doubt, this is a tough sell for most buyers. And if I had clients that were considering it, I'd certainly caution them about the resale-ability of the property.

For some buyers though, it offers the opportunity to finally get a home in a very competitive market. Their willingness to look at a house that backs onto the tracks opens up possibilities that other buyers won't consider.

What about you? Would you consider buying a house near the tracks?

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