Trainspotting

Here’s a question for dinner table conversation that’s sure to divide: Would you buy a house on a railway line?

While you might think that loud, rattling trains in your property’s backyard are sure to decrease the value of your property, that may not be the case. Being in the vicinity of public transport infrastructure may in fact enhance capital growth.

For residential properties, good proximity to public transport may increase demand and therefore likely capital growth. And you don’t have to buy right next to the station to get higher growth, you just need easy access to it.

Train stations also tend to have shops in their vicinity, which can also be a plus.

As a property investor, it is good to check out the demographics of the neighbourhood you are thinking of buying in. If the locals, including the rental market, seek the convenience of a nearby train station, then buying as close as possible makes sense.

Data suggests buying property near existing or future train stops can pay off big time.

Consider this. Real estate near a railway station may have increased redevelopment potential with land rezoned to allow for increased housing density. Developers might pay more for such properties.

Secondly, people, in general, want to cut the time they spend travelling to and from work. They may be willing to pay more for somewhere within walking distance to a train station.

If the sound of a train’s horn and its wheels squeaking on the tracks are particularly aggravating, or might potentially put off buyers, consider investing in some soundproofing measures.

For example, soundproof curtains are one of the easiest ways to combat train noise. Those decibels of disturbing noise come in through the windows in most cases, so these curtains should be your first line of defence.

Abate noise by creating outdoor barriers. Build a fence and diminish sound waves before they get to the walls of your house. Even better, add an outdoor sound blocking row of shrubs or bushes between your home and the track.

High-frequency train noise can transfer through any small crack or hole in exterior walls. Check doors, windowsills, and any openings and outlets. A decorative soundproofing blanket can be installed for a door and prevent sound leaks.

Proximity to public transport is one of the key factors that buyers look for in today’s property market. As congestion worsens, and people become more environmentally conscious, they will look for improved services. There is no doubt that being close to a railway station may have a favourable impact on the value of a home.