Would you buy a house near a non-commercial airport?

net42kAugust 14, 2014

The airport is only 0.7 mile away and is for small aircraft with a few seats like Pipers, gliders, and Cessnas. Other than this, the property is in a good school district with a large lot and adjacent to newer homes.

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As shown in the map, there is a subdivision (bottom of the pic) where homes are only 0.4 mile from this airport. The property I'm interested in is where the red arrow is.

This post was edited by net4u2k on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 14:10

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 9:02AM
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I wouldn't have a problem with that. In fact, I think it'd be kind of fun. Of course, it's a matter of individual taste and tolerance.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:02AM
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How often do planes fly in? Is it possible to sit at this property during some take offs and landings to hear the noise? Unless they have a manned control tower, take offs and landings would be limited to day light hours. Is this a teaching airport? Would students be practicing take offs and landings?

I once lived a few miles from an airport that was a popular sky diving spot. On weekends they would have jumps every half hour during daylight. As long as it was light out, people would be jumping. It was a pretty sight. Even sitting at the airport, I never found the noise excessive. IIRC you could still maintain a conversation. But I was in my 20s then, and I'm sure I had a much higher tolerance for noise.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:18AM
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Because it is not a commercial airport, I wonder if buyers still avoid them and thus would have resale problem later on.
I'm not sure how busy it is but plan to ask those living nearby.
The info I found says around 85% of all aircraft is single engine, the rest is gliders, helicopters or multi-engine. There is no control tower. It's not a teaching airport but does provide this service if interested.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:30PM
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You can look up the airport info on Google and see what the services are, hours of operation, and traffic.

We live just off the flight path for a medium private and corporate jet airport and the only ANNOYING time is Friday afternoon as all the bigwigs are headed for home. There's nothing like a Lear Jet in a screaming hurry.

Weekends is recreational flying time - we see and hear all kinds of little planes but they aren't whining like the tiny jets.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Honestly, I would not want to live that close to the approach/landing ends of the runway - that's more important than the distance to the sides. Hope that makes sense.

Assuming that this picture is oriented north-south, I would be fine with the residential area to the south.
As far as the other residential area and the arrow-box, I would try to find out which way the traffic is oriented at that airport. By that I mean, when there are aircraft in the landing pattern, do they use both the north and south sides, or do they just make north traffic due to the dense housing to the south? In which case, your arrow is right under the landing pattern. (This is very common at small airports where there is a preferred side to stay away from denser populated areas.)
If you posted the name of the airport, I could look it up for you.
Definitely visit the location during various times of operation for the airport. You might find that Saturday mornings, before the weather builds up during the summer (thinking Florida of course) that this airport is crazy busy and there are dozens of planes making too much noise for you, although it might be totally quiet on a Thursday afternoon.
When I lived in Corpus Christi, the outlying practice fields were a big factor in housing - once they shut down one of them for a few months for resurfacing, and when they opened it back up, the complaints started - but it was a military training field that had been there since WWII, and the houses had only been there less than 10 years, so you know, the new homeowners were outta luck. Fortunately, almost 100% of the flying was during the week, and night ops complete before 10pm, so it wasn't nearly as awful as that darned cargo jet that took off from my backyard at 3am from Oakland. Every. Single. Night. (unless the very rare occasion that the wind was blowing from the south, and the plane took off that way and we wouldn't be able to hear it) The landlord told us that the airport closed at 11pm. Right.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:38PM
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My first thought was no way. I value peace and quiet. However, I rent a cottage on Cape Cod that is very close to a small airport and the noise doesn't bother me at all. I just hear the occasional vroom, but not like a jet. Funny, as I am sitting here on my porch typing this I am listening planes come and go from an international airport that must be 30 miles from here. No biggie. I would definitely take the advice to park nearby at different times and observe the noise level.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:20PM
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My main concern is resale. During daytime the noise doesn't bother me but don't want noise while sleeping at night. Since there is no control tower, I assume they avoid operating at night.
A small area just north of the runway will have around 50 new houses (marked with a blue box). I was thinking about buying a property there but then backed out for other reasons.
Other services they provide are charter flights, medevacs, and T-hangars and paved tie-downs.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Helicopters are VERY noisy, so this would be a no go for me.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 3:50PM
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I would ask a few local real estate agents if the airport is an issue.

I live on a small island and my last house was even closer to our small airport than yours. We were off the flight path and the airport did not bother us at all.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:46PM
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I wouldn't. When I lived near Vero Beach, Fl. 7 years ago. It was the most common complaint in the newspaper.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:51PM
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We lived near an international airport. Resale concerns are real. But, for us, we lived on the most often approach end and it didn't bother us a bit. What did surprise us, that we didn't think about, was a train a few miles away that honked at a number of intersections around midnight every night .... It ended up being fine, a bit like a grandfather clock. We always knew it was time to turn in when the train blew the horn.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 10:04PM
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Having no control tower has no bearing what so ever if planes can use the airport. Planes do not need to be in communication with a controller just because it is night.
Most single engine planes will not be flying a long final on landing or taking off. Most airports use a left or right handed pattern which is a rectangle shaped pattern with the runway being one of the longer sides of the rectangular pattern. The point being, the subject home does not have to be along the departure/arrival ends of the runway to have traffic overhead.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 8:20AM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:22AM
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It really depends on your noise tolerance level. That varies so widely among different people. Also, what are the trade-offs? Myself, I'm moving from an extremely quiet, no-traffic neighborhood to new construction two miles away that is within sight of the expressway and near enough a fairly busy road to hear the cars. While I'll miss the peace and quiet, it comes with having to drive through 25 mph roads with heavy traffic to get out of town, plus my current house is 10 years old. Getting to the expressway quickly and having everything brand new is worth the noise trade-off, especially since we'll have double pained windows, a larger home, and a nicer yard. If the house has everything else you're looking for and you know the sound wouldn't drive you crazy, I'd go for it.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 8:58PM
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I'd be interested in knowing which way the prevailing winds cause planes to normally takeoff and land.

Years ago I owned a house about 3/4 miles from the end of the runway in Tewksbury, MA. The winds were such that the normal pattern was that planes passed over my homes as they landed. There was very little noise however we would sometimes be startled as planes passed close overhead.

On the few days that planes were taking off from our end of the runway the noise was a total nightmare!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 4:55PM
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You got a lot of advice. What did you conclude?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 5:00PM
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I would not. For resale reasons.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Some additional info I got over the weekend.
I stopped by the property area and stayed in my car for almost 1 hr. Thanks pixie_lou for the idea. During that time I heard/saw 7-10 aircraft passed by. The noise level is about the same as typical suburb-traffic-noise level - just different sound. It wasn't as loud as motorcycle noise.
I then stopped by the airport. The receptionist told me take off and landing patterns depend on the wind direction or whichever is best. There is no restriction. Although there is no control tower the runway has light so they're free to use at night.
I then stopped by the subdivision with the same distance from the runway and asked 3 owners. They all said the noise isn't an issue even at night and when they first moved in.
To all those who said no, given additional info would you still avoid it?
Although I didn't mention earlier, this is a few acres of land (not house) for sale. My current home is on a tiny lot (1/5 acre) and close to the neighbors who stress me out. They damaged my property so I'm looking to move.
Since I don't know how often they fly at night I consider the noise is a minor issue. There are a few other things I need to find out then will make a decision.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 9:06AM
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I would not for resale reasons also. There are still people complaining about the noise at O'Hare airport and all of those people bought land and houses AFTER the airport was built. What did they think when they bought?

Even a non-commercial airport may expand. Even if not, I hate the occasional crop duster that goes by our skies out here in the middle of nowhere. Not for me.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 9:22AM
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This is a small town with no factory or corporation, university, or even a downtown. The only thing it depends on is a military base. It even doesn't have a good size hospital to handle heart surgeries or treatments for serious injuries. I don't think it will become commercial airport next few decades.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 12:49PM
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I lived in a condo with a one car garage. There was nothing I could do about it. We were fine with it and so was the person who bought it from us. Almost anything can be fixed, but this can't.

On the other hand, I'm sure there will always be demand for good housing with good schools and plenty of people for whom this won't be an issue.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 12:55PM
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I'd say you're probably okay. I'd dig around a little and see if there are any plans to expand the airport and/or airport operations. I know there's a small airport not far from here where they are hoping it will turn into a major cargo base in the future. However, it is highly unlikely because there just isn't money anywhere for major capital improvements like that, and there are large, surplus airports all around the country for stuff like that. Not knowing where this is, I can't say for sure. Only you have a better idea of what your city/county have plans for the future and drawing in business and development and such.
I type that, and of course, I do know that they are talking about adding a bit more runway to my downtown small airport to draw in bigger business - right now it's just a tad too small for the smaller corporate jets and that sends them up to Clearwater.

Runways are bi-directional. The aircraft will always land into the wind, whichever way that is blowing. Most airports have a prevailing wind which will tell you which direction the planes will be taking off and landing most of the time.
Aircraft are the loudest on the take-off end because they are at full-power, and most quiet on the landing end because they are reducing power to slow and descend.
Also, if there are no pattern restrictions (some airports will have you fly patterns away from denser areas or high terrain or something like that) then the pattern will almost always be counter-clockwise (left turns) because that's the side of the plane that the pilot at the controls normally sits (standard rectangular pattern).
So, just for peace of mind, I would find out what the prevailing wind/runway is, and decide if your lot is under or near that pattern. It's probably still better than being near a major freeway from the sound of it.
I would build there, for myself (and it would be nice to keep my plane close to the house).

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 11:50AM
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"It's probably still better than being near a major freeway from the sound of it."

Definitely. It's even better than being near some local roads.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.
I live on a cul de sac where there are 26 houses and my house is 30 ft from the curb but the noise level from the traffic is about the same or slightly worse. This is without motorcycle noise. I'm starting to think it's more peaceful and quiet there than where I'm. If I need to rank it using a scale of 1-10 where 10 is the worse. I would give LAX a 10, SNA a 7 and this airport a 2. I no longer concern about noise.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 4:24PM
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Just to chime in, I grew up in a house about a mile from a small airport like that and I really don't remember noise from it ever being an issue for me or for anybody else that I knew of. It certainly wasn't any louder on a day-to-day basis than cars driving down the (25mph) street in front of the house. It actually wouldn't even have occurred to me that it was a potential issue until now.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 6:42PM
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