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Buying a high-end apartment near train tracks?

2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

There's this apartment construction project that my wife and I love and we're considering buying into.

The apartments project

It's a 9 floor building plus private terraces with ~50 housing units. They have underground parking, ground level shops, and one of their key selling points is to have lots of green / gardens / park.

The unit would be a 4504sqft (8590sqft counting the terrace and balconies) triplex starting in the 8th floor, with its own terrace, its own pool, and a large garden up in the terrace. There's 3 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a playroom, office space, a room for a tiny gym area, large living room, large kitchen, garden patio, you get the idea.

The unit has a garden where they'd plant a thin but tall Alamo tree on the 8th floor and you can see it from the 9th floor bedroom windows, etc.

The building has all sorts of amenities planned like a 2 level gym, in/out pool, guest room (like a hotel room), professional kitchen, etc.

The train problem

The 8th floor has a wide balcony that'd give a view to the tracks. There's roughly 90 yards between the apartment building and the tracks, and it's a bit up in the air whether there's going to be any new developments there or if it's just going to be a park. A park would be gorgeous but it wouldn't provide much in the way of soundproofing from the trains.

The tracks belong to a passenger train that runs frequently and there's a level crossing roughly a block away. Train comes and goes about 50 times a day from what I could gather online. Train stations are further out than that: roughly 2300sqft and 2650sqft respectively.

We're thinking about our next home as a forever home, so resale value isn't a huge concern to us: the train helps us negotiate a lower price and we can leverage that to afford more sqft than we'd otherwise be able to afford.


Other than the nearby tracks, this is a great area. It's a quiet up-and-coming neighborhood in the heart of the city that's poised to grow a lot in terms of value. Proximity to the tracks seems unlikely to dampen that beyond being priced lower than homes farther away from the tracks (expectation still is all of them will raise in value, even though the ones farther from the tracks will always be more expensive in terms of $/sqft)

It being a new project helps because I can add the best soundproofing available today and whatnot, but would for instance going out to the balcony be dreadful, or would we need to have our windows shuttered at all times? Would being up on the 8th floor help or make the situation worse?

There aren't any new developments that even come close in terms of architectural quality in our city, and neither in terms of pricing. New developments that come with their own terrace and where a triplex is well-thought out are a rare sight here.

Not moving forward on this one because of the train makes me afraid we'll end up "settling" for a house that's a lot smaller, or doesn't tick as many boxes as this one does. There's little we don't like about this house besides the proximity to the tracks.

Moving forward is a bit daunting because of the tracks though. Then again, it being a large unit might make it less of a factor for potential buyers? Esp. if they tilt towards thinking they will be fine living near the tracks.

We're planning on canvassing the area again with a focus on the train stuff, and it helps putting this stuff into writing as part of deciding whether making a bid for this unit would be a sensible thing to do. This is already helping!

So, are we insane for even considering it? Will we come to regret it if we move forward? Will we come to regret it if we don't?

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