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Old 02.05.2016, 09:30
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Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

We have seen an amazing house, on a farm, with a view of the lake, which I absolutely love.

Downside.... It's next to the autobahn. Would I get used to the constant noise, eventually?

Since I only have 18 days to be OUT OF OUR CURRENT house, I am feeling a bit OVERWHELMED.

Last edited by arrow; 02.05.2016 at 11:28. Reason: Typo
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Old 02.05.2016, 09:33
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

If it has decent windows you probably won't notice the noise & it'll be more of a background noise anyway with constant motor noise as opposed to stopping, starting revving erc. Can you go sit outside for a while & see how it feels? Assuming ti has a garden, is it on the opposite side of the house so at least protected a bit when you sit out in the summer?
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Old 02.05.2016, 09:35
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

We come from Sydney. You don't just hear the trucks, you feel the vibrations... it is sooooo quiet coming back after three weeks in Australia and one week in Bangkok.

And yes, I'm quite sure you'd get used to it, assuming it has double-glazed windows and decent thick walls...
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Old 02.05.2016, 09:37
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

What does "next to" mean? Like literally by the Autobahn?


I lived near the Autobahn (maybe 500m) for years, BUT most of my place including the balcony was facing the other direction, away from it. I never heard anything or at least it never bothered me. If you're not highly sensitive to noise, you'll get used to it and very likely won't hear any noise.
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Old 02.05.2016, 09:39
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

I personally would not want to live next to an Autobahn, I can´t get used to the noise. A train track is a different story, as the noise is repetitive and I can filter that out.
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Old 02.05.2016, 09:58
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

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It's next to the autobahn. Would I get used to the constant noise, eventually?
Yes. And you would continue to be stressed about it.

Would it be something that you could _bear_? That's very subjective. People live in Zurich-Opfikon straight underneath flight path for take-offs from Zurich airport. Do they enjoy it?

Make sure that you get an impression of the true level of emissions
- inside every single room
- outside the house (spring, summer, autumn coming up)
while the emissions are representative, and do cover the full day.

On a Sunday, at 14:00, most motorways are relatively quiet. Try very early mornings and late in the evening.
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Old 02.05.2016, 10:14
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

Our current house is 20m from the motorway and we hardly hear a thing.

It probably helps that we're 10 m below the level of the motorway and there is a soundproof fence and trees in between .
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Old 02.05.2016, 10:23
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

Our house is about 50 m from the autoroute and we don't hear anything at all that disturbs us. If you listen really carefully when outside you can hear the hum of traffic but it's the dirt if noise you easily get used to. It's similar to Paddy in that there is a huge concrete soundproof barrier along the autoroute and we are located about 10m below as well.
It was much noisier in our previous house which was further away but had the farm tractors and trailers clattering past on a regular basis and they really are noisy.
Hubby had a temporary place near the railway line and that was much much worse,
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Old 02.05.2016, 10:28
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

Given the timeframe you are under to get out of your current place, I would rent this house, but make sure I had a 'friendly' exit clause in the contract, should you find the noise unbearable. Then only unpack what is absolutely necessary for the first three months.

Also, if you love the house, the view, everything else about the property and think you might want to stay for the long term - put permission to install soundproofing fences/plantings into the contract.

Given the Swiss inability to stand noise of any kind, the landlord likely will have trouble renting out the place - giving you more leverage in contract negotiation.

I find that I can get used to most noises - but then, I am not bothered by noise, even by American standards.

Good luck with the decision.
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Old 02.05.2016, 11:24
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

Thank you for all your most sound and reasonable advice! Shall go back to the property this afternoon...

Wish us luck!

English Forum....fantastic!
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Old 02.05.2016, 11:37
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

It is amazing what you can get used to - we live close to a large church (with the bells every 15 mins 24/7) - and you do filter it out after a bit.

Also lived quite near a railway track a few years ago, but the fantastic view across the lake easily helped ignore the rumble of the trains when sitting outside.

On the other hand, also lived next to a relatively minor road (we thought) once in an idyllic setting in the countryside above Zurich. During a building phase happening somewhere, turns out that it was a connecting road for the building lorries. The noise, as well as the vibrations drove me crazy - the bed would literally vibrate, and I became a maniac on cleaning the windows on the street side. We moved out.

We had had a formal agreement with the owners before moving in that some sound-proofing against the road would be built - but turned into such a a fiasco to really get them to do it. In the end they had the cheek to plant some tiny conifers which they said would grow to a useful height in a few years .

I would go and sit outside, as well as inside the house during a busy traffic time a few times to see how it is and whether it's noise that you can personally accept - as tolerance does vary from person to person.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 02.05.2016, 13:03
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

I would spend some time in the garden and see if affected my feelings regarding talking to guests etc - some people live more in the house than the garden some like me would spend more time in the garden

Personally for me it would be the pollution of the air that would be the deal breaker - rub your fingers on inside and outside surfaces and see if you have "black dots" - the worst sort from carbon emissions and bad news if you suffer from any heart/lung conditions.
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Old 02.05.2016, 13:10
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

I live in the flight path of the planes and it doesn't bother me at all, my flatmate says he hated it at the beginning when he slept with the window open and the planes came in at 6am on Sunday morning but now he sleeps through it, same for me. I think that constant, predictable noise is easier to get used to than sudden loud bursts, for instance, we have a visitor parking in the courtyard and someone has a visitor with a purposely noisy car who likes to rev his engine when he leaves at 3 am - wakes me up every time.


If you are really under this much time pressure, I would say go for it, I assume there is no minimum rental time longer than 6 months or so?
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Old 02.05.2016, 13:13
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

Remember that if you sit in the empty house, and it happens to be empty, you will hear the noise much clearer as in a fully furnished house. Also remember that you can easily soundproof internally by being smart - as an inner city kid that grew up with heavy amounts of buses, trucks and trams passing outside the apartment, I can highly recommend carpets and even curtains to damp sounds. Don't worry, you can do it elegantly too, no need to furnish a miniature version of Dracula's castle

And remember to pay attention to the windows! One of my flats had triple windows, and one could not hear anything at all - pretty scary as you could see the tram pass and on occasion hear some vibrations but not hear anything at all - makes you wonder if you became deaf overnight

Good luck!
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Old 02.05.2016, 13:24
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

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We have seen an amazing house, on a farm, with a view of the lake, which I absolutely love.
Just noticed that you also mentioned it's on a farm. In the idyllic area I mentioned previously (Pfannensteil), we were also living near a farm - a field about 50m away at the end of the garden, where the cows used to pasture in the summer, used to attract flies like you can't imagine. We could barely open our windows.
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Old 02.05.2016, 14:48
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

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We could barely open our windows.
Mosquito nets & doors have been invented since then, I would imagine. But do the cows have BELLS? I love them but some people find them very annoying.
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Old 02.05.2016, 15:30
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

Soundproof windows are fine, until you open them.
Personally the noise and pollution would put me off. You can wipe your finger along the window sills to see what it's like.

Also, the roar of the autobahn intensifies when it is raining, not unheard of in Switzerland.
With 18 days to go though, maybe MC is right, negotiate a short notice period and take it.
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Old 02.05.2016, 15:54
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

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Mosquito nets & doors have been invented since then, I would imagine. But do the cows have BELLS? I love them but some people find them very annoying.
Our "nice" windows were the large walk-though type. The nets (yes, they existed even then ;-) would have also completely spoiled the view and so make me focus even more on the road noises. Sitting outside, you just had to get used to the flies.

Yes, some of the cows had bells (at least they sleep at night, verses church bells), and I enjoyed that sound - but I would have loved it if they would have also been de-flied .

From my experience, there is always something - whether it be the neighbours clonking around on high-heels above, clearing their lungs in the morning, arguing regularly (or making up), snoring at night, children awake and running around and looking forward to the day before I'm ready, the lawn-mower going just when you need to concentrate, the builders starting work on the apartment below, the inevitable street-work and drilling that takes place in Zurich as soon as the weather starts to improve and you have longed the entire year to sit on the balcony etc. etc.

Have moved a few times until finding the right combination - now here happily since 10 years.

OP - a house sounds fantastic, but lots to take into consideration (previous posts covered it pretty well) - wish you all the best of luck in making your decision!

PS. Also be careful of "House Stagers" i.e. make sure that your decision is well founded - there are a few around.

Last edited by ZuriRollt; 02.05.2016 at 17:50.
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Old 02.05.2016, 16:28
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

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Soundproof windows are fine, until you open them.
Personally the noise and pollution would put me off. You can wipe your finger along the window sills to see what it's like.

Also, the roar of the autobahn intensifies when it is raining, not unheard of in Switzerland.
With 18 days to go though, maybe MC is right, negotiate a short notice period and take it.


A thousand times, this.


We lived in Basel on the intersection of two busy roads. The noise was fine if the windows were closed, but we don't like having closed windows. The dirt and grime was disgusting, and I began to hate the rain (which is alarming if you know me =0 )


We have since moved to the other side of town on a very quiet street and I love to lay in bed on a Sunday morning and listen to the birds and the rain - and nothing else.




The OP is wise to carefully consider this move, but everyone has their own level of tolerance.
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Old 03.05.2016, 11:59
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Re: Help! Rent fantastic house NEXT to autobahn???

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Thank you for all your most sound and reasonable advice! Shall go back to the property this afternoon...

Wish us luck!

English Forum....fantastic!
So have you made any decision yet?

Be very interesting what you have decided to do..
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