Skip To Content

The Surprising Challenges of Living in a Cul-de-Sac


Buyers usually line up for houses on a cul-de-sac. These dead-end streets (typically with a rounded end to facilitate the slow flow of cars there) conjure up visions of quiet suburban bliss, far removed from the dangers and noise of high-speed traffic. This might explain why buyers have been known to pay as much as 20% more for houses on cul-de-sacs. However, if you’re dreaming of one day living on a cul-de-sac, there are also a few downsides to ponder. So let’s remove those rose-tinted goggles for a moment and review some of the less-than-wonderful aspects of cul-de-sac life that could, in fact, drive you a little bit crazy.

Annoyance No. 1: Kids

Kids. Sticky fingers, dirty faces, ear-piercing screams … all that stuff amplifies tenfold in the confines of a cul-de-sac. By virtue of their enclosed, low-traffic existence, cul-de-sacs encourage play, activity, and sports of all kinds. There’s a good chance your front lawn could end up as home plate or the 50-yard line.

“Kids play in front of our house all the time,” says Meg Colford, who lives in a cul-de-sac with her husband on Long Island. “And yeah, it can get annoying.”

Real estate agent Fiona Tustian, of Roy Wheeler Realty Company in Ruckersville, VA, says she’s seen some buyers recoil at all the kids’ toys and activity surrounding cul-de-sac homes. “My clients were seniors looking for peace and quiet,” she explains.

Annoyance No. 2: Property damage

And with kids come not only noise, but also flying objects propelled by kids.

“I had my car windshield broken by a baseball,” says Sarah Williams of Columbus, OH. Williams lived in a cul-de-sac home before downsizing.

Colford adds, “The kids in our neighborhood are pretty respectful, but I’ve heard stories from friends who’ve had flowers stomped on or mailboxes dented and stuff like that.”

Annoyance No. 3: Neighbors you see and deal with daily

Neighbors, for the most part, are a reality you’re going to have to deal with no matter where you own your home. But in a cul-de-sac, you’re going to have to be extra-friendly.

“Our neighbors are really close,” says Colford. “Everyone is friendly, but you definitely have to plan on seeing someone at least every day. There’s definitely a bit of a  guilt factor. So, if you’re not into helping your neighbors do things like snow-blow or shovel the driveway, a cul-de-sac probably isn’t a great choice.”

Annoyance No. 4: Parking problems

The suburbs usually offer free parking, which is a big plus. But, if you’re crammed into the end of a crowded cul-de-sac, parking can prove challenging, particularly if you’re throwing a Memorial Day barbecue, when you need lots of spots.

“I’ve seen people have to park pretty far away,” says Colford. “The street space around the cul-de-sac fills up pretty quickly when someone else has any kind of event going on.”

Trucks can also have a tricky time navigating a cul-de-sac. Take garbage collection, for example.

“The garbage truck definitely takes up a lot of space on the street,” says Colford. “When there’s a lot going on—people leaving for work and stuff like that—it can get annoying trying to get in and out and around.”

Annoyance No. 5: Access issues

Forget about parking. What if there’s a house fire and a firetruck needs to get into the cul-de-sac pronto? Given that there’s only one way in and out, large vehicles require extra time to navigate their way in there, and can get jammed up fast.

That’s bad news not only if you have a house fire, but also if you need to buy fire insurance. After a fire destroyed 3,450 homes in a San Francisco suburb in 1991, insurance companies became skittish about accepting new applications for insurance if the homes in question were in certain areas.

As local insurance broker Diane Beatty told MarketWatch, “If the home is located in a cul-de-sac where there’s only one way in or out … it may be more difficult to get insurance.”

The post The Surprising Challenges of Living in a Cul-de-Sac appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights |®.

Comments are closed.

About our blog

+1 us on Google Plus!