Living on a quiet residential street is a top priority for many homebuyers. That’s why cul-de-sacs have become so popular in the last few decades. But what is a cul-de-sac and is it the right choice for you? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons to help you decide.
What is a cul-de-sac?
You’ve certainly seen them but maybe didn’t realize they had a name. Cul-de-sacs are found in residential areas and are dead-end streets with rounded ends that make it easy for a vehicle to turn around. The word “cul-de-sac” is French and can be translated as “bottom of the sack”.
Pro -- less traffic
One of the biggest advantages of living in a home on a cul-de-sac is that there’s less traffic. Typically, the only vehicles that drive down a cul-de-sac are those owned by residents or their guests. Less traffic can mean greater safety. And it’s a huge bonus if you have kids. It’s much easier for kids to play in the neighborhood without parents feeling too worried about traffic accidents.
Con -- less accessible
While less traffic is certainly desirable, cul-de-sacs can make it more difficult for emergency services to reach your home. For example, after a big snowstorm, neighborhoods with cul-de-sacs may be the last to get plowed. And if you live at the end of the street, you may inadvertently get plowed in. In addition, if there’s a storm that knocks down a power line or tree limb, you may get trapped on your street until emergency services come by to clear the road. Since there’s only one way in and out, that can be an issue during an emergency.
Pro -- it promotes community
If you’re the type of person who loves a good block party, then cul-de-sac living can be a home run. Residents of cul-de-sacs can get to know their neighbors quickly, which can build a sense of community.
Con -- it’s hard to escape bad neighbors
Cul-de-sacs are great for building community -- unless you have really lousy neighbors. If you have a neighbor who is loud, rude or doesn’t take care of their property, then it’s tough to get away from it.
Pro -- it’s quiet
Since cul-de-sacs are essentially dead-end streets, they tend to be quieter. This can be a great benefit if you work from home or value your privacy. You won’t get much traffic noise and cul-de-sac homes tend to feel more private.
Con -- less parking
Parking can be an issue when you live on a cul-de-sac. There’s less street parking available on a cul-de-sac. For this reason, your neighbors may park in front of your home or even potentially block your driveway. And if you or a neighbor has a party, there may not be enough parking for all your guests.
Is a cul-de-sac right for you?
As you can see, there are many benefits and drawbacks to living on a cul-de-sac. When you’re ready to shop for a home, it’s essential to create a list of what you’re looking for. That way, you’ll know whether or not a home on a cul-de-sac can fulfill your needs. When in doubt, talk to some people who live on a cul-de-sac to see if it might be right for you.
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