plane flying over brick home

The Realities Of Living Near An Airport

Victoria Araj4-minute read
September 08, 2021

So you’ve started the home buying process, and you might have just found the perfect home to call yours. Really, this house checks all your boxes – except it’s located right near an airport.

While this might feel discouraging at first, you may still be interested in looking around the neighborhood. Before you go asking your real estate agent to search for something new, you should consider from all angles the realities of buying a home near an airport. Let’s take a look at those now.

The Disadvantages Of Living By An Airport

When it comes to living near an airport, there’s certain concerns that may arise. The main concern is the possibility of health issues, but there are also some unpleasant noises and smells that you may encounter. While these are just some of the disadvantages of living near an airport, you should make sure you're doing all the research necessary before signing on the dotted line.

Living Near An Airport May Raise Health Concerns

A 2015 study on airports, air pollution and contemporaneous health found that living near an airport may cause illness. The pollution that is produced by nearby aircrafts is a hazard. Ozone released from the engines can affect your respiratory tissue, which in turn can result in coughing, tightness in the chest and throat irritation. If you’re asthmatic, this inflammation can lead to higher chances of an asthma attack.

Emission from the aircraft can also contain soot. If you breathe that polluted air constantly, it can lead to problems such as asthma, lung cancer, chronic lung disease and even depression. Although these health concerns may not occur in everyone, it’s still important to understand all the possible outcomes if you’re considering purchasing a property near an airport. Especially in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, you’re likely already invested in what makes a home healthy internally – now you may want to think about your external environment as well.

Noise Pollution Can Be Problematic 

If you’re someone who gets annoyed by loud noises, living near an airport may not be the right option for you. Unfortunately, you can’t eliminate aircraft noise, but you can minimize it.

Consider installing thicker soundproof windows, or soundproofing your walls or ceiling. You might find that using ear plugs makes living near an airport more bearable. That being said, airline companies have made an effort to build less noisy turbines due to noise requirements, so with time, airplanes might even be quieter than they are now. The sounds of takeoff or landing on may be annoying to you now, but they could be less of a nuisance in just a few short years. You should ask yourself if you have the patience to wait this out.

Airplane Odor Can Be Bothersome

To some people, airplane odor isn’t an issue. To others, though, the smell can be quite gross. Airplane odor can also cause constant headaches, and using air fresheners or perfume won’t exactly help the cause – most times, that’ll only make it worse.

If you live by an airport, the chances of you experiencing this lingering odor can be high. Before pursuing the home, you should consider how sensitive you are to the distinct smell of jet fuel vapors. If you’re unsure what this odor smells like, consider looking into the area’s flight patterns and try to visit the area during peak air travel time. You might catch a whiff and know that you just couldn’t handle this nuisance long-term.

The Few Advantages Of Living By An Airport

Clearly, there are many disadvantages when it comes to living near an airport that are important to consider before purchasing a property. If the cons haven’t deterred you yet, though, you’ll want to hear about the few advantages of this living situation. Let’s look at the few upsides to buying real estate near an airport.

You’re In Favor During Emergency Situations

No one likes power outages. You don’t know when your power will be restored, and the wait can sometimes feel like forever – especially if you’re in the middle of doing something that requires power. You’re in luck if you live by an airport, though, because your power will be the last to drop in a city-wide outage and the first to be restored. Even in such worst-case scenarios as terrorist attacks, natural disasters or family emergencies, you can get out of the area quicker than others.

Being Close To An Airport Means Less Travel Time

The most obvious perk of living right near an airport (or if you’re lucky, an international airport), is the convenience of the proximity itself. Whether you need to get somewhere quickly or hate sitting in traffic, odds are you won’t need to wait too long because of how fast the traffic disperses. You also don’t have to worry about getting to the airport early when going on a trip, because you know you’ll be there within the matter of minutes.

The Bottom Line: Know All The Facts Before Buying Property Near An Airport

Now that you know about some of the realities that come with living near an airport, you should have a better idea of whether it’s a path you want to pursue. When buying property in any area, there are always reasons to move and not to move – so it’s better to know beforehand what you might be getting yourself into.

The plus side of living near an airport? You’ll be able to travel much more quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, though, there are some sensory annoyances and, more pressingly, a few heightened health risks that you’ll need to consider before making the move.

As always, it’s important to do your research, talk with some people in the neighborhood you’re interested in and work with a real estate agent who can help you through your home buying journey. For more tips on buying a house, visit the Rocket Homes®Home Buyer’s Guide.

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Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.