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Finding peace in the city

If you've ever lived in the country and then moved closer to a city then you know how drastically different the soundscapes can be.

In the city your little ears are competing with the busy lives of thousands of others who drive cars, own pets, do the dishes late at night and sometimes, painfully, even their recycling.

But perhaps you don't always have to sacrifice silence in order to be near the big smoke. There are some places in cities that are significantly quieter than others and we've got some of the answers to the most burning questions on this topic.

Q. Is there even such a thing as a quiet house in the city? A. When considering an acceptable noise level in the city you may need to first consider your own threshold of what sounds you can tolerate. A densely populated area won't ever be silent, but there are places in the city as close to 'vacuum like' as it gets.

Q. Who makes the best neighbours? A. The answer is not who but rather how many. Minimising the number of neighbours you have will minimise the noise impact on your property. The 'boxed in' block will be considerably louder than a property which shares a fence with a park or national parklands. If you work out of the area in the daytime, schools, TAFEs and community centers are also great neighbours. They are very loud between the morning and afternoon but will fall silent in the evening. Try to avoid any late night venues or sporting grounds as these will have the opposite effect.

Q. Does soundproofing help? A. Of course, soundproofing helps to minimise noise, but it's not the cheapest renovation activity. The average price in Australia to soundproof a small sized room ranges between $1,022 - $2,478. If you are renting you can almost strike this possibility out altogether as it can change the entire aesthetic of a house.

Q. How close is too close to the CBD? A. The answer will vary city to city. The recent lock-out laws in the Sydney CBD have meant the city is no longer as busy after 1o'clock in the morning on weekends. It is even quieter after office hours mid-week. These laws have pushed party goers outside of the city limits to Pyrmont, where the 24 hour Star Casino operates and to suburban pubs, clubs, and bars. Considering where to live is more about looking at what venues surround your home and checking their opening hours then traditionally assuming only the centre of the city can be loud.

Q. How often should I expect to hear planes overhead? A. NoiseNet data has proven the publicly available flight paths are usually inaccurate 1 in 4 times. Changing conditions often make pilots takeoff and land different routes. Choosing a house which isn't directly below a flight path will not make you immune to the noise pollution from overhead jets. This is especially a consideration if the airport in your city is 24 hours. NoiseNet services can help you get a better picture of how aircraft noise will affect your future property.

Finding peace and quiet in the city is no easy feat, and sometimes takes some trial and error. We'd love to hear about your about your experience with living in the city and any tips on making the most of a noisy (or not) situation.

Contact us at to share your story!

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