According to official figures, the number of pubs and bars in the UK has been steadily falling over the last few years. However, if you’re looking to move, should you buy a house near a pub?
It’s a question that would-be buyers often ask, particularly as buying houses near to pubs or busy roads is thought to knock significant sums off the asking price. That means people can often afford larger, nicer houses if they are prepared to put up with the noise from their surroundings.
We did exactly this in 2009, buying a house three doors down from a pub. It allowed us to get a much larger property than we could otherwise afford but it did come with it’s own problems as you’re about to discover…
So, is it worth buying a house that’s near to a pub? Here are a few things to consider:
The first obvious question to ask yourself is will you use the pub? If you love a good pub and think the one near the house you are considering will become your nightly retreat then being so close to it could actually be a benefit!
However, if you’re not a regular pub-goer or that pub just isn’t your kind of place, being so close to it could actually be an inconvenience.
We actually only visited the pub near our house once, and that was when we first moved in. Truth is, we aren’t really pub-goers and it wasn’t really our kind of pub (we prefer older, more traditional inns).
So, we bought a house near a pub but never really benefitted from the convenience it offered.
Even a pub that’s quiet and sedate during the day can suddenly come alive at night with music blurring out and those who have had a little too much to drink spilling out on to the streets and raising their voices.
Often, it’s not just a weekend thing either as pubs are under a lot of financial pressure these days so do their best to attract people in on weeknights too.
It’s not just music either, the smoking ban introduced in 2007 means more people hang around outside, even in poor weather. The noise of just a handful of conversations can easily travel on an evening.
In our situation, we bought near a pub that looked to be nice and quiet. But, a year after we moved in, a new landlord took over and suddenly the pub became quite popular, especially on a night.
That meant in the height of summer, we couldn’t open our windows on a night as we knew the noise would keep us awake as people came and went.
It’s worth keeping in mind that what is a nice, quiet pub at the moment can soon become more a noisy hub over time (and vice versa!).
On warm summer evenings, people often flock to the pub. There’s something incredibly relaxing about sitting in a sunny beer garden with an ice-cold glass of your favourite beverage.
But that means an increase in noise for those who live in close proximity. Worse yet, on hot evenings you might want to open a bedroom window, but, that means letting even more noise in. You’ll have to make that tricky choice between struggling to sleep due to heat, or struggling to sleep due to the noise of the pub!
Alcohol can have an impact on crime with around 17% of violent crimes happening in or around a pub or club. Rates of vandalism and criminal damage are also often higher in and around areas with pubs.
That means it’s worth checking the crime stats in areas you are considering properties in, especially if a pub is nearby.
We bought a house near a pub and had several problems with vandalism. Twice the wall that surrounded our drive was damaged. After it happened the first time, we decided to put up CCTV, in the hope that it would stop any more problems.
But not long after, we had more damage. We did report it to the police with the CCTV footage as evidence, but nothing really came of it. We still had to pay for the damage to get repaired though.
At one point we even had the police knock on our door asking to look at our CCTV footage for another incident. There had been a serious assault outside the pub and the police were hunting for evidence.
While we never heard or saw the assault take place, knowing it had happened so close to our home was quite unnerving.
That’s something you should keep in mind. When alcohol is involved, people lose their respect for other people and their property. So while the noise can be a nuisance, damage to your property or even threats to your safety are real possibilities.
If there is a pub close to a property you are considering buying, check how much parking they make available for their customers.
A large pub without much parking could easily mean an increase in the number of cars parking along the street.
And that means you may find it difficult to park outside your house when the pub is busy. Even if you have a drive, you may find access to your driveway is occasionally blocked by visitors to the pub.
We had this on a regular occasion and it was made worse by the fact there was a primary school just the other side of us.
At school leaving time, parents would park in the pub car park, but when that became full, they’d park anywhere they could, including over our driveway completely blocking us in!
What is a quiet pub at the moment, could easily become a noisy, thriving bar in the future if new owners take it over.
As we mentioned, our first house was three houses down from a pub. During several visits to the area at different times, we realised that it was fairly quiet and shouldn’t cause too much trouble.
Because it was in a residential area, we also thought that it’s probably mostly locals going to it, so we decided to go for it.
A year or two after we bought the house, the pub came under new management. That was bad news for us, because the quiet pub turned into a noisy and busy one. On evenings, we could hear people talk and music.
On weekends during the day in the warmer months, kids would be playing in the new play park, the new manager put up. And whenever kids have fun, there is noise.
So it is worth considering carefully before buying a house near a pub. It might be quiet at first, but that can change.
Equally, the pub could conceivably become something else entirely. As we mentioned at the start of the article, pubs are closing at a rapid rate. That means the pub next door could easily become a restaurant, nursery, care home, or even new houses!
This happened in the village we live in now. The local pub closed and was eventually bought by a developer. They converted the pub into a house and then erected a completely new property in what used to be the pub car park.
As well as the extra noise created during the build, those living next to the old pub now had two properties in close proximity, almost certainly reducing the value of nearby properties.
On the flip side, the second property we lived in was near a pub that had been converted into a care home for the elderly. This is an example of a positive change that may even increase the value of nearby homes since the noise and crime issues are no longer a factor.
It’s a bit of a lottery as depending on what the pub turns into, it could either increase the value of the house or decrease the value. It could cause you more problems or less.
Many of the factors we have looked at will only be an issue if you buy a property that’s in close proximity to a pub or bar. The closer you live to one, the more of the above issues you are likely to encounter.
However, if your property is close enough to pubs and bars for you to reach them with just a short walk, yet far enough away to avoid the common issues and noise they case, being close to pubs can actually increase the value of a home.
This particularly true in busy cities like London where people are more tolerant of noise and activity and are more likely to see pubs as a benefit rather than a curse.
So, Should You Buy A House Near A Pub?
Ultimately, the answer to the question “should you buy a house near a pub?” will depend on your own circumstances and attitudes to the factors mentioned above.
I’ve lived both near to an active pub and next to a pub that’s been converted into a care home….. and I know which one I prefer!
That said, being close to a pub will actually be a big plus point for some people and it will allow you to get more house for your money. Therefore, if you are prepared for the trade-offs we’ve mentioned, buying a house near a pub may not be a bad idea.
Just make sure you view the property multiple times and at different times of the day. And, be sure to visit the pub so you know what you are getting into if you do decide to buy a house near a pub.