There are many disadvantages to searching for urban real estate rather than a suburban or rural home. Not only are the prices much more expensive and the property sizes much smaller, but you will also have to deal with a lot more ambient noise in the city. Generally speaking the newer a building is the more insulated and soundproofed it will be, but no unit is perfect. Here are some tips for figuring out the noise levels in a place you're considering.
Never let the realtor decide what time of day you visit. Some noise problems occur on a set schedule, such as planes flying overhead or trains rushing by, so it can be easy for a real estate agent to schedule you in during the lulls. In fact, the best thing to do is to visit during several very different times of day (morning, afternoon, evening) and get the full picture. Always stay fifteen minutes or longer so you can be sure to catch any subway noise.
It can be helpful to learn about the area and its future before you buy a downtown Toronto condo for sale, because construction plans for future subway lines, highways, and factories can change the level of noise considerably. In fact, the seller may be attempting to get rid of the property before such construction drops the value of their real estate. If your realtor doesn't know, don't assume everything is fine. Do your own research.
There are many sources of noise. The most common type is traffic noise, which is usually worst between 8am and 9am and between 5pm and 6pm when everyone is traveling to and from work. If you are traveling during these peak times too, you may not mind getting a condominium for rent on a main avenue. Check the local area for police stations, fire stations, and ambulance bases. Although they make the neighborhood safer, they are also a source of noisy sirens.
And finally, make sure you find out about your neighbors. If you're getting a piece of real estate that abuts their property, you'll want to know if they like to mow the lawn at 6am on Sundays or play their trumpet at all hours of the day and night. Even a quiet person can be a bother if they live above you and have a heavy tread. Other things to watch out for include dogs and children. Click here for some example of noise bylaws.