One of the more interesting sites I’ve come across is HowLoud. It’s a great tool for noise-sensitive buyers who want a larger, data-driven perspective on how loud a particular location is.
You can type in an address and get the SoundScore, which aggregates noise from cars and plane traffic and other “local sources.” You end up with a number from 50-100 (the lower the number, the louder the location) that rates the noise level at a given property.
The site was developed by Brendan Farrell, who was looking for an apartment in Los Angeles in a quiet location. He couldn’t find anything online that rated noise levels, so he built the site to help others looking for a new home.
I typed in my office address at 4040 24th Street in Noe Valley, and the SoundScore is a 70 for “active.” AndyTown Roasters in the Outer Sunset scores a 69, and The Ramp in Dogpatch rates a 74. Scores go down and indicate louder noise levels the closer you are to freeways.
San Francisco is a busy, dense city and you’re unlikely to find a spot that scores much higher than 80. But HowLoud is a helpful tool for getting a grip on what’s around the home you’re considering purchasing.