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Homeowners Worry Traffic Will Dissuade Home Buyers

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RALEIGH — Now is a great time to buy or sell a home. But some Wake County homeowners are having a tough time selling. The problem isn't their homes, but the location. It's right in the middle of a high traffic construction zone.

The construction going on in northeast Wake County will widen Highway 401. Some homeowners are afraid the project and all the traffic is closing in on their chances to sell their houses. Real estate experts say just because there's traffic in the area today, it's not a reason to steer clear of homes in the region. They predict the area will be a driving force in the future.

These days rush hour near the US-1/401 split means a lot of commuters have a lot more time to sit and wait in traffic. Further down the road, dozens of homeowners are worried the project may be discouraging prospective buyers, which means they'll have to sit and wait even longer to sell their homes.

"We were worried about it as well," explains Tara Johnson. "We've had our house on the market for about two weeks now. And things are starting off pretty slow."

And for other homeowners, it's been even slower. Some homes have been on the market for several months. Johnson is hanging her hopes on the completion of 401.

"Once this gets expanded to four lanes, I don't think we'll have any problem at all," Johnson admits. "With the outer loop coming through here as well, it's going to be very easy to travel to RTP in a matter of minutes."

Real estate watchers agree. They say while some are avoiding homes in northeast Wake County because of the congested drive to Raleigh and RTP. The road expansion will eventually improve the commute and improve market values. In the meantime, buyers and sellers should be patient and optimistic.

"I personally think it's affecting the market positively," says Remax Property Associate Ida Terbet. "At the same time you have to realize that with growth, you're also going to have some congestion. It's a great area. It's going to appreciate. And when 401 North does expand to four lanes, watch out! It's going to be another Cary."

One homeowner in the area said he did lower the price of his home because of the traffic and construction. His house sold. Real estate experts say other homeowners may need to do the same and factor this construction into their asking price.

They say new residents will enjoy coming home to northeast Wake County. andMJ Ainsley