Noise levels are not frequently considered when selecting a home, but the amount of ambient noise and the level generally allowed in the neighborhood can make a significant difference to the quality of your life. For instance, is the home in the flight path of a nearby airport? train station or highway? All of these can make transportation quicker and easier to access, but tend to increase the noise levels. Is it near a hospital or police station, which can be good for safety reasons and if someone in the home has a serious medical condition, but means you may need to deal with sirens at inconvenient times.
Noise can also be a consideration when making choices about things like appliances (how noisy are they?) or other aspects of your home (the material used to construct the floors, walls and ceilings can affect how much noise is reflected in the room and how noisy it is).
The term "noise" usually refers to the sounds that we don't want. Some sounds, like music, are often desirable. Some neighborhoods, condo associations or apartment complexes have regulations about noise levels. In communities designed for seniors, there may even be rules restricting children from playing outside. If you have children or like to have parties with music and lots of people, you may want to be cautious about signing a lease with strict rules and penalties for any noise that can be heard from other apartments after 10 p.m. For less strict locations, one of the "time honored" ways of keeping neighbors from complaining about party noise is to invite them to the party. (Even if they decide not to attend, this sets a friendlier tone and provides them with warning that there may be more people coming and going at that time.)