Can you buy your X out for that $200K and stay there? You might look into a second mortgage to buy her out
I’m sorry to hear about the divorce. That’s always tough. But on the bright side you have eliminated the WAF. So now you can do whatever you want audio wise.
Well sound energy dissipates with distance so the safest thing is to look for a house that has some distance from neighbors. Bass frequency’s carry the farthest and are the most problematic. The deeper the bass the more it penetrates the structure of the house. The only way to mitigate them is with mass or distance. Mass like the ground as in the basement or concrete walls. Concrete walls have there own problems through for audio. Because they (mostly) block the low frequency’s they also reflect them back into the room and cause standing waves that are very hard to deal with. Standard wood framed houses actually let much of the deepest bass leave the listening room. So distance to neighbors is the best solution if you can. I would also look for a larger room with higher ceilings and minimal glass. Glass is bad for sound and windows also let sound out out of the house.
Good luck in your search!
If the house you are considering is empty, and you have a cooperative realtor, I guess that can drag some gear there and do your own testing. If it is that important to you, you may want to confine your search to empty houses and work with one accomodating realtor. I think that most people if they are selling their own home would find the request quite odd.
I realize that this is an audiophile site but there are so many important variables in buying a home that be wary of your priorities.
Even reviewers such as Art Dudley and Robert Harley, who use their homes as reviewing sites, have written extensively about modifications that they have to make to new homes for listening purposes. It is a lot easier to tweak a system or a room for listening purposes than to have to fix an HVAC system, fix a flooded basement with sewage, deal with termite damage, or any of the wonderful things that can go wrong with a new home purchase.
Sorry to hear, that sounds similar to my situation.
TBH, your first priority is a home that you like, you find livable, and lastly, has a room that will accommodate your gear. Don't get ahead of yourself on anything else (I work in real estate). Because, any room can be "fixed" to do what you need. But first, you need that room. You can always fix it so the music can't be heard outside, or fix it so reflections, standing waves, etc. are mitigated. Just add that into the budget.
For instance, MLV (mass loadied vinyl) can be installed after the fact, or during minor build outs. Basement fixes are also possible, but remember the size of the space might be necessarily reduced depending on the work. With no worries of WAF, floor and window coverings can be a bit easier.
After 35 years of training, I still haven't gotten back to the "I don't care what it looks like" thing. I'm considering moving back to a large home I own and out of my townhouse. I think it didn't really dawn on me for a couple of weeks I can use the rather massive master suite as my "man cave" and sleep in one of the other bedrooms! Duh. That way, the living, dining and family spaces can remain relatively unscathed, and with hardwood floors, massive windows and an open floor plan, far less work involved than a carpeted and isolated bedroom.
Oh and remember, the realtor (I don't care what state) will do whatever you want as long as it's cleared with the listing agent. They want their commission, so if the home is vacant there's usually no issue. It's more of an issue if the home is occupied. Go out and rent one of those giant boom-boxes that they use on job sites. I think they can hit like 110db. That should tell you how much stray noise you've got outside!
Well, I see 2 issues with how you are searching: First, most homes you will see are relatively empty. Even if you drag a boom box or similar around with you, the sound will resonate much more from an empty house. So, I'd nix that idea.
Secondly, you are much better off looking for an unfinished basement. The vast majority of finished basements are not optimized for sound quality. All they are is drywall over studs which can kill sound quality. You are better off having the basement finished properly-which is a whole other story. To me, building the sound room is almost as much fun as building the sound system.
Don't stay in the same home. Who wants to go home and be reminded of the ex every day....
+1 elevick. Been there done that. New location advised, no bad memories allowed at 65. Windows, inserts by Larson or Indowindow will help. Bass issues and neighbors, mass loaded vinyl , 2 layers of 5/8 sheetrock, relatively inexpensive, green glue or similar which will tame outgoing and incoming bass to your room. Room education now pays off forever. The internet is a wonder place to educate and discover. Best.