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Resale a concern on land with power lines

Whether the reports of health hazards are true or not is almost irrelevant. Just the fact that many people are truly concerned about the potential health effects of living near a wind farm, or the electromagnetic radiation from high voltage electrical wires, is reason enough to try to avoid buying a property that is close to power lines. It's a simple law of economics: As demand for a product goes down, so does its price. When you have a certain number of people avoiding a certain property, for whatever reason, the price of that property will be negatively affected.

Question: We have been reading about the people in Oregon who are being subjected to health risks by living close to a wind turbine farm. My wife and I are concerned about the health risks of living near high-tension power lines, specifically the electromagnetic fields we've heard about. Many of the newer homes in Snohomish County are near, or have transmission lines on the property. Have you any information as to what is considered a safe distance, or should we be concerned about these high-tension lines when looking at properties?

Answer: Like the recent news reports about "wind turbine syndrome," several years ago there was a lot of publicity about alleged health hazards from electromagnetic radiation caused by living near high voltage power lines. Later scientific reports questioned the validity of those findings, and as far as I know, there is no conclusive proof at this time that high voltage power lines definitely cause health problems.

But as your question points out, there are still plenty of people who worry about these things.

Whether the reports of health hazards are true or not is almost irrelevant. Just the fact that many people are truly concerned about the potential health... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Question: We have been reading about the people in Oregon who are being subjected to health risks by living close to a wind turbine farm. My wife and I are concerned about the health risks of living near high-tension power lines, specifically the electromagnetic fields we've heard about. Many of the newer homes in Snohomish County are near, or have transmission lines on the property. Have you any information as to what is considered a safe distance, or should we be concerned about these high-tension lines when looking at properties?

Answer: Like the recent news reports about "wind turbine syndrome," several years ago there was a lot of publicity about alleged health hazards from electromagnetic radiation caused by living near high voltage power lines. Later scientific reports questioned the validity of those findings, and as far as I know, there is no conclusive proof at this time that high voltage power lines definitely cause health problems.

But as your question points out, there are still plenty of people who worry about these things.

Whether the reports of health hazards are true or not is almost irrelevant. Just the fact that many people are truly concerned about the potential health effects of living near a wind farm, or the electromagnetic radiation from high voltage electrical wires, is reason enough to try to avoid buying a property that is close to power lines. It's a simple law of economics: As demand for a product goes down, so does its price. When you have a certain number of people avoiding a certain property, for whatever reason, the price of that property will be negatively affected.

For example, if you owned a home next to a freeway, the traffic noise might not bother you at all. But for many homebuyers, that would be a major turn-off. They would not consider buying your home at any price. When you reduce the number of potential buyers for your home, you in turn, reduce the price you can expect to receive because there is less competition due to limited demand for that home.

Now please don't misunderstand me. Readers who live next to high-tension power lines should not panic. I'm not saying that you are risking your life. My point is simply this: A number of people are concerned about the possible health risks of living near high-tension electrical lines and those people will not buy your house when you put it on the market. We all know that "location, location, location" are the three most important factors in determining the value of real estate. Some factors positively affect a property's location, such as waterfront or a view. Other factors negatively affect its location, such as fronting a busy street. Power lines fall into the negative category for aesthetic and alleged health reasons.

Many people live in homes with negative location factors and they are perfectly happy. For one thing, these homes are less expensive than homes with positive location factors for the reasons described above, so it may be the only way they could afford to own a home. But the bottom line is that homes in less desirable locations are usually harder to sell.

You may not care about the resale value of your home because you plan to live there forever, but be aware of the potential financial risk you are taking. If you ever find yourself in a position where you have to sell your home quickly, it may be harder to sell if it's located next to high-voltage power lines, which means you will probably have to price it low and possibly take a loss on the sale.

If possible, you should avoid putting yourself in that position. But if the only home you can afford is located next to power lines, and it meets all of your other home buying criteria, go ahead and buy it with the knowledge that you will also have to make it affordable when you sell it.

Mail your real estate questions to Steve Tytler, The Herald, P.O. Box, Everett, WA 98206, or e-mail him at economy@heraldnet.com.


Source: http://www.heraldnet.com/ar...

AUG 24 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16698-resale-a-concern-on-land-with-power-lines
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