Home Buying in Marlboro>Question Details

Katie, Home Buyer in 07747

Would you buy a gorgeous home with an electrical tower approx 50 yds away?

Asked by Katie, 07747 Sun Jul 6, 2008

My husband and I found a perfect home, in a great area (schools, community, etc), with all of the things we want in our perfect house. Typically this town is out of our price range, but this house was surprisingly affordable for us. The catch is that across the street (50 yds) there is a huge electrical tower. There are 3 more towers that continue as you drive down the street. I really like the house, but I can't seem to get over the steel eye sores. Are the towers as big a deal as I am making them out to be? Should they persuade me into not going for the house in an area we probably will not be able to afford again?

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Gina’s answer
I, too, am in the same position. It is an eye sore, but now I am questioning the health risks. The house has almost everything we have been looking for & couldn't find. It's those darn towers that are so close you can just about touch them. Very confused & don't know what to do.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Hi Katie, Jeannie Feenick here from Weichert Realtors - I would not suggest that you drop your personal preferences and overall discomfort with the electrical towers. As others have suggested, it is likely this very issue that is bringing this home in this town into your price range. It will affect its resale value, just as it is today. It will affect price and time to sell, since it is but a small subset of the whole that will accept the presence of the towers.

Given the market dynamics, my best is that you will be able to get more home than you might have expected in communities you might have thought out of your reach without giving up things that are important to you.

It is all a matter of balance - of sorting through what matters most to you. Whether you buy this house or not, the process of thinking it through with your family will be an important stepping stone. I say to my buyers, "I don't know exactly where this path will take you, but I do know that every step we take will be necessary to get there!"

Good luck. If I can be of service....you can find me here and on my website htp://www.feenick.com

Jeannie Feenick
Weichert Realtors
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
We live in a home with an electrical tower behind our home. We had our energy company come out and test the power line emitage and believe it or not the items you have in your home emit more emf's than the tower ie: microwave, stove, digital clocks, and TV. Many are 50 times as much. I think many people are afraid because they are uneducated. Good luck with your search.
6 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
How long do you plan on living there?
I think after about 3 years the kids will start to glow a faint greenish tint.

Just kidding, I used to live near towers like this and the only thing I noticed was the sudden loss of memory!

Kidding again... But in winter and nasty rain storms you can hear some neat crackling sounds and at night sometimes can see a mini version of Alaska's aurora borealis, it's rare but I have seen it. Perhaps also because there were also oil storage tanks & refinery near by in linden. Maybe the gases and the high tension lines and moisture in the air were the cause. By the way this is a beautiful site, do a Google search for "aurora borealis"

Anyway I'd have to agree with Heather on this one and wouldn't pay so much attention to the radial fanatics or those who have had experienced unfortunate circumstances in their family which are either coincidence or made up stories. I lived for several years with these behind my house and I'm not sick or dead so you be the judge.

You will find people out there that have an opinion on just about everything, most not based on fact or anything proven rather just speculation and coincidence. There will always be those entertained by conspiracy theories and then other who want to make themselves a part of the story but in the end, it is ultimately your decision and based on how you posed the question, it sounds like you may have already made yours.

Perfect house, in your price range, great schools, half a football field's distance away from the house and you’re asking for people to persuade you not to buy the house???

Hmmm.... Enjoy your new home!

Victor Kaminski
Broker of Record
Marivic GMAC Real Estate
2056A Lincoln Hwy. (Rt.27)
Edison, NJ 08817-3330
Office: 732-650-9911 Ext.302
Cellular: 908-884-5757
Toll Free: 1-866-745-GMAC(4622) Ext.302
(MIDDLESEX MLS SEARCH) http://search.victor.msx.mlxchange.com/
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(Monmouth/Ocean MLS) http://monmouthoceanmls.com/victor
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 20, 2008
I was in the same situation. I was looking for a home in NJ and, of course lookes at all the listing photos on the web. I came across a home that was close to what I was looking for and the price was great. I wondered why the price was lower than others in the same area.

I did a search of the property address on livelocal.com where you can see properties at a bird's eye view from a sattelite photo (these photos are usually 2-3yrs old, but gives you a good idea of the area). In the photo I noticed a power line tower DIRECTLY behind the house, almost above the pool! Of course for marketing sake, the realtor who photographed the yard took a picture of the pool up to the top of the fence where you wouldn't see the tower. Do a search on the internet for the effects of EMFs, check the link below to get started:

I didn't look twice at that property because of the towers. Even though the price was great, I care more about the possible health effects of my family. Also, I never take the word of a power company or town official. They will always say it's OK. Do your research.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 15, 2008
To me, your question doesn't necessarily revolve around "problems" that a engineer or scientist needs answer so much, personal taste and probable resale value.

The truth is, no one wants to live next to the high rise electrical towers, as you said, it's a eye sore. More importantly though, some people believe it's a health hazard.

Ironically you yourself actually stated something in your question that should be the biggest tell for you and that is, I quote, "Typically this town isout of our price ranbe but, this house was surprisingly affordable for us", hence the electrical towers.

My point is, just as it was surprisingly affordable for you, there might come a time when you will need to make it just as affordable for someone else when ready to sell, so keep that in mind when and if you might need to move out of this home in the future.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
I personally wouldn't purchase a home within view of power lines.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 14, 2013
well you don't know what you are missing.
Flag Thu Jun 18, 2015
People are starting to respond to this 2008 post again...

The truth of the matter is there is no conclusive evidence to date that power line towers causes cancer. I'd test your soil first, chances are better that you have radon or some ground contamination that would lead to that, IMO.

I just noticed Sybil's post, that was an interesting tidbit of info http://www.trulia.com/voices/Home_Buying/Would_you_buy_a_gor…

I think the biggest concern is finding people that don't mind staring at the big towers behind their properties obstructing the view of the sky. The Edison area is like a main thoroughfare for these towers, they criss-cross all over, even in the high end expensive sections. Unless it is literally in your back yard causing ease of potential resale issues due to fussy buyers. I had a listing like that and people pulled up, saw the tower and never went inside saying never mind.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 21, 2010
no, my aunt is a doctor and she said theyd cause cancer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 21, 2010
I believe they cause health issues as every since we moved into this home almost 5 years ago I have been sick with several health issues and they can't seem to get to the cause or make me better. I wish I had thought about this when looking at the house I have 2 right behind my house.
Flag Tue Jan 19, 2016
In addition to the fact that these, like gas lines and major highways bring the values down. (I have seen 30% reductions or more due to such). There have been many lawsuits around the EMF (electro magnetic fields) generated while PSE&G believe there is no health risks (surprised?)
Even if there are no health concerns the belief there may be is what brings value down in addition to the plain ugly appearance of the towers.
That said, at the right price everything will sell.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
Usually when you have those issues are concerns for the other future buyers. Real estate professionals per the code of ethics can’t make those comments on where person should live if you work positively in concert with your real estate agent I am assured you will have solutions to all of your questions resolved. Good luck http://www.lynn911.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
i live in in spain ,and i have a electricity tower in my land , i ,would like to know if they need to pay me rent
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 1, 2013
Hi Katie,

What I would say to you is think about the reaction you are having to them as a buyer and just know that is the reaction that a buyer will have when you go to sell. If you think you will be moving sooner rather than later, I would stay away from it - two reasons (one the visual effect it has on you and others; two the unknown health consequences - real or unreal - buyers will take pause because until there is a definite answer from a medical entity stating that there is no negative impact that is also a potential drawback when you go to sell). Now all that being said, if you believe you won't be moving anytime soon and you remember years from now how you felt and price the home accordingly...and it won't drive you nuts each time you drive into your home, then maybe to get into the town you want at an affordable price it might be worth the risk. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
No! The chance the towers disappears at some point are marginal, the chances it gets even bigger are huge. So definitely NO!

Furthermore there are many people fearing about negative effects from electrical lines specially in Europe. Wait a few years and everybody will talk about that here.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 3, 2009
If your talking about the towers along Rt. 79 then I would tell a future buyer that they also run along the Henry Hudson trail. At fifty yards away it makes for easy access to the trail which goes from Freehold all the way to Atlantic Highlands. As far as electromagnetic radiation, does anyone here use a cellphone? Seems like a non-issue as far as health is concerned.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 3, 2009
We don't know what information will be discovered in the next few years about the impact of the electromagentic fields. New info may calm fears in the next few years, or it may further ignite fears.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 9, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
I'd go with Deborah. My buyers walk away from a house when they see a huge electrical tower near the house. Not only is it unsightly, they swear that they worry about the electronic fields as a health issue.

Regardless of whether the health issue is creditable or not, the fact that people will walk away with one look of the towers in front tell you whether this is a wise decision or not.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 9, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
Many buyers will walk away. Buyers need to do their own due diligence and make a determination about their willingness to live with electrical towers near them.

if you decide that you will accept the towers, know that when you sell your property, many buyers will pass on your property and your property will sell for less than similar properties in the area. You will save on the front end and discount on the back end.

I had buyers earlier this season entertain the thought of a making an offer on a property near an electrical tower. My buyers opted against it, but someone else bought the property soon after we looked at it.

Good Luck
Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group - New Jersey
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 9, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Thanks for your 2 cents Chris but the seller stated in her question that SHE found the PERFECT home!!!
You're going to argue with her or were you trying to direct that argument to me?

About the last comment, I checked out the Mercola site, that guy is a Quack!
Microwave ovens, Cell Phones & Magnets cause cancer?

He's made a campaign against a direct competitor of his business which creates genetically altered seeds that grow larger veggies and fruits just as a scare tactic so people don’t eat veggies and fruits because they are all poisoned because the seeds that grew them are not natural, they've been genetically altered?

All in the same breath this quack gives a sales pitch that because you can't eat these foods anymore and you can't get these vitamins from eating meat, you'll need supplements, my Mercola SUPER - Potent Formula!!! AND don't fall for those other so called organic supplement providers, mine are the only real ones that are natural and don't contain things that will harm you like the others do, Oh Brother....

Let's keep this a real estate blog shall we, there are enough infomercials on TV.

BTW. Read this article on RipOff Report about this "Doctor" http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/114/RipOff0114203.htm
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 9, 2008
check out http://www.mercola.com and get the truth about EMG and EMF.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 9, 2008
NO, its not quite perfect in my opinion, i am sorry, there is no evidence of it not causing cancer, so why take a chance.

I dont mean to be blunt, just sharing my 2 cents.

Best wishes to you both
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 29, 2008
Hi Katie,
I don't think there is solid evidence that electrical towers cause any illnesses however there is alot of controversy surrounding this issue. I will say the towers will affect the resale value in the future.

Good Luck
Heather Daccurso
Weichert Realtors
Office: 732-577-0440
Cell: 732-580-5309
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 19, 2008
My very active and healthy parents moved into their dream house with a huge tower in the back yard. Within a few years, my mother died of leukemia and my father developed myasthenia gravis. We buried my mom in Sept of 2001 and moved my dad out of the house. He then completely ' got over ' his disease and is still living today quite well. You be the judge. colliefarmer@q.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 19, 2008
Run a search "living near powerlines" on Google and you will see what the "experts" think. There were so many articles that I didn't want to steer you either way. Check it out for yourself and then decide. I would worry more about the health risks than the eyesore potential.
Remember that there is always a reason a house is priced where it is, and it's usually the location.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 9, 2008
The decision has to be yours. However, to answer your question from my own, personal perspective: No, I would not.

The comments below are correct that you should be able to buy the home at whatever discount is appropriate for proximity to the power lines. So, if you buy 20% under comps for non-power line properties and you sell at 20% under, then financially you haven't lost anything. That's true, but...

Your pool of purchasers for the house is going to be much smaller. It'll probably take longer to sell.

Second, there's still some uncertainty over whether the electromagnetic radiations from the lines have any health effects. Maybe yes, maybe no. But the uncertainty would be enough to concern me. (I'm old enough...barely...to remember cigarette commercials featuring doctors proclaiming the safety of certain cigarette brands. Yup. They did.) Or the many times since then when either private industry or government has proclaimed the safety of other items. (Thalidomide approved by the FDA....blood transfusions in the early 1980s before science understood the transmission mechanism of AIDS...Fen-Fen for dieting, and so on.) I'm not saying it was all a big conspiracy (or conspiracies). Just that sometimes it takes a while for scientists to understand the effects of certain chemicals, energy transmissions, and biology.

The odds of the power lines having a health influence are probably small. And the house, according to you, is a really good deal. Many people, faced with those factors, would choose to buy. And, so long as they understand the issues, and know that resale will be more challenging than a similar house not near those power lines, that's fine.

So: Really, you have to make your own decision.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
Dear Katie,
Obviously this is a very personal decision. You should have your agent pull all the comps from that street, and see how the tower has affected the other home sales. Look at the days on the market, if the houses are selling, someone is buying them. As with anything out of the ordinary, prices will be lower, but if the house s have consistently been selling, then use that information as a guide to making your decision.

It is something you will see daily, so make sure you are ok with that.

Weigh the plusses and minuses of the house, and make your decision based on all that knowledge.

Good Luck.

Sharon Kozinn
Web Reference: http://sharonkozinn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
Electrical towers can effect reale value, but you are going to realize those savings in the purchase price of the property. I personally know of no effects of living within 50 yards of electrical towers -- and if there were issues you would see plenty of lawsuits as there are tons of people living close to transmission lines. More of a perceived problem than an actual one.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
I personally would not, however that is my personal opinion not based on science, I would consult the town or a professional engineer to discuss if the towers would be a problem.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 6, 2008
If you don't think you'd be comfortable living with them there, then you should avoid living there. Other than that, you should do what you can to try to get that house. It could be a really great move for you. I personally don't think that having to look at them would be a concern big enough to keep you from getting the house. You can definitely talk to neighbors about what their thought are though. That will help you get a better idea of how much it affects people.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 1, 2015
Not sure why folks protest so much, but I can tell you from personal experience that showing a home next to (or very near) power lines has been a dealbreaker for more than one client!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
The towers are not a big deal, they are a HUGE deal! Unless the power company has plans to remove the power towers you must fully understand they will be on your street and next to your house forever. When you go to sell your house the prospective buyers will be asking themselves the same question as you are: Can I live next to a power tower forever?

There was a similar situation in my neighborhood of upscale homes. One house had a power tower in the back yard. That house went up for sale every 2 years or so over the 20 years I lived in that neighborhood. New owners would try to disguise the tower with landscaping or creative fencing. But the tower never went away.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
I believe Katie has left the building! This question was asked seven years ago. Let it die! (though the subject is always germane!)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
If you take a 3 foot fluorescent tube out by the tower, and put one end in the ground, it will light up.


I would never live next to towers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
Exposure to very low levels of EMF over extended periods of time (i.e. living near towers) has been proven to promote (not cause, but promote) brain tumors. See most recent published findings: http://microwavenews.com/news-center/elf-emfs-cancer-promotion

Educate yourself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 27, 2014
Would you buy a house with a interstate highway running through the front yard? Same answer: No

The electrical towers will always be there and will continue to reduce the value of any residential real estate in the immediate area.

I have yet to find anyone excited to own a house next to a electrical power tower.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 12, 2014
rs down the road. Look for something else
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 8, 2014
These options can be tough choices....we often remind our buyers that they should never purchase a property without considering its resale potential.

The fact that you are wrestling with this as a valid buying option is something that should be remembered because should you elect to buy and need to sell in the future, these buyers will likely experience the same feelings you are presently. Additionally, whatever great deal you get as a buyer, you can expect to pass at least this amount along to your next buyer.

For my money, too many people would rule this out as an option, for me to consider it.....

Good luck with your decision.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2014
As an experienced Electrical Engineer who constantly gets this question, (more than once a week) I wanted to offer some perspectives.

For one, you cannot judge the magnetic field simply by looking at the size of the tower. That depends on current load, phasing and geometry of the primary distribution power lines attached to those towers. I have measured over a thousand of these lines and I can tell you that they will vary from less than 2 milliGauss (or mG - a measure of magnetic flux density) to over 290 mG.

This is a variance of over 1 - 100X which is more than two orders of magnitude. I have an article that explains this in more detail elsewhere, but what often occurs is a "tunnel vision" on the part of the concerned homeowner. They focus on the highly visible substation, large green transformers in the yard and tall 238 kV power lines, etc. that ironically may not substantially influence the ambient field of the home, BUT they miss the buried secondary power feed running underneath the street in front of the property or the lines running in the back alley.

And then there is what seems like every other home I find in Dallas / Ft. Worth area that has a miswired 3 way switch which is a code violation among other potential electrical fire hazards that could be hiding much closer than 50 yards away.

You don't have to believe that electromagnetic fields are directly harmful, but homeowners (particularly with children) have a right to be concerned and informed about what they are purchasing and living in.

I don't think anyone would agree that either electrical code violations are good, or that allowing the stress that comes from a lack of good empirical knowledge and informed context to complicate or overshadow a real estate transaction that may otherwise be a perfectly good home to purchase.

One thing I have started encouraging more is that people begin radon testing their homes as it is a problem in parts of North Texas and the DFW area, not just in another part of the country. Close to 1/4th of all homes in Dallas county either exceed the EPA action limit of 4 picoCuries/liter or fall in a marginal range.

And radon is a proven and significant carcinogen; the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. We also provide this service if you don't have time or don't feel comfortable doing the test, (there are a few tricky parts to it) but it can also be done by purchasing a kit at certain home supply stores.

Good health to you all!

Joel-Anthony Gray
B.S. Electrical Engineering / Specialization in Nanoscience Technology
A.S. Electronic Telecommunications

ScanTech Technical Consulting
"The Unusual Problem Specialist"
http://www.scantech7.com http://emfsurveydallas.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2014
I wouldn't go with this house if you have such reservations about it. You'll just end up thinking about it over and over again over the course of the many years that you'll live there. This will make your house less than the refuge from the stress of the world that you probably want it to be.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 19, 2013
skip it...you will find the perfect house~it is not worth the risk.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 9, 2008
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