Home Buying in Waltham>Question Details

John, Home Buyer in Boston, MA

is it safe to buy a house near 115 kv electric transmission lines?

Asked by John, Boston, MA Fri Feb 27, 2009

we liked a house in waltham.But it has a 115kv electric transmission lines near the house.will it be a wise decision to buy it ?is it safe?

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Robert Byrne’s answer
There are contrary views on transmission lines. While some people see them as just an eyesore, others feel they are dangerous because of the EMF (Electro Magnetic Fields). Here you have to make your own determination. From a re-sale value point of view transmission lines are on a par with freeway proxmity. The more you can see them the less valuable the home is to the buying public. There are people who will not buy a home close to transmission line period.

Do your research. Talk to the neighbors, the city building and health departments, check with the utility company and the EPA. Then make the choice that is right for you and your family.


Web Reference: http://www.robertmbyrne.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 27, 2009
I am an experimental psychologist, and in short I think both Robert and Matt are right on target. The interesting history about power lines and health issues is that it is one of the more notorious examples of fraud in the history of scientific inquiry. The only reports showing health issues living near power lines were published by Robert Liburdy in the early 1990s. These have since been retracted because he basically chose his subjects in such a way to guarantee his results (i.e., excluding healthy individuals living near power lines for no reason). The link below is to a rather boring, but important censure of Dr. Liburdy by the National Institutes of Health for his fraudulent work. However, these things get out into the public consciousness and linger there, so the words of caution by the previous post are really important. Even if there is no actual health concern... some people will think there is and thus not want to buy your house. So if you don't mind the lines, as Robert says -- go for it. But if you are at all concerned about resale value, remember that some people may have this concern, and others will just think the lines are an eyesore.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 7, 2010

The science on high voltage wires has shown no discernible evidence that there are health problems associated with these wires. Nevertheless, there are many people who do not believe the studies, and as Robert mentioned, find them unsightly, so what you need to know about buying a home with this issue is two-fold: 1) It will sell cheaper than its peers who do not have a similar issue 2) The buyer of this home will have to sell it cheaper than its peers in the future. So, it's not a bad idea, but know that you need to get it cheap, because you will have to sell it cheap. Be practical. If you like the house, and think you can stay there 10 years, and it fits your budget, than you need to consider it. Because the "same house" somewhere else will be more money. But if your time line is less than 5 years, I would get something "smaller" and "safer" that will be easier to sell in the future.
Web Reference: http://www.bjheisler.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 3, 2009
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