How much can high voltage power lines affect the value of houses in Gale Ranch?

Asked by Amy, Sun Feb 3, 2013

Hello all, I have to apologize first if the topic has been discussed before...I am currently looking at a house in Gale Ranch. Power lines (the towers) are directly facing the house about 200 feet away and can be seen from the living room and some bedrooms. While the health impact of power lines is still under debate, I would like to know how much you think the re-sale value of the house would be affected by this? Given the low inventory in this area at the moment, buyers seem pretty desperate and will buy anything they can get. But I don't know if this is always gonna be the case. In a normal market, can houses like this be sold without a big discount? Would good schools near Gale Ranch make up this "major defect"? Thanks!

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reidefka’s answer
reidefka, Home Buyer, San Ramon, CA
Thu Feb 14, 2013
Consider it: (Taken from government report on Electro Magnetic Radiation from different power lines)

Annual risk of childhood leukaemia: 1 in 24,000 per year
(this is the average over childhood; at the peak at age 1-4 the risk is 1 in 13,000 per year)
Lifetime risk of childhood leukaemia 1 in 1600
Number of cases per year: 420 (E&W), 480 (UK)

Microtesla extremely low frequency magnetic fields may ameliorate hypertension.

We studied the effects of a micro-Tesla extremely low frequency magnetic field (microT ELFMF) on blood pressure. A 1-muT magnetic field was generated by Helmholtz coils (L, 3.0 meters; H, 1.7 meters) with 8/6-Hz alternating current. This study was carried out between March 2004 and March 2005, and data from a total of 30 volunteers were analyzed. The subjects' blood pressure was measured before and after exposure, at baseline, and 1, 2 and 3 months after the first ELFMF session. The mean age of the subjects was 46.5 years (range, 28-72 years). The median number of ELFMF sessions was 31.5, and the median duration of each session was 10.0 min (range, 2.0-120.0 minutes). In the hypertensive and normotensive subgroups, the difference between the baseline and 3-month pre-exposure systolic blood pressure (SBP) measurements was statistically significant (p
1 vote
I hope everyone that reads this person's comment takes a minute to do a bit of research and realize they are completely misleading you.
First they say that this information is from a government study (which country?) then they quote the abstract from a private for-profit Georgian (the country) publication's article unrelated to childhood leukemia. Right away this shows they are just throwing random information at you.
The numbers they quote are somewhat accurate but they are unrelated to EMF and power-lines. Childhood leukemia rates are 1 in 24,000 worldwide living near powerlines or not. There have been hundreds of studies done that have not found or cannot establish a link to EMF and cancer and a handful that have. These studies will also point out that the computer that you use and the cell phone in your pocket emit 2x the amount of EMF (at a higher frequency) than powerlines.
The world health organization classifies EMF the same as coffee, possibly carcinogenic.
Just my $0.02.
Flag Fri Sep 29, 2017
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Thu Feb 14, 2013
Such community influences have already been factored into the value of the home.
For instance, a similar home in a community free of high voltage power lines will likely be valued higher as a community. Be aware, others may value the no rear neighbors benefit, of greater significance than the hysteria others may embrace. However, as a community, power lines in the back yard is an element of 'like kind' real estate.

Same is true for the house on a busier street. Corner lot vs center lot vs a pie lot.

In the opposite direction all homes benefit positively when a golf course, beaches, parks and good schools are visible or accessible.

How much will this effect resale value. Not at all. Unless the power lines appeared during your ownership period, the influence has already been factored into the value. When it's time to resell, I would talk about the 'no back yard neigbors' and not about that hummmming from over the fence.
0 votes
That's absolutely inaccurate, and almost borderline comical. Only a RE agent would make such a comment, when there is medical and scientific evidence to support a threat.
Flag Mon Feb 29, 2016
Bob Georgiou, Agent, Danville, CA
Fri Feb 8, 2013
Power lines are not a "major defect" it is a market factor. Some people don't care a lick about it and since there is a fair percentage of the population that does fewer buyers means they homes will sell for less. This will not change on the bay a buyer sells as it does when a buyer buyer buys.

I ahve discovered recently that PG&E has its own house EMF inspectors who will come out and do EMF readings for buyers (and current owners). I am sure they are cataloging data for those who decide to sue for whatever reasons. It's a resource...
0 votes
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Feb 4, 2013
I think the way to answer your question is with other questions.

Are you expecting to get a discount on the house on the purchase of this house that you are looking at?

Will you and your family be happy looking out the window at the power towers as long as you live there?

Do you think a potential buyer will hesitate to buy from you when you eventually sell? (The towers and lines will still be there and you are questioning the wisdom of the purchase now.)

I had a client (seller) once whose house was at least as close to a power tower and lines as the house that you have described. He told me, “I am an engineer. I know the EMF means nothing. I did not hesitate to buy her and I don’t think it will stop anyone else.” His house sold strongly but it was a market that was favoring sellers and in a great neighborhood.

I have also seen houses that are near power towers and close to high power lines sit on the market and sell for less than similar houses that were away from the tower/lines. That was not a seller’s market.
0 votes
Maria Gilda…, Agent, Manchester, CT
Mon Feb 4, 2013
Home prices is market-driven. Having said this, although high voltage wires health or medical impact has not been established, it seems that there is a stigma attached to this.

Hence, marketability might be adversely affected in the future. As a result, it might drive the cost down.

I have stated MIGHT because there is no certainty that it will actually affect the buyers' decision in the future because there may be buyers' out there who may be willing to buy the property at it's market value without factoring in the presence of high tension wires.
0 votes
Steve Curtis, Agent, Walnut Creek, CA
Sun Feb 3, 2013
In any market only the "best homes" sell. The challenge right now is that there are so few homes for sale that every home is a "best home".. that translates that homes with some negatives will sell right along with homes with no negatives because virtually everything is selling.

The power lines have been shown to produce lower emf's than the clock on a microwave at least when they were tested on one of the properties we owned a few years back. The impact of the towers is strictly an esthetic one and psychological perhaps for some and therefore a potential negative..

If the view can be mitigated perhaps by planting some trees that could solve the issue and increase the value because the negative view is gone. The easiest example of this is: when a neighbor behind your house is looking into your planting some trees immediately upon moving in would over time significantly increase your privacy and therefore the value of the home upon resale.

Great schools are community amenities that significantly impact value and make particular neighborhoods more attractive and the competition for those homes higher ... the current low inventory severely impacts that competition. If you elect to buy a home with some negatives that can't be readily mitigated, just try to be in a position to sell when the market is at least as strong as when you buy.

Good Luck
Steve Curtis
Broker / Owner
0 votes
The Hagley G…, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sun Feb 3, 2013

The value of a home is determined by what a specific buyer would pay at a specific time. I feel that it would ultimately depend on market conditions - but I also feel that the value would be less than a home that would not have the power lines.But not much.

Ask your agent to pull comps on the home and compare them to other homes in the area without the powerlines. I live in Gale Ranch and I am happy to do this for you if you do not have an agent. I do not feel that the power lines are a "major defect," and I can assure you that homes in San Ramon do not sell at major discounts.

I hope this helps.

Cindi Hagley
The Hagley Grouo
Prudential CA Realty
0 votes
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