New poll: Less power to ya?

(11/15/07) - (Harrisonburg)
Power lines litter the landscape on Covenant Drive in Harrisonburg.
(Nikki Fox/Daily News-Record) Bill Burruss of Lynchburg suggested this one.

Looking at the effect of power lines on real estate, he wrote, "I asked a major appraiser, who has been an expert witness for APCO, about how these lines effect the price of real estate and he says that it has no effect." But Bill disagrees. What’s your take?

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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9 Responses to New poll: Less power to ya?

  1. I blogged about this subject last year and got some interesting responces:

  2. Ben, Thanks for running this poll. Charles, great photography on your blog. I have started my own visual file called the “Powerlines of Central Virginia.”

    I try to think outside the box. Power and the use of eminent domain for power are of interest to me. Currently, I am following the re-licensing of Smith Mountain and Leesville Lakes to APCO and the proposed wind turbines along a ridge in Highland County. There is no question that we need power and will need more of it. We know who will benefit. My moral question about the wind turbines has to do with the visual effect they will have on a community that prospers from selling its setting. Will families flock to the area to see and hear these new images? Or, will they say lets head for the hills of West Virginia? Will land prices rise or fall in the area that sees these majestic fans? I do not know, but I do feel that REALTORS© have an obligation to assist the public. We need to know the pros and cons of any debate.

  3. There are areas of Loudoun County that have power lines running right through them. The properties that are closer to the power lines typically sell for less than the ones that don’t.

    Perhaps there’s no mathematical formula that shows how much less a property is worth based on the number of feet from the power lines…but ask any buyer and they’ll tell you that they’d rather have the house further away, which translates into less money/market value for the sellers close to the power lines.

  4. Jeremy Hart says:

    I agree with Danilo, I think they absolutely kill the value. I’ve never been in a property with power lines running overhead, or adjacent to the property, and not had the buyer mention it.

  5. Jim Duncan says:

    I find it implausible and discouraging that a professional appraiser would say that power lines have no effect on a property’s value … and then you say he’s a witness for APCO. Follow the money.

  6. Jim, your observation is correct. I’d say it is kind’a scary. After I spoke with the appraiser I spoke to my father’s attorney. He specializes in working with clients that are having their property condemned. Most of his work is with property that is being taken because of roads being widened. His response was that lawyers doing this type of work need more expert witnesses. Because of the training and experience that appraisers receive their data would be accepted as being analytical and ours, the REALTOR©, as intuitive. However, in the near future when our MLS databases contain greater amounts of data we may know more about the effects of these power lines.

  7. Cindy Jones says:

    I posted a blog about this awhile ago.

    Personally if given a choice I will always suggest to my buyers that if it gives them pause then it most likely is going to give the next buyer pause as well.

  8. Bill – The folks thinking of heading to WV to avoid wind turbines better do their homework. I have seen them in a number of places over there.

  9. The appraisers may not make take the issue into consideration, as they look at the four corners, but the URAR from Fanniemae does ask this question: Are there any adverse site conditions or external factors (easements, encroachments, environmental conditions, land uses, etc.)?

    Why would they ask and not assume that power lines not be included ergo a factor?

    I’ve honestly never had a buyer be indifferent to powerlines, most won’t get out the car when they seem them.

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