Buying home near utility pole or service pole

priinceMay 11, 2009

I am a first time home buyer. We liked a house which is 6 years old and suits our likes. The only problem I noticed is there are service/utility lines along backyard's boundary.

I read the topics on power lines and the devaluation it causes, but these are wooden poles with couple of electric wires running across. The pole on left side is approx 2 houses away, but the one on left side is like 15 feet away.

The wooden poles look like this

After doing some web search I found they are not same as power lines, but called service lines or utility lines.

My concerns are about safety (mainly during thunderstorms & lightening) and who pays the costs if county wants to do some maintenance which might affect our fencing.

Please advise.



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Sorry the link to pole picture is

Sorry I can't figure out to edit the original post.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:49PM
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What kind of lines? Electric? Telephone?
I would be concerned about the one 15 feet away. Did the company get variences and are they recored? The seller/re agent should have more information. city? county? Do the trucks have to come on your property to get to the lines? Lots of questions to get answers for.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 2:20PM
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We have a corner lot. At the point where the two streets meet we have a telephone pole. On the telephone pole is a fire call box. The pole has zero influence on our property value. Actually, it's sorta handy! :) I placed my home weather station's wind guage on the pole! Perfect.

We lose power here a in about twice/month. That's an issue with overhead power lines no matter where the poles or transformers. There's never been a problem involving the pole at our corner. I have seen service trucks there several times using bucket ladders from the street. No harm done to our landscaping. We knowingly planted in the easement area. So, worst case is we have to relocate some landscaping for an unforeseen happenstance.

If you love the house I sure wouldn't let a telephone pole stop me from purchasing.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 2:28PM
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Our current home has underground power, cable and phone lines, but previous homes did not. I'm sure there were several where the utility poles were on our property and it never impacted resale value. If it's common in your area to have above ground utilities then a utility pole shouldn't be an issue.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 3:00PM
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My last house had backyard poles. They are at the corner of the property line and ours was obscured by the garage. Originally one line crossed from the pole to the neighbors house diagonally across our yard. We called to have it moved and they promptly did. They just strung it along the back wire and secured it, then ran it to her house. Instead of a diagonal across our yard, formed an L to her yard. Never an issue for us or anyone else in the neighborhood.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 3:14PM
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Those are some very calming responses. Just one thing though, I am not sure if they are electric or telephone? :( Will it be very different? I have asked my agent to inquire with seller or their agent about this concern.

I will find that out hopefully this week and follow up.

Thanks. Please keep expressing your thoughts. I am learning a lot in this home buying process.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 4:27PM
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The pole is most likely electric, telephone and cable. One of the utilities (the one that got there first) will own the pole and the other utilities pay some sort of fee or in-kind for use. They may also be municipality owned and all the utilities pay a fee. This isn't common in my area even though a lot of municipalities here wish it was.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:58AM
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Thanks xamsx. So who pays if they have to remove a part of my fence to do any repair/maintenance work on the poles?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 12:03PM
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If a utility company damages your property during maintenance of their equipment, then they will repair it for you when their work is complete.

However, if you have any trees that interfere with their utility lines they have the right to "maintain" the trees and do a "slice and dice" job on the trees. I've seen some pretty bad hack jobs on trees by utility companies. But they pay for all tree work to maintain their lines. We once had a huge cottonwood tree that had been pretty badly hacked by utility companies before we purchased the home. I was going to have the tree removed but never got around to it. One day the utility company came a knocking and told me they needed access to my yard to trim the tree branches that were touching the utility lines. I told them I was going to have the tree removed so have at it. They asked if I wanted them to remove the tree and I was ecstatic. They removed the tree at no cost when I would have been looking at several hundred dollars to have someone come in to do it for me.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:08PM
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Thanks cordovamom for sharing your experience.. It's always good to know who takes care of what because when cable or utility people come, they want you to take the bullets.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:48PM
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