How close is too close to power lines?

Jeanine12October 22, 2013

I found a great piece of property that is about 5.8 acres. The only issue is that there are power lines about 100 ft. from the property line.
Across the street is the actual tower.

Is this safe or should we walk away from our dream piece of land?

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chispa

What type of lines? How big are the towers? Voltage? How many? Can you "hide" them with trees? How many other lots are near the lines? Can you hear the buzzing?

We have major high voltage lines that cross through our town and lots of properties border the easement trail. I would not buy one of those lots. They do sell for less than other lots in town. The buzzing would drive me crazy. Obviously plenty of people have no problem buying these properties and in my town even though they do sell for a bit less, the prices here (LA area) are still in the 7 figures for these properties.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 1:53PM
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sylviatexas1

Health & safety issues aside, as chispa says, those power lines aren't going to leave, & they'll still be affecting property values when you sell.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 1:57PM
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Chadoe3

If it was truly my dream piece of land, the power lines wouldn't phase me at all.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:40PM
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violetwest

I don't believe in any of the claims about causing cancer, etc., but they are an eyesore. On that large of a property, I wouldn't worry unless they are in your main view or right over your patio and make noise.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 2:52PM
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ncrealestateguy

There are a few items that the majority of buyers just despise... public and private easements, busy roads, extreme slopes and large power lines.
If you decide to purchase the place, you should get a very good deal on it or pass it up.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 5:07PM
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liriodendron

Another issue is that power ROW are often treated with strong herbicides to keep vegetation from growing underneath. That would concern me.

Plus, in many areas people use the ROW for off-roading(illegally, but it's impossible to deter). The noise and possible intrusion from trespassers would also be a concern.A 5.8-acre parcel may seem like "acreage" but if it was square and you were standing smack in the middle you'd be only 491 feet from the property line. That is too close to provide any noise protection, and depending on the topography and vegetation not much privacy, either.

L.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 6:14PM
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xamsx

There were a few threads many years ago on why you didn't want to live near a tower and high voltage lines. Here's the 2006 thread.

I vaguely recall an epic thread on this topic a year or two prior to the one I listed above, but can't find it in search. Maybe you'll have better luck locating it.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 7:04PM
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liriodendron

Oh, shoot I'm apparently having a Bad Math Day.

In the example I used above if the 5.8 acres was perfectly square and you were standing in the middle you'd be 245 feet from the boundary line because, you know, if you stand in the exact middle there's half the dimension of the plot on either side of you.

Duh!

But at either 490 or 245 feet, a posse of roaring off-road vehicles will sound like it's ripping right through your front hall.

L.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 2:26AM
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nancylouise_gw

I would pass on this property. We passed on a house years ago because of power lines. In addition to the health issues, it is just an ugly view. I would not want to see that view every single day. They aren't going any where. They are there for good. If you are questioning the power lines now before you buy, so will others when you sell. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 5:23AM
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violetwest

Poles and utility lines are everywhere. You don't notice them until you start looking. I say this because I bought a house in a new development in January, with a utility easement between me and yes--a busy road. I knew it was there, but didn't expect them to put up poles.

But they did. HUGE poles for miles along my highway. Intrusive and ugly. Everybody was really upset, saying that they did didn't know, their children was sick, it would affect property values, blah blah blah. I refused to join in my neighborhood "protest" understanding it was futile. And I think the more alarmist theories about power lines are unproven baloney.

Now, I dodged a bullet here -- they did not put a pole directly in back of my property, and so did not really ruin my view, although there's a pole about 30 yards away. I planted a tree. The lines go overhead, but are not intrusive. Some of my neighbors weren't so lucky.

Sometimes I think you have to take these things in context. Do I think it will ruin my property value or chance for a resale? No, I do not. It's a modest, "starter" home in an area where a lot of commercial development is taking place, and those homes will always be in demand. (And the busy road is countered by a fantastic view).

I don't know the OP's area, type of property, or whether the view out the main windows or yard is obstructed or what. So, again -- I wouldn't rule the property out just because there are poles or lines, but would consider carefully based on the property itself.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 3:05PM
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chispa

There is a world of difference between "poles or lines" and large high voltage towers!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 4:09PM
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violetwest

that is true. But it's unclear to me what "across the street" means in this instance. case-by-case

This post was edited by Violet.West on Wed, Oct 23, 13 at 16:24

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 4:23PM
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