One of the golden rules when buying a new home is: ‘How easy would it be to resell?’ With this in mind, is the substation at the bottom of the garden or the pylon down the street going to cause issues if you do decide to sell in the future?
Thinking ahead to the time when you will be selling the home you plan to purchase, it is more than likely that potential buyers would hire someone to investigate the EMFs in and around your home. Waiting for potential buyers to conduct an EMF Survey in itself is a huge risk. Being pro active and having a survey conducted prior to this with a report putting their minds at ease, so they can move forward with the purchase would be a much savvier way to go about it.
The Appraisal Journal:
“Even buyers who believe that there are no adverse health effects from cell phone base stations, knowing that other potential buyers might think the reverse, will probably seek a price discount for a property located near a cell phone base station.”
Cheryl Mitteness and Dr Steve Mooney. ARES Annual Meeting paper:
The authors interviewed homeowners on or near electric transmission lines and found: (1) that in relation to the average impact of overall property value, 33% said 2-3% loss and 50% said a 5% loss or greater; (2) nearly 66% said the power line negatively affected their property value; (3) 83% of real estate appraisers surveyed said the presence of the power lines negatively affected the property values, most saying the loss was 5% or greater.
From a legal stand point, there have been many incidents where residents have successfully won court cases because they’re property has been devalued due to being near substations, pylons or cell towers.
Recently New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled that the owner of property adjacent to a utility’s high-power electrical transmission lines could seek damages for a decrease in the market value of the property caused by the fear that the power lines might cause cancer. This decision has already begun to change the outlook on electromagnetic field (EMF) litigation for utilities.
In 2003 seven householders in Swindon in the UK, won sums of between £10,000 and £20,000 each from their local council after it mistakenly allowed a mast to be erected in the middle of their residential street, causing their properties to crash in value.
Brendan Clouston, a Canadian telecoms tycoon put his Eilean Aigas estate in Inverness-shire on the market in 2012 with an asking price of £15 million. Three years later, the 4-storey mansion is due to go on auction for a price in excess of £3 million, if it is not sold before. It is thought that part of the reason behind the drop in value is the construction of the Beauly to Denny power line which runs through the estate. Mr Clouston spent a lot of money on lawyers to fight the proposals. He was prepared to pay for the line to be undergrounded. But his objections were unsuccessful (Telegraph June 2015).
In Belgium, the grid company Elia made the offers that if you lived within 60m of a proposed 370KV powerline you received either 25% of your house value or you could sell it to the power company. If you lived between 60 and 75 metres, it was 20% and no purchase offer. If you lived between 75 and 100 metres it was 2.5% and no purchase offer.
I think in the current times where continuous research is taking place around ELF (extremely low frequency) and EMF (electro magnetic fields) it’s important, especially when investing in a property, to be proactive by conducting an EMF Survey so that in the future you’re not left trying to sell a home with high EMF levels.