Should I Buy A House Near Power Lines?

By PropertyClub Team
Sep 15th 2022
Among many buyers, the worry about high voltage power lines tends to spook them away from buying a home near them. But are power lines really that bad? Moreover, is it a good idea to buy a house near them?

When you're buying a home, location is everything. It's not just important for the school systems or even the property values. Sometimes, mild differences in a home's location can make a massive difference over long-term health. One of the biggest concerns buyers have is purchasing a home near power lines. 

hash-markShould You Buy A Home Near Power Lines?

In an ideal situation, you would avoid buying or renting a home near too many power lines. Not only is it bad for property values, but it also can be bad in terms of the risk it takes to both your life and your home. It's not always a dealbreaker, but it's not ideal.

In many cases, buying homes within the distance of a power line tower can be a good way to shave off some cash. However, it is still a risk.

hash-markWhy Is Buying A Home Near Power Lines Risky?

There are several risks associated with buying a home near power lines. The biggest are increased risks of fire and electrocution, as well as radiation exposure from the EMF radiation of the power lines, which can cause health problems. Additionally, it can be harder to sell a home located near power lines. 

hash-markCons of Living Near Power Lines

  • Increased Fire Hazard
  • Increased Electrocution Hazard
  • Increased Risk of Radiation Exposure
  • Buzzing Noise

Increased Fire Hazard

Even if you maintain your yard and home well, electrical fires can still be a serious risk. This is doubly true in an area with power lines. It just takes a fallen branch, a live wire, and some old leaves to make your lawn ignite into a ball of flames. 

Thankfully, most municipalities made a point to have safety features installed to decrease the chance of a fire or breakage. However, if you notice a break, stay in your home and call 911.

Increased Electrocution Hazard

Electrocution will always be a risk when you're dealing with any conduit for electricity. A live cut wire can always lead to shocking results. Even if it doesn't shock you, it might lead to serious property damage.

Increased Radiation Exposure

So, this is something that many people don't think about when they think of power lines. However, it is a risk to consider. Power lines that are in use give off electromagnetic radiation simply because they are conducting electricity.

In most cases, the radiation exposure is minimal. I mean, it's not like you have a pot of uranium at the edge of your house. However, this can add up to an increased cancer risk over time. Or at the very least, that is what around 20 percent of all studies on the matter have said. 

Around half of all studies show no negative side effects from the low-grade radiation from power lines. The studies on this vary, but it is a risk you should know. How risky it is, though, is up for debate.

The Buzzing Noise

While this is not a major risk for most people, we've all heard the low hum and buzz that high-voltage power lines can make. The same can be said about larger power stations with multiple hubs, too. 

For most of us, the buzzing noise can be an annoying addition to daily background noise. However, for a small handful of people, that constant hum can be a source of migraines or a worsening factor for migraines that can already be there.

hash-markAre There Any Benefits of Living Near Power Lines?

The main benefit of living near power lines is affordability. Properties located near power lines tend to be cheaper, so you can save a bit of money if you buy a home near power lines. 

Additionally, Power lines will not adversely affect your health if you live at a sufficient distance from them

hash-markLiving Near Power Lines: How Close Is Too Close?

It's best to live at least 700 feet from any high-voltage power lines, but the farther you are, the better. If you have low-voltage power lines, like those put on a telephone pole, then the distance is way lower. The numbers can vary, but most experts agree that the risks fade when you hit the 50-foot benchmark for most electrical lines. 

hash-markHow Much Does Living Close to Power Lines Impact Home Values?

In most situations, the proximity to high voltage power lines can lower your home's value by 10 to 30 percent. This varies depending on factors, including the voltage of the lines and whether there's a power station is nearby. However, more extreme situations can lower a property's value by as much as 40 percent. Homes that have multiple high-voltage power lines will often get this dubious discount as an incentive to live there—even if it is not a good idea to do that.

You don't have to worry too much about low-voltage power lines impacting price, though, as studies show low-voltage power lines have little impact on home values. 

hash-markIs it Hard to Sell a Home That is Close to Power Pines?

Studies show that selling a home close to power lines will take far longer than homes that are nowhere near them. It's something that many real estate agents warn both buyers and sellers about. If you want to buy a home near power lines, be forewarned that this could be a major sore spot in the future. As the risks of electromagnetic radiation become more widely known, people become more averse to the idea of living near these lines. 

Believe it or not, many homes that are located near electric towers are at risk of having people move out without actually getting anyone to buy them up. As a result, many abandoned homes are near these areas. If you are very worried about this matter, you might want to do a mass sell-off via a real estate development company,

hash-markLiving Near Power Lines Conclusion

While the safety studies regarding power lines are pretty mixed, the truth is that a fair number of them suggest that living near power lines isn't a smart idea. It could be potentially harmful. With that said, the risks seem to be overblown when it comes to most public opinion.

The truth is that any type of real estate near power lines, even empty lots, can carry a fair amount of risk and stigma with them. This makes buying property something that you should think twice about. If you aren't sure what the best course of action is, talk to a real estate agent. It might be the best advice you can get.