Have you ever seen a high-voltage tower INSIDE a backyard? I’ve seen towers behind backyard fences, but never something inside until my appraiser colleague Dawn Foucault shared a couple images of a brand new neighborhood in Sacramento. What the? Can you believe it? Let’s kick around some thoughts.
The PG&E tower is operational AND is located inside the parcel lines of the subject property. By the way, Dawn gave me permission to share these images.
Here’s some initial thoughts on my mind. Anything to add?
1) Surprise: Anyone who works in real estate sees some odd stuff, so I’m not all that surprised at most things. But with so much conversation around the safety of electromagnetic fields in recent years, I’m a bit taken aback to see something like this. I’m sure there is a technical reason why the building department allowed this to happen, but that doesn’t replace my shock. Can you relate?
2) Resale value: Properties like this tend to struggle in the resale market. They might be able to command a decent price when selling directly from the builder, but in the future after the allure of a brand new home has worn off, many buyers will simply pass on properties with adverse or odd issues. This is especially true in markets with higher housing inventory.
3) True Comps: We can’t assume the house next door is a perfect comp because there is likely a value difference between a property with a high-voltage tower INSIDE the backyard vs being located NEXT DOOR to a tower. In an ideal world we’d find other sales with high-voltage towers inside the backyard (or maybe something equally adverse) to help tell the story of value for the property. In this case there was actually one other sale in the neighborhood a year ago with a backyard tower, so my appraiser friend lucked out to say the least.
I hope this was interesting or helpful.
Questions: What do you think after seeing these photos? Would you ever buy a house like this? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your take.