Would you buy a home near high-voltage power lines?

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By Nur Fairuza Syahira

With today's demands for electricity to drive the many commercial and residential needs, the sight of high tension towers has become commonplace. 

But how many people are willing to live in close proximity to these high-voltage power lines? Following up on StarProperty's series on homes sited next to undesirable places like cemeteries https://www.starproperty.my/news/would-you-buy-a-home-near-graveyards-/117746 and hospitals https://www.starproperty.my/news/would-you-buy-a-home-near-hospitals-or-clinics-/117041, this article weighs the options of living close to high tension towers.

Increased health risk?

Did you know that high-voltage power lines emit a low-frequency electromagnetic field (EMF)? While it is inconclusive that staying near high tension towers can pose health risks, it is accepted worldwide that homes should be built at a safe distance from such power lines.

Homebuyers tend to shun from buying such properties due to urban legends. If we stop to think about it, we are exposed to EMFs from home appliances, mobile phones, wifi, radio and even remote control devices every day. How is living near such power lines any different?  It depends on how high is the emission of the EMF, but scientists point out that EMFs dissipate with distance so if you are still inclined to buy a home near such towers, a safety distance of 700 feet may be needed to be sure that you are reducing the exposure levels to 0.5 milligaus or less.

While it is impossible to completely shield your home against EMF, planting tall trees as a buffer, and using T98 shielding paint and GPA mesh can reduce the exposure further. 

Lower property value

The lower demand for homes sited near high tension towers has not stopped some developers from building houses, apartments and condominiums near them with some nearly directly under the powerlines.

Nevertheless, many of such homes are still taken up by homebuyers.  Strangely enough, the value of such a property is dependent on other factors. Like homes built near cemeteries, the value of such property still rises over time. And at a faster rate than those near graveyards. Whether this negative is deemed as a lesser negative than living next to the dead needs further research.

Generally speaking, residential property values sited next to large power lines are lower by about 10% than their equivalent counterparts that are further away.

Increased danger

It is normal for homeowners to want their homes to be a peaceful place, away from dangers and safe for their families. Apart from being exposed to EMFs, there are other dangers of living near or under high-voltage power lines.

In times of storms, power cables can snap or worse the collapse of one or more towers will be a danger for homeowners and their families. 

Like people living next to petrol stations, their insurance coverage premiums tend to be higher than those living further away. So while the property might cost less to buy, other bills might offset those savings in the long run.


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