Pros and Cons of Living Near Power Lines

Buying a new home can often be a process fraught with emotion, with all the decision-making that goes into it and the things one must consider.

Location is essential, which raises a million questions when looking for a house. Do you want to live near an airport? What are the noise levels? How close do you want to be to your neighbors? One of those things to consider that many people don’t think about is whether you should live near power lines. Here are some pros and cons of living near power lines to ponder over:

Pros and cons of living near power lines
Photo by wonho kim on Unsplash

Advantages of living near Power Lines 

Power lines do not pose any immediate danger

Electric companies almost always install power lines at a safe distance from residential areas and homes. So you won’t have to worry about things like emissions or any other disturbances which may be a genuine cause for concern.

No reported health issues from power lines

After carrying out extensive research, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded that power lines do not pose any health issues to those living close to them. The electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are not strong enough to cause any problems. It is important to note that research into this is still ongoing.

Homes close to power lines are cheaper 

People sell properties that are close to power lines or have power lines passing through them at lower prices – surprisingly affordable, in some cases. In studies over the last decade, in some instances, power lines lowered property value by as much as thirty percent. Thirty percent is on the higher end, but it illustrates what a steal a home near power lines can be.  

Faster service in case of a power outage

Electricity companies tend to respond relatively quickly to emergency calls or service calls received from those living close to power lines. Power outages and other issues won’t affect you as quickly, and you can easily monitor progress right outside your window.

A certain element of privacy

If you prefer living in secluded areas or like to keep mostly to yourself, then living near power lines is the right choice. Developers tend to space the houses out to make room. Because of this, you’re much less likely to interact with your neighbors.  

Disadvantages of living near Power Lines

Risk of fire

Even though power lines are built and installed in a way to withstand weather and environmental elements, torrential rains and storms can sometimes destroy them within minutes or even seconds. In the summer, there’s also the potential risk of fire. If the fire department fails to respond on time, you may be looking at property damage. PG&E power lines caused the Camp Fire in California in 2018, which destroyed 19,000 homes and killed 85 people.  

Reduced property value

Properties close to power lines or those with power lines running through them typically have a lower market value. So while there are benefits to buying them, if you think of your house as an investment, it will accrue less amount over time than other homes.  

‘Buzzing’ sound might be annoying

Have you ever noticed the buzzing sound near power lines? Corona discharge is what causes this sound as air particles become ionized by the conductor.  

If your home is close enough to a network of power lines, then you might find it off-putting having to get used to the constant ‘buzzing’ and ‘humming’ sounds. 

More construction by your house

Power lines need constant maintenance. If you live near power lines, the power company will constantly be near your home doing work. Imagine if something like a flood happens that destroys the underground copper and aluminum lines leading to the powerlines. Electric company workers could be in your neighborhood for months repairing them.   

It can be tough to sell your home

Just like people are skeptical at first when it comes to buying property near power lines, you could be faced with the same kind of people if you were to sell your property. In a worst-case scenario, you might not get a reasonable price for your home, or it may take a while before someone agrees to buy it. 

Alan Behrens
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