Are Power Lines, Detention Ponds and Cemeteries Bad Neighbors?

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 15 December 2015 13:44

Is a cemetery a green space or haunted space? Clearly there haven't been any reported zombie attacks yet the real estate market typically considers a cemetery an adverse external influence. What about power lines? Most studies find no direct relationship between them and illness, yet they are reviled as cancer causing, signal disturbing, Godzilla attracting eye sores. But to some, they're more green space. And at the end of the day, homes impacted by these things do sell.

Detention and retention ponds can be eyesores, but when screened with vegetation and properly maintained they can blend into the landscape and provide a green space. Does the idea of a wet mosquito and snake breeding area make you run? How about the possibility of that area not being properly maintained? What if the concrete walls were stamped, a nice wooden fence and privacy landscaping erected? Is it back to just "green space"? How about sharply declining or inclining terrain out the back door? Some see that 50′ drop off the deck as a privacy buffer. Again, builders will use every lot because someone always buys them.


Golf courses are often considered highly desirable for the obvious reasons; plenty of green space, sweeping views and the image of living on a course. What may not be considered is that most landscape maintenance is done in the predawn hours; mowers and leaf blowers at 0500 can get real old real fast. There are also the obvious factors of balls and players in the yard and don’t forget possible lot use restrictions and course rights of way. 

At the end of the day, while any of these uses and conditions is likely going to impact value, that impact will not be a major issue for someone. There is a buyer for every home, even one on a well travelled road, under power lines, adjacent to a detention pond and across from a cemetery. 

Read more about external obsolescence and the impact on value along with hundreds of useful and informative articles.



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Hank Miller, SRA

Hank Miller is an Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser in the north metro Atlanta area. Since 1989, real estate has been his full time profession. Hank´s clients benefit from his appraisal and sales experience; they act upon data, not baseless opinions. He is an outspoken critic of the lax standards in the agent community.

Hank remains an active certified appraiser and completes specialty work for FNMA, lenders and attorneys. He is a well-known blogger and continues to guest write for multiple industry publications as well as national outlets like the WSJ, NYT, RE Magazine, USA Today and others. He is a regular on public Q&A sites on Zillow, Trulia and many others.

Hank consistently ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the metro Atlanta area. He runs the Hank Miller Team and is known as much for his ability as he is for his opinions. He is especially outspoken about the lack of professional standards and expectations in the real estate industry.

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