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Old 12-16-2008, 05:40 PM
Durano Joe Durano Joe is offline
Join Date: Sep 2002
State: Colorado
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 313
Default Fall distance of high-voltage line

This has never been an issue before but I am appraising a new condo built under very high-voltage lines. It is an FHA assignment. I will show photos and make comments on the lines.
The lender ususally wants a statement "This property meets all FHA requirements". Can I state that?
The builder has a neat disclosure statement so the buyer is aware of the lines, but I am concerned about FHA and what they will say.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:56 PM
David Beasley David Beasley is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Between Raleigh & Fayetteville
State: North Carolina
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 1,072

Show the photos as you say, and then I would call for outside experts to determine if the condos are "actually" within the fall distance of these power lines. I may make it contingent upon being cleared by such an expert if it really appears that these lines could land on the condos.

FHA/HUD appraisers, of which I am one too, have no business saying that something is or is not within the fall distance of a power tower unless we also moonlight as engineers. Towers don't fall directly over, they usually collapse onto themselves, and we can't know as "just" appraisers how the towers/poles are engineered to react when they fail or in which direction and over what area they will fall if they ever fail. As such, we shouldn't be forced to shoulder all the liability for making the determination when it is WELL outside our scope of expertise.
Old 12-16-2008, 06:05 PM
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Mr Rex Mr Rex is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: X Marks the spot
State: North Carolina
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 26,386

Chapter 1
Appraisal and Property Requirements
Page 1-18f

The appraiser must indicate whether the dwelling or related property improvements is located within the easement serving a high-voltage transmission line, radio/TV transmission tower, cell phone tower, microwave relay dish or tower, or satellite dish (radio, TV cable, etc).
1) If the dwelling or related property improvement is located within such an easement, the DE Underwriter must obtain a letter from the owner or operator of the tower indicating that the dwelling and its related property improvements are not located within the tower’s (engineered) fall distance in order to waive this requirement.

If the dwelling and related property improvements are located outside the easement, the property is considered eligible and no further action is necessary. The appraiser, however, is instructed to note and comment on the effect on marketability resulting from the proximity to such site hazards and nuisances.
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