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Cellular phone towers/effect on value?

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Bob Mulder

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
Has there been any research done on the effect of cell phone towers on residential properties?

If a residential property is also within the fall zone of a cell tower, what effect might this have?
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Is the cell tower on the subject property or on a neighboring property?
In my area some of the folks that lease their property for cell towers get paid (and well!) to have them there. This lease agreement may effect the value of the subject if there is a contract that can be rolled over to a new owner and you should probably address this in the report.
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
If a home is within the fall distance of a cell tower, then it is a liability and most likely a detriment to market value. How much? Who knows? If it is a residential area, try to find out if any other homes within the fall distance have sold and compare that to typical home sales in the area.
 

jt

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Typically, they are virtually unnoticed, and there is no measurable difference in value. In regard to a fall zone, the liability is on the owner of the tower.
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
The liability does go to the owner of the tower. However, try to tell that to the home insurance company. Do not just glaze over the cell tower existence. Some lenders & FHA will not loan on a home within the towers fall distance. These are external conditions that regardless of what anybody tells you are still an issue. It may have little affect on market value, but it could affect marketability and market exposure.
 

Austin

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Virginia
As chance would have it, I did an appraisal this week on a ten-acre home site with a cell phone tower. The tower site was leased for 25 more years at an escalating rent rate. It just went up to $567 per month net to the landowner. This was a very general-purpose appraisal for a refinancing for a commercial bank and the second appraisal I have done on this property. I assumed no residual value or lease extension and discounted the net cash flow at 8% to determine a reasonably safe value contribution. If I had assumed a residual value or lease extension over 25 years, it only would have made a present value difference of around $20,000 or less. I did this on another property once and the landowner sold the lease fee interest and the parcel of land the tower was on. Same on a convenience market appraisal with a tower. This is something new in the market in this area. All cell towers I know of are on private property, under lease, and most clients didn't know the lease interest was marketable or even what a lease fee interest is.
 

Judy (Florida)

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
I was able to prove in my market from a house that had sold several times (each time for more) next door to a cell tower. The location was a rural location, hilltop, and nice homes all around. I'm not sure in every single location that would be true, however. In this case, the owner did not receive income from the cell tower.
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
I did an appraisal in the Fall where the dwelling backed to a huge tower. The home was well built, well maintained and design/appeal good. However, I was lucky! The matched pairs analyses worked this time. I found 3 current sales very similar to the subject, one a few lots from the subject, and two sales approximately 3 miles away. There was a measurable difference in value. If I remember correctly, I made a $15,000 negative adjustment to comps 2 & 3, indicating a superior location, as compared to the subject. I could determine no other reason for the differences in sales prices. I remember it so well because it typically is difficult to use the paired sales analyses in an almost rural area. Of course, it depends on YOUR paired sales analyses. Could be no adjustment. :mrgreen:
Charlotte in Delaware
 

Shannon

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
I've studied this subject for 8 years. I believe that more expensive housing is negatively influenced, and that entry level housing has less tower impact.

From the 20+ public hearings that I've attended, most homeowners feel towers will have a negative impact on their values. When the tower ruins a view on an upper end house, the impact is huge. When view is not compromised, the effect is limited to the closest homes rather than ones 2+ blocks from the tower base.

As has been stated earlier, when a home is within the fall zone, FHA may not finance. That will also affect the ability to get a reverse mortgage, as they use FHA guidelines for much of their loans.

Good Luck,

Shannon Julian
Chapel Hill, NC
 

Matt Barr

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Georgia
Until recently, I spent many years in the business of siting wireless communications antenna sites, including dozens of tower sites in a half-dozen areas. Just wanted to briefly comment in regard to fall zones: monopole towers (as opposed to lattice) are designed to collapse on top of themselves. In case that may be relevant.

The rent a carrier or tower company will pay will vary widely from area to area and within areas, but there will not be many $567/month tower sites built within the last couple years. As property owners and their attorneys have become more sophisticated, and as carriers have learned to absorb escalating costs, the price has gone way up. This is as you would expect truer in better-populated areas than rural ones.

For whatever any of this might be worth!
 
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