Local realtors on wind turbines and property values
[Here is a letter to the editor from two local realtors published in the Wellington Times on August 22, 2012.]
Real estate value and sale-ability is very much impacted by the threat of turbines
Buyers of homes or properties are always concerned about the surroundings of their potential home, and concerned for their investment. To most, this is their largest investment in their lives.
Some of the county’s most attractive waterfronts are in South Marysburgh. To the vast majority of buyers this area is not considered in their search, due to the threat of turbines. They simply will not look there.
The OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association) SPIS (Seller Property Information Sheet) form is the standard form on which the seller discloses to the buyer any “latent or patent” defects about the property they are selling.
The following is the exact wording on the standard form.
1) Are you aware of any environment problems of any kind on the property or in the immediate area? eg: radon gas, toxic waste, underground gasoline or fuel tanks etc.
2) Are there any existing or proposed waste dumps, fisposal sites or landfills in the immediate area?
3) Are there any hydro generating projects planned for the immediate area? e.g.: Wind Turbines?
We have had clients who own vacant land on Long Point who chose to abandon their plans to build, and have bought a home away from that area, specifically because of the threat of turbines.
The fact is, we have never sold a home to anyone in an area where we, or they, were aware of turbines being contemplated. Even those who “said” they didn’t care, chose elsewhere.
“Locational obsolescence” is a basic principle in appraising the market value. An industrial area, hydro corridor, waste dump, or excessive noise, would be a “locational obsolescence” and cause the property value to be less. People pay more for homes with beautiful surroundings. So if you destroy beautiful surroundings, they will pay less. It is pretty basic.
There is also something called “the right to quiet enjoyment” when you own a home. Your neighbour cannot create undue noise or build something that destroys your enjoyment of your property.
To suggest, as wind proponents do, that turbines have no impact on the value of property, or one’s right to quiet enjoyment, is ridiculous. Perhaps they would like to invest in some South Marysburgh residential. Put their money where their mouth is. We know the Sellers who are anxious to leave before the turbines arrive would be most grateful.
The Quinte Real Estate Board recently posted this video on their Realtors’ site. It is by Doug Pedlar, the President of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors . Please take a moment to view it. http://tinyurl.com/cocrx60 .
James Hartford and Lynn Stein
Broker and Sales Representative