Home near High Tension wires

Noticed a house listed in South San Jose, near to Los Gatos Border for $1.2 M.

This seems good price for the area, but there are high tension wire running in the back of the house with easement.

Does high tension wires really impact the property prices this much. Are there any health concerns to be aware of. With so many houses near to high tension wires in Bay Area and people living in them all around, I would like to hear from experts here.


The seller can get a PGE report that measures the electromagnetic radiation at different distances from a high power line. Usually it’s negligible relative to normal background radiation from any listing I have seen. You can also do the math yourself if you remember high school physics

(Don’t sue me, I am not a professional and don’t rely on anonymous internet message boards for advice)


It doesn’t matter whether there is or there isn’t any health impact. What matters is what people believe, and most people are suspicious at least. That said the discount is already baked into the price. If you buy it with the discount, you are going to sell with a discount years later. The only question is whether the discount will shrink over time or grow.


Not only high voltage lines, but also T junction home ! Selling will be an issue and discount reflects it now.


Thanks for the response. I checked few forums online for EMF, but there are mixed response. I have asked PGE to measure EMF around house. Expecting the report tomorrow.

What we like about this house is great neighborhood/schools and next to Los Gatos. This is a quiet area and there is no through traffic.

As you pointed, current price reflects the discount and we never know how it will be in future at time of selling.

Is high voltage power line right next to this home? From satellite picture, it looks like it.
Then, i would pass.
I asked similar questions before and most of people i talk to said that shortest distance to power line should be at least 700ft.
I guess this is people’s perception.


There are plenty of homes that look nice next to the ~150,000 V lines in the valley. A few homes near taking a little longer or receiving fewer offers. So long you are not next to the tower which tips over if an airplane flies into by accident. The exposure is often minimal. The high power router and cell phone tower emits a lot radiation up to 5 ghz.

You can get a meter test emi emission detector and compare to a routers or cell phone towers. Some measures mag, elect and RF spectra. They have Faraday military shielding fabric that can block say your desk, couch in your way. Put in the attic above you.

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It may or may not be an issue. But from what i see high tension cables run right behind the house, if it doesn’t bother you then go for it. You don’t want to be looking at that everyday and wondering if you made the right choice or not.
There is another house that is nearby and sitting on the market for a long time, have you considered it, how does it compare with this house.

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Yeah we did look at https://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Jose/1943-Laurinda-Dr-95124/home/1727716, only concern we had is single car garage and not so good neighborhood compared to the original house in question.

Thanks for all the valuable inputs, I am getting PGE do the test and also ordered an EMF meter for self. But my interest in this house has been drifting away, as you already pointed, “You don’t want to be looking at that everyday and wondering if you made the right choice or not.”

There are a couple of govt sponsored research papers (Britian, Sweden, US) that clearly establish a relative risk for childhood blood cancer when it comes to high voltage lines. But the relative risk is small.

Imagine, a new study comes out after you buy the house that establishes it further. You will be holding the bag.

Also, many schools in that neighborhood have high voltage lines going through it. So, if you truly believe they are a problem… then it does not matter how close it is to your home, if you have kids.

You can read the many research papers from this link:


The main concern is flood damage by Ross creek running behind. One time water flows inside the home, expense may run between 50k-70k. Flood insurance may be required.

One of my relatives was in a home along substation lines. They sold and moved because of the research she found (plus the multiple sicknesses the neighbors had). She said “Anyone who read the research I’ve read would never buy this house.”

Some people seem to be more sensitive than others. I was in a house where the power to an entire shopping mall passed through the backyard and I could feel it when I was near the power line. In the house, I didn’t feel anything. Tried going back and forth. It was really interesting. Gave me a headache near the line, plus you hear the buzzing.

I havn’t yet received the report from PGE. But bought an EMF meter myself and measured it along the high tension wires on street. All readings measured are way above the safe limit.

Safe limit per some website is upto 0.4 uT. Measurements along line were between 1.2 to 2.2 uT. Went to another high voltage line and there also reading were as high.

As we move away like 100 ft or so, it dramatically reduces. At my home it’s just 0.05 uT. This definitely is a concern not to ignore.

I guess we keep looking for better home. :slight_smile:


During the rainy season (with wind), it may be higher even though they would have covered with factor of safety.

By the way, what is the EMF meter you bought? Got it from Amazon or where?

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Yes got it from Amazon.

EMF Meter, KKmoon Portable Handheld Digital LCD Electromagnetic Radiation Tester Electric Field Magnetic Field Dosimeter Detector with Sound and Light Alarm (5Hz-3500MHz)