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Forensic Appraisal Group, Ltd.
Do Wind Turbines Affect Property Values? 

"Do wind turbines affect property values?"

With more wind turbines and wind farms being placed on or near personal property, it’s an important question being asked by property owners, town officials and sitting committees.

Now, we’re not talking about small windmills or DIY windmills.  We’re talking about industrial wind turbines (as seen on right).  The turbines found in wind farms are typically 400 feet tall from base to blade tip.  That’s taller than the Statue of Liberty.  And the spinning diameter of the blades is wide enough to comfortably fit a Boeing 747.

You’ve probably seen industrial wind turbines in farmers’ fields, on mountain ridges, or in windy valleys.  Now imagine one or many of them in your backyard.  For an increasing number of homeowners in the country, they’re seeing wind turbines fill their viewshed.  And that raises a commonsense question: Do these large wind turbines impact property value?

Wind turbine companies say it doesn’t, and so do their advocates.  But they have something to protect by saying so.  After all, what company would ever admit that their products damage people’s quality of life?

Groups against wind turbines and wind farms say it does.  They cite noise, blinking lights at night, view obstruction, and other factors as proof.  But they also have something to be gained by saying so.  Maybe they just don’t like change, or maybe they’re just rebels looking for a cause.

With two sharply opposed and unyielding sides in this debate, who do you trust?

Neither. You turn to an objective valuation expert like Kurt Kielisch, President of Forensic Appraisal Group.  To know for sure how a wind turbine affects your property value, contact us today for an unbiased appraisal.

At Forensic Appraisal Group, we guarantee an objective appraisal of market value.  You can expect us to:

  • Thoroughly investigate the market
  • Interview real estate professionals
  • Exhaustively research wind turbines’ effect on property values

In 2009 we completed our Wind Turbine Impact Study - our first study of the effect of wind turbines on property values.  To ensure the most comprehensive view, we approached this valuation issue through three complementary components, each looking at the value impact of the wind turbines from a different perspective. The three parts are:

  1. A literature study, which reviews and summarizes what has been published on this matter found in the general media
  2. An opinion survey, which was given to area Realtors to learn their opinions on the impact of wind turbines in their area
  3. Sales studies, which compared vacant residential lot sales within the wind turbine farm area to comparable sales located outside of the turbine influence.

Through our research we’ve interviewed dozens of Realtors because they have nothing to gain by taking sides on this debate, making them perfect barometers of the public’s perception of wind turbines and their effect on property values.  After all, a Realtor’s job is to sell.  If the market says a house with polka dots sells less than a house with a single color scheme, a good Realtor adapts to the public’s perception of value and discounts the polka dot house accordingly to make the sale.

So what do most Realtors think of a property that once had an attractive viewshed but now looks at wind turbines?  According to our research, an overwhelming majority of Realtors says that wind turbines negatively impact property value.  They estimate the range of impact to be from a 10% price reduction to being completely unsellable.

We also investigate before-and-after sales data, and seek out research papers, reports, studies, and news stories about wind turbines. From this ever-growing wealth of data we know how the general public and academic and scientific communities view wind turbines.  And, as any competent real estate professional knows, perception determines value and perception is reality.

Whether or not wind turbines are a reliable source of renewable energy is not the issue.  The only issue we’re concerned with is if wind turbines impact property values.

So, do wind turbines affect property values?  Well, it depends.  In most cases, yes, they do.  Our research has shown that when a property’s value depends on the viewshed, wind turbines negatively affect property value.  That just makes sense.  If someone buys a property for its beautiful view, but now that view is filled with wind turbines, it’s going to affect the appeal and thus the value of that property.  However, in other cases where the best use of the property does not depend on a view or noise, the effect can be negligible.  Like we said before, it depends.

Our livelihood depends on our objectivity.  If an appraiser is ever found to tweak their results to achieve a certain outcome, they can lose their license…and their livelihood.  An appraiser has a lot at stake when they give their opinion because the minute an appraiser makes an opinion, it’s an appraisal by law.  However, other individuals who are part of answering this value question (like economists, engineers, professors, social scientists, etc.) do not run this risk because they’re not licensed.  They may lose credibility, but they won’t lose their livelihood.

We take objectivity very seriously.  If there’s an impact, we’ll say so.  If there isn’t an impact, we’ll say so.  And we’ll publish our results either way.

Want to know if wind turbines are affecting your property values?  Then contact us today to take advantage of our wind turbine expertise.

Have A Valuation Question?  
Call (920) 558-4638 to talk with our valuation expert