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  1. #1

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    Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    I need some help, or actually more opinion and thoughts. I am starting to look at some homes in Southern California. We came upon this new developing community Ontario. It is a nice community and we have been asking lots of questions.

    In the community there are those large poles that help the power company hold their lines. It looks like the oil derricks. What do you think about living near them? The house that we are looking into is about 3 houses away from the pole and the main power plant is south of the community.

    The agent we talk to was saying that it is safe from radiation and issues. She said we can get more radiation from talking from our phones.

    Since this is a new community we have asked about HOA or mello-roo. What other important questions do you think I need to know.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    I've always had questions about the safety of living next to high voltage lines like that, especially if you have children. Also, even if it is safe, you might consider the resale value. A lot of people won't consider buying a house near those kind of towers.





  3. #3

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    I don't think I'd have a huge issue with it, but many people would. I think it'd be hard to resell it - and that is one thing you should be looking at while deciding what home to buy!
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  4. #4

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    Is it brand new construction? If so the property taxes will be based off the land for the first year. When they do the assessment with the house on it they will spike.....a lot of people are surprised when that happens.

    I'm not sure about the power line thing. I would not like it because it's an eyesore. All the new construction where I live have underground supplies.
    Last edited by SCUBAbe; 05-03-2010 at 05:03 PM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    There's also a busy airport in Ontario...make sure you aren't under a flight path

  6. #6

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    I've spent a good part of my life in very close proximity to high voltages, I'm 53, and have suffered absolutely no ill effects from it at all.

    Electro-magnetic radiation diminishes very rapidly with distance. The lines you describe I'm going to take an educated guess run at 345,000 or 500,000 volts. The smaller ones on streets are usually 12,500 to 25,000 volts.

    There's actually less EMR 3 houses away from a 500,000 volt line than there is on the sidewalk below a 12,500 volt line. Either way, it's pretty small.

    Rob

    P.S. There's a 120,000 volt line about 80' from my house, I've lived there 13 years, raised 3 kids (well, the youngest is 16), hogs, chickens, cats, etc. all without incident.

  7. #7

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAbe View Post
    All the new construction where I live have underground supplies.
    I agree, most new developments put their electrical underground these days. I'd be concerned about what else they might be cheaping out on.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    Quote Originally Posted by micromind View Post
    I've spent a good part of my life in very close proximity to high voltages, I'm 53, and have suffered absolutely no ill effects from it at all.

    Electro-magnetic radiation diminishes very rapidly with distance. The lines you describe I'm going to take an educated guess run at 345,000 or 500,000 volts. The smaller ones on streets are usually 12,500 to 25,000 volts.

    There's actually less EMR 3 houses away from a 500,000 volt line than there is on the sidewalk below a 12,500 volt line. Either way, it's pretty small.

    Rob

    P.S. There's a 120,000 volt line about 80' from my house, I've lived there 13 years, raised 3 kids (well, the youngest is 16), hogs, chickens, cats, etc. all without incident.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnorkletsMom View Post
    There's also a busy airport in Ontario...make sure you aren't under a flight path
    Yeah, don't do that. But I will say I grew up in the Inland Empire (which seems funny now that I live in Washington state) and am a second generation IE person (my dad moved to Ontario in his teens.). I love it there. It's home. And unless it's changed dramatically, I liked where I grew up (Rancho Cucamonga, in a new development back then), and it was a good place to. Hopefully that'll help you in your choice.

  10. #10

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    Thanks for everyone comments. We still haven't decided on what we might do or not. But I was concern about the power lines. But reading your response it might be more of a issue on re-sale than anything else.

    As for the airport issue, i dont think we are on the flight path. We have gone several times and heard no planes. But i will ask for sure next time i go.

    Should there be any other questions you think i should ask?
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  11. #11

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    In my opinion, the power lines are not a safety issue, but i agree with the others; it will be a resale issue.

    Do you plan on living in this house for the rest of your life? If so, resale isn't much of an issue, and the power lines might turn out to be your friend. If the house is of less value because of them, property taxes should be less as well.

    I live in a climate that gets below zero in the winter, and above 100 in the summer, so my advice will be a bit slanted.

    How much insulation in the walls and especially the attic? R-19 is about the minimum for walls around here, R-38 for the attic. More is always better.

    Is it built on a slab, or does it have a crawl space? Slabs are less expensive, and floors never creak. Wood framed floors are warmer, not as hard, and if you ever want to remodel or add stuff, they're a lot easier (and less expensive) to work with.

    Does it have A/C? Might seem dumb to ask for SoCal, but up here some houses don't have it. Can be rather expensive to add later.

    Look at the electrical panel. What size is the main? If it's 200 amps, you're covered for just about anything you'd ever add to a house. If it's 100, A/C, a hot tub, and electric cooking will just about max it out.

    What is the dryer hookup? If it's gas, and you have an electric dryer........

    This is just some stuff I posted off the top of my head, I'll likely think of more later.

    Rob

  12. #12

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    Do you have children? Schools vary in quality all over So Cal. If Kids and schools are a factor, check them out before hand.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMHusband View Post
    Do you have children? Schools vary in quality all over So Cal. If Kids and schools are a factor, check them out before hand.
    Depending on where you are in Ontario, you are in the Chaffey Joint Union High School Distract. As of 10 years ago (wow I feel old...), it was a good school distract.

  14. #14

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    Re: Help: Need Advice about buying my first home.

    First, the "Lattice Tower" power-line structures might look old-school, but they are perfectly fine safety-wise, as any damage can be seen and fixed. It's all bolted, they can place a temp brace and swap out any bent pieces. As long as they aren't right on your property line where a broken cable could whip your way, don't worry.

    The big round welded sheet steel 'Monopole' towers (like they used behind DCA) are more likely to get overstressed in a wind event and "fall down go Boom" In My Humble Opinion - and Ontario gets some serious winds when the Santana's blow through on a fairly regular basis.

    The magnetic fields dissipate on a logarithmic scale, to be affected by the lines you have to be standing right dead center under the wires - 24/7/365 for several years. If your house is a few hundred feet away, the EMF field will not even be measurable.

    Again, as long as the high-tension power lines aren't right on your property line, don't worry. You'd have to build a 4-story building right on the back lot line then stay on the top floor to get any measurable EMF effects. The extra 100 feet you get by building the house toward the street would be more than enough spacing - Plant the garden by the back fence, you are only out there for short periods.

    * * * * * * * * * * *
    Something to consider very carefully before you pick a house and sign - What is the status of the other houses in the neighborhood? There are a lot of "ghost town" areas out there where they built new houses and every buyer was stretching to get in - and with the economic meltdown many of the loans have fallen through, and a lot of those houses are vacant and squatter magnets... You do NOT want to be the only legally occupied house for a mile in any direction.

    * * * * * * * *
    Slab floors can be bad in Earthquake country if they weren't done exactly right - if they fail you have a big mess fixing it, especially if the soil isn't perfectly composed and properly compacted before construction. And every time they have a rash of foundation failures, they just make the spec call for deeper footings - but that doesn't always fix it. At least with a raised house they can pick up the house and fix the foundation - that's a LOT harder when built on slab.

    The house across the street from us in Woodland Hills had a foundation failure in the 1984 Northridge earthquake - Expansive (Adobe clay) soil, in an old Walnut Orchard (Our house was the orchard owner's) and I'll bet they rushed and left several Walnut tree stumps and root balls underneath the house slab footprint that 30 years later rotted into nice soil cavities... Oooopsie!

    Luckily, they had Earthquake coverage. The insurance company had to move them out, salvage and raze the house, dig a big hole down 20 feet one half the lot at a time with a Big Dozer, then re-compact the lot with layers of geo-stabilizing fabric and build a new house.

    * * * * * * * * * * *
    And if the water plumbing is under the slab, a water leak can make a huge mess. Sewer is a given under the slab, and they fail from age, too.

    You do want natural gas for all the major appliances, they are a Whole Lot Cheaper to run - DO NOT buy in an "All Electric" neighborhood where you don't have the choice. Then your only alternative is Propane, and the savings go away - it's still less than Electric heat, but not by nearly as much after you factor in the delivery costs.

    We don't do Oil Heat or Coal out here. And the AQMD is trying to regulate absolutely everything, including fireplaces and wood furnaces and waste-oil burners, even pellet or corn heaters/furnaces. They even want the Burger places to put catalytic converters on their char-broilers to cut down on the grease fumes.

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