Real Property Appraisals/FHA Loan with Radio Tower


The buyers of our home are getting an FHA loan and we were told we had to get a letter stating the home is not within the Fall Line.  We have called the county and tower owner and no one knows what we are talking about.  There is no easement and the tower owner has stated they will write a letter to that affect.  If we have the letter would that satisfy the requirement?


I have Googled this, and advise that you Google it too, you need to know more about this. The two articles, I hope in italics, below will tell you basic information about this issue, they are included below my signature. As the first paragraph says, the "fall line" is the distance the tower will fall, no structure can be located within this distance. Common sense will tell why, no one will want the tower to fall on them or their house. The second paragraph is from the FHA Manual.

I STRONGLY ADVISE THE FOLLOWING: YOU DO NOT WANT TO TAKE THE LIABILITY OF JUST TAKING A WILD GUESS ABOUT THE FALL LINE. THE TOWER OWNER DOES NOT WANT TO JUST TAKE A "WILD GUESS" AT THIS. Note that the first paragraph states that this calculation is an "engineering matter". I am surprised that your County has no information about this. You probably should call the electrical company in your area and ask them for the name of an engineer who can do the calculations for you.

I would also advise you to get legal advice from an attorney about how to minimize your liability here. If, God forbid, the tower falls in the future and people are injured, or property is damaged, the injured party is going to sue you and the tower owner.

John C. Carlson
CA Certified General Real Estate Appraiser
Victorville and Diamond Bar CA

"The fall line is an engineering matter. Appraisers make the mistake of thinking that the height equals the fall line. That is not an appraisers decision. A tower has a fall line calculated in the design because in most cases it will not just tip over, it will collapse into itself. Engineers go to school to learn how to make this calculation; appraisers don't. Make a call. The company will have a record of the engineering collapse factor or fall radius."

No dwelling or related property improvement may be located within the engineering (designed) fall distance of any pole, tower or support structure of a high-voltage transmission
line, radio/TV transmission tower, microwave relay dish or tower or satellite dish (radio, TV cable, etc.). For field analysis, the appraiser may use tower height as the fall
distance. For the purpose of this Handbook, a High-Voltage Electric Transmission Line is a power line that carries high voltage between a generating plant and a substation. These lines
are usually 60 Kilovolts (kV) and greater, and are considered hazardous. Lines with capacity of 12-60 kV and above are considered high voltage for the purpose of this distribution and service lines. Low voltage power lines are distribution lines that commonly supply power to housing developments and similar facilities. These lines are usually 12 kV or less and are considered to be a minimum hazard. These lines may not pass directly over any structure, including pools, on the property being insured by HUD.

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John C. Carlson


Any questions regarding commercial and/or residential appraising, appraisals or real estate valuation such as: appraising as a profession, valuation techniques, comparable sales selection & analysis, the new HVCC and how it affects appraisers & Borrowers. Also, questions like: "Why did my appraisal come in low & what can I do about it?" I cannot answer questions about comparable data in areas in which I do not practice. I have expertise in most areas of So. California.


31-years both commercial and residential valuation experience. State of CA Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, licensed to appraise all property types. FHA Approved. Specialized expertise with historic, architectural & luxury residential property valuation. Experienced in industrial building and small commercial property valuation. Experienced Reviewer of appraisal reports and expertise with intensive forensic reviews to uncover fraudulent appraisal reports. Expert Litigation and Expert Witness experience.

Associate Member of the Appraisal Institute. Associate Member of the Certified Fraud Examiners.

Numerous posts to Blogs. Please "Google" "John C. Carlson Real Estate Appraisals" where a list of responses I have made will show up.

Numerous classes by the Appraisal Institute since 1978 in the practice areas in which I specialize

Past/Present Clients
First Republic Bank Wells Fargo Bank California Bank & Trust Preferred Bank Numerous Attorneys.

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