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Water Source a Deciding Factor in Property Value
A Duke University and Resources for the Future study found that the most significant factor in the impact of oil and gas development near residential property is whether water is piped in or sourced on-site from a well.
Based in Washington County, PA, the study found that property with on-site wells lost 13 percent of their value.
Another study by Integra Realty Resources in Flower Mound, TX, looked at the relationship between property value and proximity to wells. It concluded that properties with houses that were less than 750 feet away from a drill site experienced an average sales price drop of 2-7 percent.
Oil and gas leases have also made it more difficult to get a new mortgage or refinance and can even constitute a technical default on an existing mortgage. Depending on the site of the well, leases can also affect neighbor’s mortgages due to setback violations or requirements, or uncertain future property value.
Last year, Jack and Carol Pyhtila spent several weeks working to refinance the mortgage on their roughly 30 acres in Tompkins County, NY. But when they arrived to sign the mortgage, the lender, Visions Federal Credit Union, had taken a closer look at the lease on their land and revoked its offer, said Mr. Pyhtila, 72.
Of course, making it more difficult to get a mortgage isn’t going to make selling a property with a lease any easier.
Oil Boom Pushes Seniors Out of Homes
The rush to drill has led many single young men and family men to places like Williston, ND, for a shot at financial comeback.
As the Williston Herald reported, apartments that used to rent for $400 a month five years ago are going for four times that today, and homes that sold for $60,000 are now on the market for $200,000.
While this may sound like a dream for local residents, some, particularly senior citizens and people on fixed income, have found that they are no longer able to afford their rent and have been forced to move.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.