Turning a Real Estate Example on its Head

See Update here

Curiously, the gun range proponents are using this range in the wilderness of Orange County to compare to their proposed site in Greene County with 160 homes and several school bus stops within 1/2 mile and just 400 feet off US Rt 33.

So, the gun range proponents managed to find a real estate agent who was actually willing to state that a proposed outdoor gun range will not affect property values. The agent even pulled out an example in the neighboring county of Orange.

Are we surprised?

No, not really.

Every court case has a so-called expert to back each side’s case.

In this case, if we were to poll realtors on whether home values will drop significantly if you build an outdoor gun range next to them, I do believe it would result in what they call a landslide.

But do you really need to be a realtor?

As we said in our previous blog post, just use your common sense.

Home without an outdoor gun range next door vs same home with an outdoor gun range next door. Which do you think would sell for more?

And that’s just property values. Sell-ability is another issue. Do home buyers have on their checklists the added amenity of an outdoor gun range nearby?

This is the comparative example they use:  the Orange County Piedmont Sportsman’s Club (PSC). Aerial photo from late Summer.
orange_treesThe common sense eyeball test tells you that this is a great location for a gun range. Very different from the Greene proposed site surrounded by residential homes.

Common sense aside, let’s take a look at this example from a realtor’s perspective. Again, it’s actually a great example of a good site for a gun range and why the proposed location in Greene County pales in comparison and is flat out wrong. Some facts:

  • You can’t compare potential loss of property value in a community where homes were built after the gun range was opened. The home values began depressed, since the range is already there. There’s no before and after.
  • The PSC gun range was open well before the few homes in the assessment were built so the buyers had the advantage of the lower lot costs due to location. The hundreds of homes in Greene were there first!
  • The realtor describes a commercial B&B (Wolftrap Farm) as being “just across” from the gun range when in fact it’s 1.5 miles away . Needless to say, this proves nothing in terms of home values.
  • The PSC is a private club of limited members with restrictions to join, minimizing the risk and volume of noise. No off-the-street gun rentals or test-drives of guns.
  • It’s surrounded by thick, mature vegetation for a natural sound barrier. Three rows of newly planted evergreens are not an effective comparison.
  • Undulating terrain provides some masking and is more appropriate than the fairly high ground of the proposed Greene site that is only 400 unobscured feet from US Rt 33.
  • There is only 1 home in the half mile radius of PSC versus the 160 homes in Greene’s proposed location.
  • There are 340 homes in a 1 mile radius around the Greene site and the Orange assessment had to go 2 miles to get the same numbers.
  • The Orange County realtor’s assessment talks of “an entire neighborhood within feet” of the gun range? There are no homes within feet of the range, unless you mean thousands of feet. This is either a lie or playing very loose with words.
  • The Orange County realtor’s case study reflects values increased due to inflation or improvements made to the property, they have nothing to do with values prior to or after the gun range.

The chart below shows homes sold recently within a 1 mile radius of Piedmont Sportsman Club versus similar homes in Greene County. To assess the decrease in value of properties, we used the four closest and most recent sales near the PSC in Orange and compared them to similar properties in Greene County for sale.
On average the Orange County homes sold for 36% less than homes in Greene without a gun range.

Orange Property Value Distance from Range Comparable Greene Property Value % of Decreased Value
13324 Cox Mill Rd $57,000
Sold on 04/24/15
 0.87 mi from PSC 130 Morningside Ct $149,500 60%
18123 Wolf Trap Ct Built 1995 $125,000
Sold on 02/10/14
 0.8 mi from PSC 155 Westwood Rd $163,000 27%
18278 Verling Dr $169,900
Sold on 04/01/14
 0.93 mi from PSC 67 Farm Ridge Dr $224,900 25%
18164 Slate Hill $205,900
Sold on 09/03/14
 1 mi from PSC 889 Matthew Mill Rd $298,000 32%

Their study supports our research!

Read the update on the property values issue

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