Q: If there is a cell phone tower on the building across the street and clearly visible from my apartment, how much will this affect rental asking price?
A: By asking rent, we’ll assume you mean the amount your apartment would be worth in the rental market. This is one of those “I’ll know it when I see it” situations and there seems to be two issues here:
1. A nearby cell tower or cell relay Since consumer perception helps determine what the market will bear for your apartment, it really depends. Cell towers and relays are much more commonplace than even 5 years ago, and are seemingly all over the city. If this tower is visible and proximate to your immediate competition, then its impact on rents would be evident by what your competition is achieving – it can be as simple as that. It’s very difficult to extract the specific impact of a cell tower on a specific apartment, if at all.
2. View obstruction If there is a cell tower or anything else that impedes your view, then it has the potential to reduce the amount of rent your apartment can achieve in the market. However it doesn’t matter what your personal feelings are about the impact to your view, it’s really about whether the typical renter for your apartment would find it objectionable and how much so. It’s not formulaic. For more thoughts on views, go here.