Friday, May 16, 2014

Fancy a View? Find a Forever View

Norwood Street, Camas, WA
A view is perhaps the most subjective part of evaluating real estate. What is it worth? In high end real estate a view is not just appreciated, it is often expected. View lots can easily command premiums in the 200% range. The problem with a view is that it may not be a 'forever' view. If one were to pay a handsome price for a property based on a wonderful view; they would be most displeased if that view were eroded years later. Trees can grow up and block a view. A neighbor can build in front of the view.
359th Avenue, Washougal, WA

The value in the view is subject to the person buying the property. I happen to value views very high. I like a good view. Other buyers may not be so inclined. If a view is something highly valued by a buyer, then that buyer should exercise caution to be certain the view will last.

Homes that are perched out on a cliff or bluff are likely to have a lasting view. Homes set on large parcels with allot of space in front of the view will also likely be able to control the fate of the view. Waterfront properties tend to keep the view indefinitely as well.

Ammeter Road, Washougal, WA
Buyers should not pay a large premium for a view that is easily corrupted. If a neighboring property owner has the authority to plant big trees or build a large structure that will block the view, then that view's arbitrary value is greatly reduced.

A view is also subject to its own 'greatness'. Is the view a peek-a-boo view? Is it seasonal only? Is the view out a obscure bathroom window? Or is it a grand panorama placed conveniently in front of a large living room picture window? All of these factor into the value an appraiser might place on the 'view' a property offers. An appraisers opinion of the view's value may not align with the buyer's idea. If the buyer is borrowing money for that home; the appraiser's opinion becomes a Gospel truth.
500 Broadway, Vancouver, WA

Urban views in high rise condos are often fleeting. The city may approve a taller high-rise right in front of an existing high-rise. The view shown here on the relatively low, 5th floor of 500 Broadway, Offers a straight shot right up Broadway. Since it is unlikely the city will ever approve a building in the middle of the street, this view is at least partially protected.

There are many views here in Clark County, Washington that are suspect at best. Yes they offer a beautiful vista across the river into that other state...Oregon. But often there are young trees that will soon grow mature or another subdivision that may go in soon. Buyers willing to pony up big bucks for a view need to be sure the view is going to endure.

Buyers should understand that short of deeded protections in the land in front of a properties "view". There are no guarantees that any view will always be there. Buyers should consider the likelihood that the particular view they are buying is going to be a 'forever' view. The view below looks across four acres that is owned by the view holder. This is a fairly protected view.

Bear Prairie, Washougal, WA

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