Great view is worth how much?
April 6, 2011 2:37 PM   Subscribe

How to value a great view.

We are looking at homes for retirement purposes. We love nature and the outdoors and have found a home that we like and that has some mitigating features however and is in a high value market...

It has a view to die for. What dollar value would you put on a view that nearly perfectly matches your ideal? The home in question has a view to the west across buttes and mesas that may extend 100 miles. When the sun sets each layer (20 miles, 40 miles etc.) changes color independently from gold to purple. In a different direction and quite close is a 13,000 ft. snow capped mountain. And in a different direction is a mountain range in the distance, not the Sierra Nevadas but pristine and magnificent.

The home is in the third of a million range and is only a little over 1000 sq ft but meets our needs and taste.

How much of a dollar value would you put on that view?
posted by leafwoman to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
In anecdotal experience, views never get old.

In equally anecdotal experience, views don't always stay views. My mother has a house with a view of the downtown and mountains; she had it from both floors, but industrial construction means she only sort of has a view from the upper floor now. Don't take the real estate agent's word for it; do your homework with the appropriate planning authorities.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:41 PM on April 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


25% to 30% of the value of the home. But I like the pretty.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:44 PM on April 6, 2011


For resell or to live with? I the former, totally depends on how the location fits more practical needs (eg proximity to amenities, cultural activities general communal goings on etc), to live with, well not that much, but then I like greenery. Point being, it's massively subjective. The only way to find out empirically is to compare with near-identical properties that don't have the view, or with similar properties that do. Find out what others have already paid and that should give you a bench mark.
posted by freya_lamb at 2:44 PM on April 6, 2011


We live one block from Lake Michigan. Our house is worth half to a third of what the houses on the lakefront cost after accounting for similar size and age. So a view of the lake (facing east, therefore no sunset) costs about $100-200K here. Your view sounds better.
posted by desjardins at 2:56 PM on April 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Subjective. It sounds like it's worth a lot to you. I would agree with Llama--80 grand, no problem.
You couldn't resell that view to everyone, but you just need one appreciative buyer.
I have a beautiful view down a long lake, with mountains in the distance. There is not a day goes by that I don't enjoy it. What's that worth over 30 years?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:56 PM on April 6, 2011


Best answer: While we're currently relocated for school, we're most recently from the Olympic Peninsula. We have several friends who live, and have lived, for a long time, in smaller homes with belly-flipping views of the Strait de Juan de Fuca or the Olympics, or both. All of them never regretted living in a home a bit smaller or a little less than mechanically ideal for those views. When we bought our own home there, which had a view of the Olympics from our deck and a view of the strait from the upper story, we found it deeply, touchingly satisfying--humbling--to have those views.

I think there is some need, somewhere after food and water, but very much before self-actualization, to feel connected to the natural world, daily. Over time, you have a longer sense of rhythm. Everyday aches can be released easier because you start to understand your place (which is smaller than you've always thought). Seasons are more meaningful, natural sciences are more interesting, I know we absolutely got out into more--hiking and exploring (than we do in our midwestern city brownstone). All that is totally connected to the view and the one you're describing sounds like its in the realm of life-changing.

If this is a forever home, future disabilities may mean that your view keeps your mind and heart more mobile than your body is. Most of the area nursing homes, in our town on the Olympic coast, had sea-facing views. There is a reason for that.

The writer and poet Tess Gallagher (who lives where we came from) often wrote about her view of the strait from her home and how the expanse of sea and the distant lights of Victoria, BC were what invested in her a sense of world citizenship. Surely she was not just, for example, an American, a girl from a small logging town, if she could watch the night lights of a foreign city from her rooms. She buried Raymond Carver at Ocean View cemetery in our little town, the view a reminder of his immortality.

We humans tend to settle around views. We tell ourselves its for the fishing, access to fresh water, ports, ability to see the hoards coming for us from the top of the hill, but someone from the Quileute tribe on the Olympic coast, who had a little house on a bluff, told me that he always thought it was interesting that his ancestors constructed their housing so that the biggest opening was towards the sea, even though it would have been much warmer and practical for the indoor fire to place it away. He told me this as a way to explain why he bought his tiny house with the big view--his folks always had.

Call your agent. Wrap it up. Take a painting course from the local community college and hand out canvases at Christmas.
posted by rumposinc at 4:27 PM on April 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


views don't always stay views. My mother has a house with a view of the downtown and mountains; she had it from both floors, but industrial construction means she only sort of has a view from the upper floor now. Don't take the real estate agent's word for it; do your homework with the appropriate planning authorities.

Really important -- Mr. Llama's mom had a cottage with a lovely view of water -- a house between her and the water was torn down by new owners and rebuilt with a third story, destroying her view entirely. It was sad as all get out and something to consider.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:28 PM on April 6, 2011


I've heard a rule of thumb that 'a view will add 15%', but I think theres a lot of wiggle room there, the value of a good view will depend on scarcity. If a town has thousands of houses and only a few have good views that will add a lot of value, but if 50% of houses in the area have a good view then it might only add 5%
posted by Lanark at 5:24 PM on April 6, 2011


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