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I always wanted a house in a good location. Location, and never a view, was the top priority to me. I was spoiled from the day I was born in regards to location. Our small two room apartment in Lithuania was in the middle of the capital, close to public transportation, and walking distance to all major points in the city. Our windows faced other houses and offices. It was not the greatest view on Earth, I have to admit.
When I moved to the U.S., I learned that location in a small town means a good neighborhood, and preferably a good view. My parents condo had an amazing view of the mountains. It was serene. It was breath taking. It taught me to appreciate the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains.
My current condo is in a good Salt Lake City neighborhood, close to public transportation. Unfortunately the view is not that great. There is a busy street right under our windows. I can still see the mountains in the background, but the busy street seems to overtake the view.
In my dreams my next home has a great view, huge windows and a lot of daylight.
Am I willing to pay more for a view? This is a question that I cannot answer with a simple “yes” or “no.” I think that houses with a view sell at a premium above similar houses without a view. A good view simply costs more.
Can You Put an Actual Value on a View?
I contemplated this for a while now. We all want to look at something pleasant and not just a busy street or a white fence and our neighbors house.
How much would I be willing to pay for the view of the mountains? A park? A creek? A natural preserve? It all depends on the house, right? The house cannot have a 360 degree good view. So, what is a good view really worth? $10, $50 extra a month?
I’d say that if your budget allows for that extra amount, then it might be a simple solution. If you are already maxed out, then something has gotta give, most often it will be that great view that you like so much.
Is a View Going to Change with Time?
One of my friends was looking for a house. He wanted a view of the valley, so that he can sit on his porch and look at the lights of Salt Lake City. The idea was great, but it was not easy to implement without spending some extra money.
He found a house with a desired view of the valley and even within his budget constraints only to find out later that his dream view will be obstructed in a few months with construction. If he wouldn’t do his due diligence, he could have ended up with a construction site right in front of his porch. I’d rather face a white fence than a bulldozer!
Is a View for Your Visual Pleasure or is it an Investment?
If the answer is “visual pleasure” then that view might not be worth much money. Our definition of “visual pleasure” is very subjective. We might like something (a field with trees, for example) that someone else would not appreciate that much. Don’t place a considerable dollar value based on your own subjective opinion.
If the view is an investment, something that a majority of people would want to see (Central Park in New York or Niagara Falls, perhaps) than it, probably, costs some additional money. Such views create great leverage in selling a property.
One Last Thing to Remember
No matter how beautiful your future house is and how stunning a view it comes with is, you don’t want to be house poor. Know what you really can afford. Don’t overspend. In fact, if you are buying a house with a view, try to spend as little as possible. Otherwise, you might not get your money back. Well, unless it is a penthouse with a view of the Central Park.