The Value of a View

What’s in a view? 

Well, depending on what type of property we’re talking about & whether it’s a good view or a “bad” view, whether it’s something that creates privacy, or the perception of added or decreased value, it could mean the difference of tens of thousands of dollars! Plus or MINUS! Or…you could pay a premium for a view that disappears over time or that you simply can’t recoup the cost of when you sell. Tricky Business!

Builders charge a premium for things like backing onto greenspace/treed or forested areas, storm water ponds & corner lots, just to name a few. Problem is, sometimes, like with corner lots for example, you can’t recoup the actual dollar value of the premium you paid to the builder for it. A corner lot in a subdivision home will give you extra windows & light on the one side (as opposed to a view of a brick wall from the house next door) but many people don’t like the extra traffic that comes along with siding onto a road. I once sold a property that was both on a corner lot & backed onto a popular neighbourhood park & it was a surprisingly tough sell! Yes there were no neighbours behind or next door, but buyers shied away from this property because of perceived noise & traffic.

How about a disappearing view? These are a heartbreaker! Especially if the builder promised one thing when you purchased & then they changed the “plan”…it’s not like they give you your money back when your view disappears. All of a sudden greenspace turns into a block of houses & you’re SOL! I feel so bad for the people on both Tooley Rd & Centerfield Dr in Courtice who backed onto greenspace for decades, but who now back onto a newly-built condo townhouse complex…that’s a real tough pill to swallow & has sadly stripped away some of their homes’ value.

Ravine lots & lots that have great privacy due to mature vegetation or landscaping, are both always in demand & will usually command a premium as well. How much of a premium? $30k or more here in the Durham region! I’ve sold a few & boy were those HOT properties! Recently an agent in Brighton (a good hour east of here in Northumberland County) had a ravine lot home sell for $150k more than a very similar home across the street that didn’t back onto the ravine…same age, same builder, same finishes, same selling timeframe…$150,000 difference…just let that settle in for a moment!

Examples of views that can be challenging? And by challenging I mean that a home will take longer to sell & will most likely sell for less than a comparable property with a different view:
  •      Hydro corridors
  •      Backing onto a main road
  •      Fronting onto a main road if the house is not well set back from the road
  •      Overlooking something less than desirable
  •      Backing onto something less than desirable

Now presumably someone who owns a house with a challenging view like one of the ones that I’ve just listed, likely paid a purchase price that took that challenge into consideration…not always, but more often than not, that’s the case. And so selling for a little less, when you paid a little less in the first place, is easier to come to terms with. For those with the disappearing view, or a view that that can be subjective as to whether it’s a good view or a bad view, unfortunately all you can do is be realistic & work with the hand that you’ve been dealt.

Privacy, & what one of my clients calls “elbow room” have become a luxury, at least here in the ‘burbs. Luxury items come with higher price tags & they don’t tend to go on sale. 

And one final thought, the perception of value BECOMES the value & perception can be I said at the start of this, it's tricky business!

Until next time,


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