That’s where real estate appraisers and analysts who study home values can help, even though they recognize there’s no simple answer.
“Views are actually really difficult to quantify,” says Andy Krause, principal data scientist at Greenfield Advisors, a real estate research company. “It’s somewhat subjective. What makes a better water view? Do you want it to be wider? Do you want more of the water from a taller angle? You know, some of that is in the eye of the beholder.”
Assigning a dollar value can also be difficult because not all views are equal or valuable, and a view that’s sought-after in one location may not be in another.
In Manhattan, a place that overlooks a green space or woods will cost you a lot extra. In the countryside? Not as much, says Mauricio Rodriguez, a real estate expert who chairs the finance department at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business.
Putting a price on it
So how do you put a price on a variety of views? Krause, who builds automated valuation models that analyze home data, produced these estimates for what five different types of views might add to a home’s price in Seattle:
- 5 to 10%: For a home on flat ground with an unobstructed view of an open space or a park, a seller could add 5 to 10%. In other words, if an identical home without a view is worth $500,000 elsewhere in Seattle, this view could boost the price to $525,000 to $550,000.
- 10 to 30%: A home partway up a hill with a partially obstructed water view over neighbors’ rooftops could increase the overall price by 10 to 30%. It depends on how much of your field of vision the view fills, both vertically and horizontally, Krause says. In this example, a home otherwise worth $500,000 might fetch $550,000 to $650,000.
- 30 to 50%: This time Krause considered the same home as above, in the same location, but with an unobstructed view. “You still have the neighbors above looking down into your house, but you have a nice water view,” he says. With this clearer view, the $500,000 home could sell for $650,000 to $750,000.
- 50 to 75%: Next, envision a home atop a hill with an unobstructed cityscape or open-space vista. To buy the $500,000 home in this location, a buyer might have to pay $725,000 to $875,000.
- 75-100% or more: Finally, imagine a house with a stunning, unobstructed view of a big lake or the ocean. This type of prized view can boost the value of a home worth $500,000 in an ordinary location to $1 million or more, Krause says.\
How to shop for a home with a view
If having a view is a must on your homebuying list, here are a couple of tips from the experts:
1. FIND OUT IF THE VIEW IS PROTECTED
Frank Lucco, a residential real estate appraiser and consultant in Houston, once had clients with an expensive home who sued after a high-rise office tower went up across the street. The building disrupted their view and gave office workers a view of their formerly private backyard and their teenage daughters using the pool. The lawsuit was dismissed, Lucco says, and a bit of detective work could have told them that commercial development was allowed.
To avoid a similar outcome, Lucco says before you place a bid on a home, ask planning authorities what the zoning allows and if high-impact developments are planned nearby.
2. LOOK FOR DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Bargain-hunters can occasionally find views for cheap because poor design — walls where a big window or a deck might go, for instance — blocks what should be a nice view.
“It may cost you $15,000 to $30,000 to do a very limited remodel that gives you a better angle, or higher vantage point, or a rooftop deck,” Krause says. But that could be a deal compared with buying a home that already takes full advantage of its view. Lucco suggests inspecting the home’s deed for any restrictions limiting additions to the height. Pay careful attention to homeowner association rules, too.
A view can be one of the most attractive aspects of a home. Knowing that you paid the right price for it can make the scenery that much more enjoyable.
This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.
Admire beautiful blooms at these Portland parks and gardens.
One of the region’s earliest blooming native flowers, trilliums are a common sight in Pacific Northwest forests. These small, white flowers are abundant in Portland’s only state park, Tryon Creek — so abundant, in fact, that the park hosts an annual Trillium Festival each April. If you miss the festivities, you can still find the flowers yourself and enjoy Tryon’s hiking, biking and horse trails all season long.
Trilliums also bloom along many trails in Northwest Portland’s Forest Park, which sprawls over more than 5,000 wooded acres (2,023 hectares) and boasts 70 miles (113 km) of paths filled with fascinating flora and fauna.
From Forest Park, follow the Beech Trail to Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park. Home to nearly 1,000 species of shrubs and trees — more than any other arboretum in the nation — Hoyt has plenty to offer all year-round. Spring highlights include bell-shaped Oregon plum flowers, magnolias, blooming dogwood and cherry blossoms.
Speaking of cherry blossoms, stroll through downtown’s Waterfront Park in late March or early April to find a breathtaking sight: 100 Akebono cherry trees popping with pink and white petals. (Fun fact: The trees were given to Portland in 1990 by a group of businessmen from the Japanese Grain Importers Association.)
For cherry trees in a more traditional setting, visit the Portland Japanese Garden, heralded as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan itself. And while you’re exploring authentic Asian gardens, don’t miss downtown’s Lan Su Chinese Garden; in spring, fragrant scents of daphne and Edgeworthia enhance this Ming Dynasty-style garden.
Visit Southeast Portland’s Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in April or May to catch its collection of rare rhododendrons, azaleas and hybrids in full bloom. The garden boasts 7 idyllic acres (2.8 hectares), including three waterfalls, two picturesque bridges and tranquil Crystal Springs Lake, where nearly 100 species of birds feed and nest. For an extra treat, visit on either the first weekend of April or Mother’s Day weekend, when the garden hosts its annual flower shows and sales.
A 45-minute journey south of Portland delivers you to Woodburn’s Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, home to 40 acres of colorful tulips. The annual Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, held each April, also offers wine tasting, wagon rides, children’s activities, a food court and a marketplace offering freshly-picked tulips and bulbs for fall planting.
No flora-viewing adventure would be complete without the City of Roses’ namesake flowers. Both Peninsula Park in North Portland and the International Rose Test Garden boast thousands upon thousands of rare and beautiful rose bushes, which typically begin to bud in early April. To catch them at their peak, visit in early June and don’t miss the Grand Floral Parade at the annual Portland Rose Festival!
River Pig’s Ramzy Hattar is planning to open an 8,000 sq. ft. music lounge in the old Oba space. Hattar is planning to invite famous chefs to utilize the expansive kitchen. For more information click here.