Love that Home’s View? See How Much You’ll Pay

April 4, 2018
 Love that home’s view? See how much more you’ll payA house with a fabulous view can be hard for a home buyer to resist. But seeing the mountains, water or city lights from the comfort of home comes at a price. The hazy part is figuring out what that added cost is — and whether it’s worth it.

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. 

Posted on April 11, 2018 at 9:49 pm
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How Portland-Born Architect John Yeon Gave the Northwest Its Signature Style

The Portland Art Museum is featuring a major new exhibit on well-known architect John Yeon. For more information on both Yeon’s architectural legacy as well as his roll in conservation click here.

Posted on May 17, 2017 at 9:09 pm
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More People Are Arriving: Oregon Remains a Top Relocation Spot, Study Finds

Janet Eastman | The Oregonian/OregonLive By Janet Eastman
on January 03, 2017 at 11:00 AM, updated January 03, 2017 at 8:58 PM
Moving vans are on the roll and many continue to head to Oregon, according to a migration study released by Atlas Van Lines.

The moving company found that Oregon continues to be a top relocation spot, ranking second in inbound moves, percentage-wise.

That’s no surprise to the people already living here. After topping 4 million people for the first time in 2015, new residents have been arriving at a rate not seen since the 1990s.

Last month, the Census Bureau reported that Oregon had grown by 1.71 percent in the past year, making it the sixth-fastest-growing state by percentage. Its 69,000 new residents also make it the ninth-fastest-growing state in absolute numbers.

Most of the state’s population growth came from migration, which tends to follow the health of the economy. Oregon’s job market has been growing faster than the nation overall.

Each January, moving companies Atlas and United Van Lines reveal the percentage of inbound and outbound moves in each state to define trends in nationwide migration, which has slowed slightly, according to Atlas.

Oregon has been classified since 2012 as an inbound state, that is, more out-of-staters are renting moving vans to come here than residents leaving, according to Atlas.

In 2016, 62 percent of Oregon’s moves were into the state, according to Atlas’ latest findings. In 2015, Atlas found that 64 percent of moves in Oregon were inbound, propelling it to the top moving destination.

United Van Lines’ 40th Annual National Movers Study, which also tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year, found South Dakota narrowly overtook Oregon, which held the top spot for the previous three years as the nation’s Top Moving Destination. Vermont holds the second position, with Oregon rounding out the top three.

The influx of new residents has been one factor in rising home values and low vacancy rates among rentals. Prices in the Portland metro area grew 10.3 percent year over year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index. The city saw the second-largest increase among the 20 metro areas included in the index, following Seattle’s 10.9 percent jump.

Nationwide in 2016, the total number of interstate and interprovincial moves by Atlas Van Lines reached 75,427, down from 77,705 in 2015. For the fifth consecutive year, the states with the highest number of total moves were California (14,995), Texas (11,973) and Florida (10,231).

“We are cautiously optimistic that we will see an uptick in 2017 for all types of moves, but we are aware of the economic headwinds that lie ahead of us,” said Jack Griffin, CEO and Vice Chairman of Atlas World Group, in a news release. The company has conducted the migration study since 1993.

Here are the 10 states with the highest percentage of inbound moves and outbound moves as reflected in moves handled by Atlas. This is the first year Idaho has been the study’s inbound leader. Wyoming topped the outbound list back in 2012 as well.

Top inbound states:

Idaho (63 percent)
Oregon (62 percent)
North Carolina (61 percent)
Tennessee (60 percent)
Alaska (59 percent)
Washington (58 percent)
Michigan (57.2 percent)
Washington D.C. (57.1 percent)
Florida (56 percent)
New Hampshire (55.1 percent)
Top outbound states:

Wyoming (63 percent)
Nebraska (61 percent)
Illinois (60 percent)
Delaware (59.5 percent)
Louisiana (59 percent)
Connecticut (58.9 percent)
New York (58.7 percent)
West Virginia (58.6 percent)
Indiana (58 percent)
South Dakota (57.6 percent)
View the full results of the 2016 migration patterns, along with a nationwide map and annual histories for each state.

– Janet Eastman

jeastman@oregonian.com
503-799-8739
@janeteastman

Posted on January 10, 2017 at 10:43 pm
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