There are all sorts of view properties for sale, some you need a telescope from the second floor master bedroom to see the lake view that’s advertised. Then you have view properties that are truly spectacular views of the lake, city, or mountains. All of us know that views are not created equal, and they should be graded by degree. Since view is in the eye of the beholder, it is subjective.
In my recent search for view properties for two of my prized clients, I was able to get two outstanding view properties under contract, both having the best class views. We had the opportunity to evaluate the different grades of view and it basically goes like this.
Class A views are essentially unobstructed open views with a wide panorama to the thing being viewed, where care has been taken with easements that protect the views into the future from neighboring structures or trees. These are views that do not cross a visible street, with no power lines or poles that interrupt the eye. Such a property offers side yard privacy due to either the size of the lot, or the degree of mature landscaping that is present. The views must be able to be seen from the main living areas of the home, not simply the uppermost floor or roof deck. The most ideal situation is where the home is approached via a gradual driveway, not a steep driveway, and where you have a bench type lot where the terrain falls away from the view side of the home.
Class B views have a broad panorama as well, visible from the main living areas of the home, but these views are across the street in front of the home, where you see the neighboring homes or rooftops. You don’t have any power lines or utility poles that break the panorama, and there are view easements in place that dictate what neighbors can do. These easements would have building height restrictions, and where neighbors would be precluded from adding trees which might block their neighbor’s views. There is a lack of privacy usually due to the neighborhood setting, but the view is the main driver here, not privacy.
Class C views are partially broken by a neighbor’s home or trees, but there is enough view (of the lake, sunset, City or mountains) that it still captures the interest and imagination of the viewer. The views must be readily seen from the main living areas of the home and cannot be broken by an unsightly neighbor or ugly power pole with transformer. The “dream state” may not be idyllic but it isn’t spoiled either. Where a Grade A or B view is present but only from the master bedroom, if the view is divine enough, it can still qualify the property as having something really special, perhaps as high as a Grade B depending on the demand for view properties in the specific locale.
Class D views include those views where there is an unsightly neighbor, ugly power pole, or offending trees right in the main part of the view from the central living areas of the home. The view cannot be so distant that it is not readily seen as an obvious feature of the home’s character. Further, this type of view may include views that can only be seen in winter months when the deciduous trees have dropped their foliage. The distance between the view and the structure has a direct bearing as well--the more up close and personal the view, usually the higher the value of the property.
One of these properties will have a loan and therefore an appraisal will be ordered. My research into the values of surrounding view properties was extensive, so I intend to hand a package to the appraiser when he calls for an appointment, to assist his data collection. I am confident of the uniquely wonderful quality of life that each property will offer my clients. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of our job, finding great properties that fit the dream quotient of our clients for their real estate dollar.