Figuring out how much a view is worth requires finding comparable homes in every way except view. The easiest way to do this is to look at condos. Homes present more nuanced differences, and it would take longer to isolate the views value alone.
In the Newmark Tower in Downtown Seattle, you have essentially two sides to the building, the Puget Sound side and the city side. This makes a great test subject for getting an indication of just how much an unobstructed view is worth. Some of the best views in Seattle reside in Newmark Tower, thanks to the unique location right in front of Pike Place Market. You are treated to 180 degrees of Puget Sound, the Olympics, and our beautiful city in one sitting.
On the other side of Newmark, you get direct city views and slight side views from the two city side corners of the building. According to my analysis of recently sold units in Newmark, the Puget Sound side is pulling about $800 per square foot while the city side received $650 per square foot. That is a $150 per square foot difference for two units of similar size and utility, the only difference being the view. That translated (in this case) to $140,000. That was an increase in total value of 18% because of the view!
Of course, all views are not created equal, but this gives you a snapshot of what a full, unobstructed view is worth in Newmark Tower. Then the price goes down from there, depending on what percentage of an “unobstructed view” you have or want. You have 80%, 60%, 30% of a full view? Adjust accordingly. A view form only one room is worth much less than a view from nearly every room.
Houses are slightly trickier to figure out due to the number of other differences that each home will possess. It requires isolating a few more factors to get at the home’s view value alone, but from experience, I’d say it’s about the same as a function of percentage. So you can use this as a rule of thumb when determining how important a view is when buying, or to compare your home’s worth to that of a home with or without a view!
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