Susan McPherson's Blog
When you plan to stay in your new home for years to come, you can buy just for yourself and ignore things that would otherwise make reselling the property difficult. However, if you know this home will be back on the market in a few years, you need to check different boxes on that list. Do you know you'll have to move on a tight schedule for work? That makes minding the view even more important.
A Room with a View (that you hate)
Not all homesites have the future view in mind and even those that do risk ruin by city planners adding new infrastructure to your area or new businesses opening. Here's what to avoid:
- Railroad Tracks: Number one on many buyers "do not want" list, railroad tracks can be a huge barrier to a quick sale. Any train tracks with noisy, consistent business can be irritating to home buyers and reduce the draw for your home. If the property is walking distance from a local station with city access, however, use the local public transportation as a selling point to bring in new potential buyers.
- Water Towers and Wind Turbines: Unavoidable in most areas, especially those headed for greener energy or where water is scarce, the goal here is merely to avoid direct window views. If you notice one of these tall local structures blocking the homes' views, finding the house with a different perspective could be the key to your super-fast sale.
- Power Lines: Electrical lines distract from the view similarly to wind turbines. However, there's a more sinister problem here. Many people believe that power lines emit a kind of radiation that causes health problems. Even though the American Cancer Society says that power lines emit only ELF (extremely low frequency) radiation which shouldn't cause health problems, just the belief in society can drag out your sale timeline or lower the price.
- Shops and Restaurants: The goal here is to be careful what businesses are nearby. Visit the property at different times of day to determine how much noise is generated by the nearby restaurants and what kinds of lights or signs might impact your view and living situation. Imposing privacy walls between your home and local businesses don't necessarily help since that can ruin the entire view without actually blocking the noise.
When you're looking at homes to purchase, make sure you check them out at a variety of times of the day. When possible, check the view from every window, both in the dark and during the day. Also, make sure you review the location on weekdays and weekends alike since the activity level of neighborhoods and businesses can change drastically.
I already bought it, what now?
Just because you didn’t consider the view when you purchased the property—or if the view has changed over the years—doesn't mean you're out of luck. You can adjust the landscape to your advantage, planting trees to add greenery while blocking a regrettable view. Be careful with power lines and trees though, planting trees that will cross over powerlines can increase maintenance costs on the property and could get you into trouble with the city or utility provider. You can even offset the sounds railroad tracks and local businesses by swapping out your windows with ones that are more sound-insulating. Or try investing in sound-proofing paints which have the added benefit of being more temperature insulating as well.
Let your real estate professional know if you plan to resell the home on a tight schedule so they can help you find the best resale property in your market.