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How Important Is a Good View When Buying a Property?

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By : James Hardy    99 or more times read
Or, more to the point, is a nice view important to you? For some people, a scenic view across the rolling countryside is at the top of their priority list when viewing a property, for others, who spend less time at home, it’s of little importance. However, many people underestimate the problem that can be caused by a ‘bad’ view. After all, you don’t want to spend thousands on a new property, only to find that your living room window backs onto a brick wall, or that your neighbours can see straight into your bathroom!

When you view a house, especially on newer estates, check to make sure that the houses are not ‘crammed in’. When you are in each room, make sure that you can’t see straight into the windows of any neighbouring properties, and vice-versa. Of course, blinds and curtains can be used, but you want the option of opening the windows and letting the light in, without worrying about who can and can’t see you.

The garden is important too. Take a walk around the garden and surrounding areas of the property, and see how much privacy you are likely to get. If you feel that a wall or fence is required, ask about planning permission before you make an offer on a house. Remember, boundary disputes are the number one cause of friction amongst neighbours, so don’t assume that you will be able to build wherever you like, check with the local authorities first.

If you are buying off plan (before the house is actually built), you may have problems determining the eventual view, as you will only have the plans as a guideline to what you'll be overlooking. If this is the case, always ask the developer as many questions as you can about ongoing work. Also, don’t assume that the empty field next to the plot is a permanent feature – land is expensive, and it’s very likely that this will be developed at some point in the future. It may look very scenic now, but in a few months or years time, you may look out onto 3 story flats – keep up-to-date with land applications in the area (you can usually find information about planning applications in your local newspaper or online).

Don’t forget that other people can spoil a view too! When you view a house, pay close attention to the neighbouring properties. Do the houses look well-kept and in good condition, or is the garden starting to resemble a jungle? If they’re not looking after their property now, they’re unlikely to change their ways when you move in. Also check for excessive rubbish outside, and other aesthetically unpleasing features, such as old rusting cars in the drive. The state of your neighbours houses can affect the price of your property, let’s face it, no-one wants to live next door to a ‘slob’, and this could become a major problem if you decide to sell in the future.
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