Where's my View?

Simply put, some views are simply not guaranteed. Just like buying opera tickets for seats in the second row, a view or exposure is never a certainty unless you are in the front row with zero opportunity for someone tall (or with big hair) to block your view. Sometimes I shudder how naive some property owners are: many think they are entitled to that open view they enjoyed for years forever, without ever evaluating the legal risks that someone could indeed (legally) block that view.

This is one aspect that should always be very carefully evaluated when buying. Zoning changes are scary when they change that which you bought into and need to be closely watched. Whenever you meet a new seller with a big window facing a view that will be lost, what should you do? I always try to address these situations pro-actively. Withholding critical valuation information like this is almost certainly exposing you and your client to legal risk. Full disclosure is best. And more importantly, I find is pro-actively creating a solution for the lost view so that it does not become THE issue to potential buyers. I have gone so far as to sheetrock up a wall facing an open lot, placing a large framed photograph where once there was a view. This immediately removes the issue from the table. Landscaping can also be very effective to screen out a potential change in a view.

Buyer beware. Seller (and their agent) be smart!