Last Sunday, Seattle Times readers were greeted by Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty Founding Director and Broker Moira Holley, as she was featured in an article for Pacific NW Magazine entitled “The Value of a View.” In an exploration of the importance of views in our lives and the unique vistas the Pacific Northwest affords, author Sandy Deneau Dunham says that “as Seattle grows up, views can go away – and take real value with them.”

It’s hard to argue with the fact that views matter. As the article reads, they “give us a reference point and connect us to where we are, and to nature, and to each other. They inspire us to get up, get out, get involved.” Hence it is no surprise that “the word ‘view’ in real estate” is “as golden as all those goose eggs in the listing price.”

In her exploration of views and real estate in the Puget Sound, Dunham turns to Moira Holley, who is “looking at Seattle – but, really, it’s ‘Seattle,’ as if you were describing the city in one glorious lineup of tourist-luring symbols: the slowly spinning Great Wheel. The pointy Space Needle. Gliding ferries on Elliott Bay. Bustling Pike Place Market. Giant towering forms: Mount Rainier, the Olympics, a metallic sedge of orange cranes.”

Holley, who was standing in a unit at Continental Place listed at $2,799,000, describes that “she’s very careful when she markets a property with the hot-button phrase ‘protected view.’ But, ‘this is one of the most unique vantage points in the city,’ Holley says.”

The protected view is the result of “current zoning, public spaces and historic buildings,” and “it’s a protection that is recorded on owners’ titles, and reflected in the price they pay for their condos.” As Holley says, “in-city condominiums with protected views are becoming scare, even rare,” adding that “it’s a significantly greater value when a view will likely be there in 20 years.”

Dunham outlines the difficulty in quantifying “a precise apples-to-apples view/no-view monetary difference” but quotes Holley, who says “buyers tell us how important a view is. As homes get more expensive, the view plays a larger role in the value.”

As architect Nils Finne tells Seattle Times, the views the Emerald City offers are really unlike any other: “I just got back from the East Coast, and not many people there have any chance of anything like the views we have – downtown, Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Mount Rainier, forest – we have such a cornucopia of possibilities because of our Pacific Northwest landscape. It’s absolutely incredible. You travel and come back, and it hits you as you come into the airport. What an absolute blessed corner of the Earth.”

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