How Much More Will You Pay for a View that Counts?
Volume XVIII, Issue 50
This is our last issue of French Property Insider for 2020. I have a feeling most of us are happy to look back at 2020 and say “good riddance.” We can only hope that 2021 will be the year that “fixes” the last one so we can move onward and upward in the most positive fashion.
The uncertainty of our lives has led to an uncertain real estate market, too. However, our clients (and you readers) appear to be forging ahead in spite of the uncertainty in an effort to grasp control over what seems uncontrollable. They are seeking out properties in France that will enrich their future, making commitments to purchase even when they can’t tangibly see, feel or experience the property themselves. We’ve made that not only possible, but a satisfying experience, to see their acquisitions through the lens of our eyes, our ears and most important of all, our experienced advice.
We will not allow our clients to make a bad purchase in France…that is if we can help it! They don’t always heed our warnings, but over that we have no control. Still, we provide all the due diligence and all the information anyone would need to make an informed decision…and that’s what counts…to go into the purchase with your eyes wide open.
At this writing, I am physically sitting in Sedona, Arizona—a town I’ve never visited before. It’s a different Americana than the usual, steeped in a history of outdoor activities (particularly hiking and mountain biking) and spiritualism. Nestled among the red rock buttes making a very dramatic landscape, Sedona is filled with “magic vortexes” where one can “feel the energy flow.” People who subscribe to this kind of spiritualism tend to live a different kind of life than the others who don’t. Those who live here have created their own reality. It’s evident everywhere you go that they revere nature and the power of what is not man made.
A vortex is something created from a spiraling motion of air or liquid around a center of rotation…like a whirlpool in a river or the water flowing down the drain of your sink. In Sedona, those who believe in spiritual energy believe vortexes here are not created by wind or water, but by energy and are a place to facilitate prayer, meditation and healing. In France, there are at least two identified vortexes: the Col de Vence, a pass of the French Alps located in the Alpes-Maritimes where many UFO sightings take place; and the Pic de Bugarach, the highest summit in the Corbières mountains in the French Midi described as an “upside-down mountain.” (Source: Vortex Hunters)
The red rocks in Sedona are magnificently perplexing. Layers of sandstone and limestone were left by a receding ocean. Iron oxide covered the grains of the sandstone and, in a natural process, rust formed. Hence the stunning rusty beauty along with the mysteries of the spiritual energy. Civilization here is as old as the year 4,000 BC. They left petroglyphs and pictographs behind as proof of their existence. Birds of a feather congregated here to revel in the spiritual energy of others. I wondered about what their lives look like compared to mine. What kind of homes do they create for themselves?
My daughter loves looking at homes as much as I do, so we have taken a bit of time to cruise the residential areas and spot beautiful houses of every type. Mostly, they are wood or adobe, filled with windows, yet they blend into the landscape in design, color and texture. It’s obvious that looking out is of prime importance. Erica casually said, “If you don’t have a view in Sedona, then there’s something wrong with that.” And I fully agreed. A view of the red rocks is a must, although they are impossible to avoid the moment you step outside.
I don’t believe this need for a view of the red rocks equates with having a view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or of the Mediterranean Sea in Nice. In both French cities, there is a lot more to catch your eye than just the tower or the sea, hence views can be spectacular even when missing one of those two elements. In Sedona, the red rocks are the one and only real option if what you’re after is a view.
So, how important is view, really, when considering a purchase? According to just about everyone in real estate, location is the number one most important factor for profitability. Scenic views are all a part of that equation. Real estate appraisers and analysts who study home values say that views are really difficult to quantify because they’re somewhat subjective. It’s all about what’s in the eye of the beholder. When we have a client buying in Paris, we often ask if they prefer being on the courtyard vs the street or is looking at rooftops more preferable over neighbors’ windows? Do you have to have a view of the Eiffel Tower or will the Hôtel Particulier on the corner be beautiful and French enough for your tastes?
Either way, a great view adds value to the real estate and to the enjoyment of the living space. If you can get it, without sacrificing other important factors, then by all means the room with a view is the one to go after.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers of French Property Insider and our other Nouvellettres®, Parler Paris and Parler Nice. May 2021 be a blockbuster year of good tidings for everyone.
The Adrian Leeds Group
P.S. While many of you will be streaming Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ for the holidays, you can also binge on three of our recent House Hunters International episodes! Visit our HHI page for details and links to the episodes on HGTV for “A Parisian Place for Mother and Daughter,” “From Vancouver to the Vineyards of Epernay, France” and “The Good Life in Paris.”