When my wife and I began our home search here in Highlands Ranch, we began as most people do with a wish list. There were the criteria that the property had to have and then the list of what would be nice to have. With our size family, we had to have at least four bedrooms and 2,400 square feet. We wanted a large basement as a place for the kids to enjoy when we entertained guests. The other must have was a view of the mountains. When we moved to Highlands Ranch, we rented for the first year to give us time to find the house that we really wanted and the rental was backing to open space with a wide open view of the front range. Waking up to see the mountains every day was enough to get us hooked and mountain views were added to the must have list when we bought our home.
Mountain Views add value in Highlands Ranch
We quickly realized as most people do that we would have to pay extra to get a decent view of the mountains. The builders and developers know that people will pay extra to have views and that those who can pay extra may prefer a larger home. How much more does it cost to get mountain views? I did a little calculation for Highlands Ranch where I compared 5 months of sales between 300K and 500K. The difference was not as great as you might think. There were a total of 159 sales without mountain views and 80 sales with mountain views. Both samples sold close to 98% of the list price. The best way to measure the difference is in psf ( price per square foot ). Without a mountain view, the homes averaged $150 per square foot. The properties with mountain views sold for $153 per square foot. So according to the math, a property with 2,500 square feet will cost about $7,500 more to have a mountain view. There wasn’t much difference in days it took to sell them either. They took 64 to 66 days to sell.
Not all mountain views are the same.
On last word of caution. Many real estate agents will place homes in the MLS ( Multiple Listing Service ) and check the box that says mountain views. There is a world of difference between an unobstructed mountain view and a mountain view over a house through one bedroom window. Technically they are correct, but there isn’t any real value in a view that can’t be enjoyed from most of the house. A view from the front porch of a house may be less desirable than from the back porch. It depends on where you like to spend your time.