How much will a view increase the value of your house? Is it really worth cutting down trees for? Every year or so the media reports alleged tree poisoning or removal by local residents striving to gain (or regain) views lost to flora.

Of course it’s lovely to see the water from your living room, but residents obviously have more in mind than enjoying a tranquil vista across the harbour when they stoop to such drastic measures as cutting down trees on public land.

A property with a view will always be valuable. Potential buyers (or tenants) with enough money to be choosy will seek out homes or offices which boast views over water or interesting parts of the city.

The extent and quality of the view can vary greatly. It is very disappointing to turn up at a viewing and discover that an apartment’s advertised harbour views can only be enjoyed whilst taking a shower.

Or maybe you need to stretch over a balcony balustrade and look past your neighbour’s clothesline to see the Opera House in its glory.

To maximise property value it should be possible to enjoy views from the main living areas of the home and, if possible, also the main bedroom. The more rooms with access to the view the higher the property value will be.

It may even be worth knocking down some walls and reconfiguring your home to orient living spaces towards the view. The cost of doing this may well be offset by increased value.

It’s important to remember, however, that views can change. Before you purchase a property make sure you check with council to see if any development applications have been submitted that might result in your spectacular harbour view being spectacularly blocked by a new apartment development or a mobile phone tower.

Even if there are no DAs currently approved or under consideration for that site, if that type of construction is allowed under council restrictions, then your view could at any time be blocked by a new building. What will happen to the property value should this take place?

The quest for a view has become an obsessive occupation for some Sydneysiders. City skylines change, and this makes views one of the most elusive and yet lucrative amenities a property can offer.

Hence the desperation with which people act when wilfully destroying trees -“ living things that actually enhance our communities, our lifestyles and the environment.

For those of us who don’t own multi-million dollar residences it’s hard to imagine the strength of purpose required to destroy something of such beauty and value.

No doubt the prospect of gaining an extra $50,000 in property value is enough to turn a respectable and upstanding citizen into a criminal for the night.

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