Whether on vacation or on the real-estate market, consumers will often shell out more cash to enjoy a beautiful view—especially when that view is well known. It can be a point of pride to have an iconic vista or landmark visible through your home’s windows, and when a house is on the market, views become a selling point.
The first thing the casual browser is likely to notice is that the majority of the following selections are urban. There are, of course, famous views elsewhere, but in the case of landmarks such as Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, a Yellowstone geyser or Niagara Falls, no one’s putting up housing developments nearby. In densely populated urban settings, your view is quite likely to be another building, dark alley, or airshaft, so an appealing famous view will command more money on the market.
What follows are 11 houses for sale that feature famous views, most of them suggested by Realtor.com and Zillow.com, ranked in order from the lowest price to the highest.
By Colleen KanePosted July 26, 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Square feet: 912
The unobstructed view of the Texas State Capitol when approaching on Congress Avenue is one of the most distinctive visuals of Austin, Texas. The limestone and pink granite structure is the largest state capitol and it’s taller than the U.S. Capitol….because you know what they say about things in Texas! (They are bigger.) This condo unit in the Brazos Place building offers a view of the Capitol building from the balcony, as well as a lovely church view in the other direction. This downtown residence certainly doesn’t offer the most dramatic view in our list, hence it also goes for the lowest cost.
Location: Cannon Beach, Ore.
Square feet: 2,246
Many moviegoers wouldn’t know this ancient monolithic stone landmark by its name, but they’d still recognize it instantly from the movie "The Goonies." It's hard to believe this nondescript 10-year-old, two-story house overlooking Haystack Rock is going for $1 million, but that’s par for the course for houses directly on Cannon Beach, with median area prices at $595,000.
Price: $1.067 million
Square feet: 2,080
This multi-level modern home, designed by architect John Hunt, is situated in a protected view corridor. And rightfully so: It features a top-floor great room with tall windows that open to a huge deck for optimum views of the Space Needle and downtown Seattle.
Location: New York City
Price: $1.395 million
Square feet: 1,200
This south-and–east-facing corner unit in a 1914 building offers striking views of the Empire State Building, the New Yorker Building, and sunset over the river. The updated interior includes electronically controlled everything, such as recessed lighting, Bose surround sound, and—for days when those views become tiresome—electric solar and blackout shades.
Location: Los Angeles
Price: $1.395 million
Square feet: 4,162
For the same price of the previous 1,200-square-foot apartment in New York City, you could get this view of the iconic Hollywood sign and more than triple the amount of living space. The spacious contemporary home features an extensive deck facing the mountain, and plenty of sliding glass doors and windows along the same wall.
Price: $1.75 million
Square feet: 2,547
This luxury condo unit in a contemporary Lake Shore Drive high-rise offers southwest views of Lake Michigan, the historic Navy Pier amusement park, and Chicago in general. The ceilings are more than nine feet high and the windows are over seven feet tall to maximize those views.
Location: Arlington, Va.
Price: $1.799 million
This luxe five-story condo comes with views of the Washington Monument, and on a clear day with a little imagination and extra patriotism, the National Mall. A spacious terrace is ideal for taking in the views and holiday fireworks.
Location: New Orleans
Price: $2.495 million
Square feet: 10,000
Occupants of this 1849 French-style mansion on the infamous Bourbon Street don’t just have a view of never-ending foolishness. The building and its wrought iron balconies are the view. Currently operating as Lafitte Guest House, the expansive structure is situated near where the worst of the Bourbon Street madness transitions into the quieter area of the French Quarter.
Location: Las Vegas
Price: $10 million
Square feet: 6,779
This palatial bi-level penthouse is about as subtle in its design and decor as anything else in Las Vegas, with a birds-eye view of the city. All the casinos and action of the Strip glows off in the distance, far enough away that presumably no celebratory searchlights will invade the residence, because there are already too many distractions inside. New romantic fans of ornamental scrollwork and garlands, Rococo paintings, bordello-style furniture and plush throw pillows may need to brace themselves upon first entry, or else plan to make use of one of the velveteen fainting couches.
Price: $17.3 million
Square feet: 15,444
This tropical luxury mountaintop estate offers panoramic views from practically every room. Those views would include the volcanic tuff cone and tourist destination Diamond Head, downtown Honolulu, not to mention sunset over Waikiki, and mountain views of the adjacent protected forestland. More from the 2500 Aha Aina Place website: "Typically, the offshore islands of Molokai, Maui and Lanai can clearly be seen from the estate. In addition, the beacon from Kalaupapa on Molokai is also often visible at night. At certain times, you can even see the snow-capped summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island."
Location: San Francisco
Price: $45 million
This Italian Renaissance–style mansion sits on a hilltop on the Gold Coast of Pacific Heights. Features of this grand estate, decorated in contemporary vivid hues, include two master suites, a library, a grand reception hall with sweeping marble staircase, a six car garage, and a private tennis court. Almost every one of the 17 rooms offers panoramic views of the north Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.