Years ago when I had a home built in the South Mountain Foothills outside of Phoenix I was thrilled with the wide open spaces behind my home. When I asked the developer if they had plans to build any more homes the answer was “no.” The key to their answer was “they” didn’t plan to build any more homes. You guessed it. About 6 months later I awoke to the bulldozers beginning an entire new set of homes built by a different developer.
Fast forward and now as a Northern Virginia Realtor® I have the good fortunate to represent a number of buyers looking at both new and resale homes. I’ve learned to help them ask the right questions. This past week one of my buyer’s and I stopped at a model home in Northern Virginia to inquiry about availability. The buyer asked some basic questions and the sales agent started to look excited about the possibility of an offer. Then I started asking questions and the agent suddenly realized that they might not be dealing with a new construction rookie. My buyer decided to pass on that development.
Then this weekend a resale property popped up in a neighborhood where I had an interested buyer. The property has a nice water view something the buyer was looking for. However the water view will be a thing of the past within a year. Something neither the owner nor their agent disclosed but a look at the land use plan for the development revealed.
As a buyer before you spend extra money for a view make sure you know what the view is going to be over the long term. Most developers have a community map that shows the proposed development of the area. If it as development where multiple builders are at work stop at each office and get their plans. Often developers will not show each others plans so you don’t get a full picture of the entire community. If it is a resale property the comprehensive land use plan for the county will help you. Finally if your home is near the intersection of a major highway (s) check the VDOT plans. The new sound wall going up behind your house may have just reduced your resale value considerably.
I learned my lesson the hard way so hopefully you won’t have to.