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    See the North Georgia real estate news article below from Pat Trainor. Contact Pat for more information on these news articles or to help you with your Blue Ridge, Georgia real estate needs.

MSN Real Estate News
By Marilyn Lewis, MSN Real Estate
7 Ways to Enhance Your Mountain View
Once you've got your hands on a good view,
there are some things you can do to enhance it.


Pat Trainor, an associate broker at Coldwell Banker High Country Realty in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, advises home buyers and developers about capitalizing on mountain views. In his region, lots with a "short-range" view (stretching a mile or two in the distance) run $50,000 to $70,000. The ability to cast your eyes three to five miles out will cost you up $70,000 to $90,000, and a 20-mile mountaintop vista runs up to $175,000, Trainor says.

Mountain View
Beautiful North Georgia Mountain View

Add water -- a river or a lake -- and a broad, unobstructed long shot of the mountains fetches $175,000 or more, Trainor says. Other factors can dilute a view's value, though -- proximity to town, the condition of roads and the potential expense of preparing a steep lot for construction.

Mountain land owners often must work for their views. "Because all of our lots are wooded here, the only way you can get the view is to cut trees," Trainor says.

Mountain View
Mountain View Before Trimming

Here are his tips for buying and enhancing views:
  • When buying view land, notice trees whose growth could block your vista. In large developments, builders often trim trees to sell lots, but buyers let them grow back, to the frustration of neighbors who lose views. If your view would depend on trimming trees, make certain those trees are on your land. Don't count on a neighbor to trim his trees for you -- most won't, Trainor says.

    Mountain View
    Beautiful Mountain View After Trimming

  • Learn local ordinances and development rules before you buy. In Fannin County, Ga., where Trainor works, for instance, property owners may not cut more than 50% of the trees (topping and trimming is allowed) bigger than eight inches in diameter and located 2,200 feet above sea level or higher. Contact government planning departments and read developments' covenants, conditions and restrictions. Also, if trees on a city or county right-of-way are likely to grow up and block your view, call the municipality's street department to learn the rules and practices for tree trimming.

  • When selling view land, do not -- repeat: do not -- cut down all the trees. "Once you take the trees down, they're gone," says Trainor. Besides causing environmental damage, you'll limit your pool of interested buyers, many of whom love trees and want to preserve them. Keep buyers' options by asking a skilled arborist to open a narrow "window" through the trees, carefully revealing just 5% to 10% of the view while preserving the trees' shape and integrity.

    Mountain View
    Wonderful Mountain View After Trimming

  • Choose careful pruning of selected limbs over removing the tops of trees (Read "Five Reasons to Stop Topping Trees" at PlantAmnesty.org), which can injure or kill them. Using recommendations from friends and trusted professionals, hire an arborist skilled at precision pruning, not a logger skilled in wholesale tree removal.

  • Trim trees in spring if you can. Branches are bare and you can see the view you want to achieve.

  • When enhancing the view from an existing home, choose which trees or limbs to remove by looking through the most important windows in the house. Artfully expose the view, removing as little as possible. Work carefully and thoughtfully: The embrace of a tree in many cases frames a view, enhancing it.

  • Work alongside your arborist to get the result you want. Trainor stands back on the deck or porch and points out which limbs to cut. "We do it very selectively," he says.
Contact Pat for more information.

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Coldwell Banker
High Country Realty
Downtown Blue Ridge Contact: Email Pat Trainor
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