It’s not about how big or fancy or well-furnished my home is — it’s about what’s out the windows.
I’ll admit it: I’m selfish. I’m not interested in living in a showplace bought and decorated to impress my family and friends. I don’t care about how big my home is, how many rooms it has, or what designer furniture and fixtures it contains. I don’t care about Pier 1 nicknacks obtained only to fill empty spaces on tables and walls. I don’t care about aromatherapy candles to make my home smell like cinnamon and spice or vanilla or whatever the current season is.
What I care about is what’s outside the windows. I want a view.
And the better the view, the more windows I want to enjoy it, day or night, from the comfort of my home.
It all started back in my college days with my dorm room on the 14th (top) floor of one of Hofstra’s six “towers.” It faced east, with windows that covered one wall. It was only 8 x 12 in size but with a high ceiling that allowed a friend to build me a loft for sleeping. I spent a lot of time looking out those windows, at the other towers nearby and the flat expanse of Nassau County in Long Island. If I’d been on the opposite side of the building, I would have had an unobstructed view of the Manhattan skyline less than 30 miles away.
Later, I lived on the third floor of a row house in Bayside, NY. The big windows and patio overlooked that overlooked Littleneck Bay. It wasn’t the best view, but it was something. Even the constant swoosh swoosh swoosh of cars on the Cross Island Parkway 100 feet below couldn’t detract from it.
Still later, when I moved from the east coast to Wickenburg, Arizona, I was sold on my home primarily because of the view. It looked out to the northeast where I could see the Weaver Mountains beyond a nearby ridge. It also looked out to the southwest, where I could see the top of Vulture Peak. The views were not perfect but they were nice. I especially liked to watch the Weaver Mountains turn almost copper-colored as the sun set.
Looking for an escape from Wickenburg’s oppressive summer heat, I looked at land at Howard Mesa Ranch, a development of 10- and 40-acre lots between Williams and the Grand Canyon. The lot that hooked me was on the very top of the mesa, with amazing 360° views. Although I could see the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks to the east, it was the expansive view to the west that captured my heart. I wanted so badly to build a small home up there with big windows to take in those views, but it was not to be.
In 2012, at the start of my fifth consecutive summer in the Wenatchee area of Washington, I started thinking of a summer homesite in the area. I often visited Malaga Springs Winery on Cathedral Rock Road; it had excellent views out toward the Columbia River. A friend owned land out there and, on a whim, I called to ask who his Realtor was and whether he knew of any lots that were available nearby. Coincidentally, he and his wife had just decided to sell their lot. They’d decided that they were a bit too old to start building their dream home.
Of course, I was immediately sold on the lot. The views were amazing — far better than Wickenburg or even Howard Mesa. Spread out before me were orchards and sagebrush-covered hills, basalt cliffs, and the Columbia River snaking through the broad Wenatchee Valley. I blogged about buying it here.
But it wasn’t until I moved here — in my RV until my home can be built in the spring — that I realized just how amazing the views were. Every moment of the day, every change of the light or clouds, every day of the year — the view changes. Don’t believe me? Here are three shots from this week, all shot from the front door of my RV.
Wondering what the view looks like in other directions? Well, the photo here shows my “bad” view — the basalt cliffs on the south side of my property. My first home will be built on this patch of land, leaving the area where my RV is currently parked available for a larger home if I need (or want) one. (Local zoning allows two residences on lots of this size, as long as one of them is 1200 square feet or smaller.)
And you can bet my home will have lots of big windows looking out over the big views I’m showing off here.
In any case, I love the views and I love to share them with my friends and family. So don’t think I’m bragging when I keep posting photos on Facebook and Twitter and this blog. I’m constantly amazed by what I’m seeing and I want you to be amazed, too.
I’m a view person. Are you?