The Advantages & Disadvantages of Hillside Homes

Hillsides are usually excellent real estate for homes for several reasons, including access to an unblocked view. The allure of hillside real estate may be superseded by waterfront real estate in some locations, but generally a hillside is an excellent place to build or buy. There are, however, a few disadvantages associated with hillsides.

...
A good view is one common reason to buy a hillside home.

Views

A view of the surrounding country is the most common advantage associated with a home built on a hillside. Owners of hillside homes often top the trees that block access to their view. Tall trees on the high side of a hillside property, which can potentially block the view of neighbors farther up the hill, may sometimes be a source of conflict.

Landslides

A potential disadvantage of a hillside home is the possibility of landslides. Plants help to anchor the soil on a hillside, especially trees with their deep root systems. Removing plant life from a hillside to make room for views, a yard and a building footprint can destabilize the ground and make it more susceptible to water erosion. House foundations help to counteract this, but a landslide can wipe out whole hillsides in a few seconds, given the right conditions.

Exclusivity

Another advantage of hillside homes is the exclusivity and remoteness that they usually offer. Cities and town centers are rarely built on a hillside; typically they are located on more level ground. A home on a hillside, then, is a way to get away from the city and enjoy rural life. Because hillside real estate is usually also expensive, hillside communities are often comprised of more affluent people who can afford to build and buy there.

Slanted Yard

One fairly practical problem with living on a hillside is that there is no level yard to enjoy. The ground can be artificially leveled, of course, but this is expensive and has the potential to destabilize the ground and may not be safe for this reason. There are many things, like a pool, a trampoline, or even a game of soccer with the kids that cannot be enjoyed easily with a slanted yard.