The Nest

NestApple's Real Estate Blog

Featuring real estate articles and information to help real estate buyers and sellers. The Nest features writings from Georges Benoliel and other real estate professionals. Georges is the Co-Founder of NestApple and has been working as an active real estate investor for over a decade.

How to Estimate the Value of Outdoor Space in NYC in 2024

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When people think of living in New York City, they usually don’t imagine having access to outdoor Space. The city is known for its tall buildings and limited living space. However, for those willing to pay extra, options are available for having a backyard oasis or a private balcony. These spaces are highly sought after and add significant value to real estate properties. Whether it’s an intimate balcony overlooking the Upper East Side or a sprawling rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, outdoor Space in NYC is highly valued and sought after.

With the NestApple team’s guidance, learn how much NYC outdoor space is worth, what its types are, and what its significance is in real estate.

Types of Outdoor Space in NYC

Balconies, terraces, private rooftops, and backyards are the property’s different outdoor spaces.


They are a rare amenity in New York City real estate, particularly in Manhattan’s dense residential grid.

Most older buildings do not offer balconies due to limited Space. Newer buildings may face specific restrictions or limitations on their inclusion.

Balconies are highly desired private outdoor areas. You can use it for your morning workout, offer a beautiful city view while enjoying your morning coffee, or provide a peaceful spot to breathe fresh air.

If you’re fortunate enough to come across a property that offers them, examine every detail, as such a luxury often comes with a corresponding price tag.


If you’re looking for an authentic taste of luxury living in New York City, try searching for properties with a private terrace. These outdoor spaces are the ultimate in city living, whether perched high up in a penthouse or spread across a historic brownstone.

So, if you want to experience the best of what the City That Never Sleeps offers, a private terrace is definitely a must-have.

To find the perfect brownstone with a terrace in New York City, you’ll need to explore various neighborhoods such as the Upper West Side, Carnegie Hill, or Yorkville. Although some penthouses may include a terrace, the traditional style of this luxurious feature is commonly found in the city’s historic townhouses.

Private rooftop

Private rooftops are as extravagant as private terraces, often in luxury condominiums and penthouses.

If you’re looking for properties with access to a private rooftop, you’ll likely find a more modern selection in new construction high-rises or established condominium buildings. These rooftop properties are often highly valued and have many additional amenities unless you want townhouses.


An accessible outdoor space that’s more down to earth is a backyard. If you dream of owning a property in NYC where you can garden, enjoy the sun, and entertain your loved ones, consider some of Manhattan’s most iconic neighborhoods.

Studios and apartments on the ground floor are standard in areas like the Upper East Side, West Village, Queens, and Brooklyn. They may have access to a private or shared backyard, but checking for any limitations or restrictions in the building’s rules is essential. Despite this, having outdoor Space in these areas is not as rare as one might expect.

Key factors influencing NYC outdoor space value

– Location: Refers to the physical position

– Size and Configuration: Refers to the dimensions and layout

– Privacy and Views: Refers to the level of seclusion and the scenery visible

– Amenities: Refers to the features and benefits the property offers


Saying “location” three times might cause an eye roll, but the value of outdoor spaces in NYC is undeniable.

Living in prime neighborhoods and being near iconic landmarks will inevitably increase the value of outdoor spaces. Whether it’s a terrace with a view of Central Park or a charming backyard on a historic brownstone-lined street in Brooklyn Heights, the closer you are to the best New York offers, the more valuable your outdoor Space will be.

Size and configuration

Expansive outdoor spaces offer more flexibility and allow residents to create custom outdoor retreats that fit their lifestyle. Even small patios can add value to a property, but the value increases significantly with more oversized balconies or terraces that accommodate larger gatherings or gardens.

Privacy and views

Listing agents often emphasize a property’s views during a tour. This is because the saying “you pay for the view” is particularly relevant when the real estate provides a stunning view of NYC’s iconic skyline that you can enjoy whenever you desire.

Privacy is an essential factor that can significantly increase the value of an outdoor space. You have the best of both worlds if you can enjoy a beautiful skyline view without looking at your neighbor’s window.


Luxury amenities like outdoor kitchens, fire pits, hot tubs, and landscaped gardens are crucial for upscale living and often affect property values.

One of the most desirable combinations in New York City real estate is enjoying both amenities and outdoor Space. Outdoor Space, whether a terrace with access to a grill or a private rooftop with a pool, can significantly increase a property’s value and make it unique.

Methods for Valuing Outdoor Space in NYC

Locating several recent sales of apartments with similar private outdoor Spaces in the same building or neighborhood can occasionally be challenging. However, there are ways to estimate the possible value of such additional Space, even without these direct comparisons for a CMA.

It is essential to understand that private outdoor spaces are not all equal in value. The size, location, and views of these spaces can vary greatly. For example, a small Juliet balcony overlooking a courtyard will typically be less valuable than a large rooftop terrace on a penthouse with breathtaking city views.

When valuing private outdoor Space, consider interior and exterior square footage using a sum-of-parts valuation method.

According to appraisers, a general rule of thumb is to attribute 25% to 50% of the price per square foot of the interior Space to the exterior area. Higher percentages are reserved for larger outdoor spaces, such as terraces or restricted access to a private roof.

Example of NYC balcony value

Interior Space is 1,000 sqft at $1,200 per sqft, and exterior Space is 150 sqft at $300 per sqft. The total space value is $1,245,000.

Example of NYC terrace value

Interior Space: 1,500 sqft at $1,500 per sqft; Exterior Space: 500 sqft at 50% of $1,500 per sqft. Total Space: $2,625,000

Challenges and considerations of outdoor Space

Market fluctuations, legal regulations, zoning restrictions, and maintenance costs and risks are important factors when investing in real estate.

Market fluctuations

Various market dynamics, such as changes in supply and demand, economic conditions, and shifts in buyer preferences, can impact the worth of outdoor Space. Consequently, the perceived value of outdoor Space may vary over time, which can be challenging for buyers who want to make informed investment decisions and sellers who aim to price their properties accurately.

Legal and zoning regulations

Outdoor areas are subject to strict zoning laws that control their use and construction. These laws impose regulations on setback requirements, building height restrictions, and allowable amenities. Careful planning and compliance with the rules are essential to avoid costly delays or legal complications.

Obtaining permits for outdoor renovations or improvements can be time-consuming, which may hinder the enjoyment and enhancement of your outdoor Space.

Maintenance costs and risks

Properties with balconies, terraces, or rooftops require ongoing maintenance to retain their functionality and aesthetic appeal. Unlike apartments without outdoor areas, outdoor spaces need regular upkeep tasks such as cleaning, sealing, and landscaping. Addressing more significant issues like structural repairs or weather damage can entail additional expenses and responsibilities.

Moreover, outdoor living is inherently risky due to exposure to the elements, potential accidents, or environmental hazards. Therefore, property owners with outdoor Space must adopt proactive maintenance and risk management strategies to ensure their property’s and its occupants’ safety.

Written By: Georges Benoliel

Georges has been working in Wall Street for the last 16 years trading derivatives with hedge funds. He has been an active real estate investor for over a decade. Georges graduated from HEC Business School in Paris and holds a master in Finance from ESADE Barcelona.

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