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What is the difference between a terrace and a balcony?

A balcony is an appendage: a completely external addition to the building suspended in midair.

A terrace, by definition, is a roof used for enjoyment, whether it is over your own abode or your neighbor’s.

What types of terraces exist?

Direct Living: Terraces located directly adjacent to the living room are the most desired and valuable. Their average value is 40%

Living Level: Terraces located on the same floor as the living room, but NOT adjacent to it have an average value is 25%

Second Level: Terraces located on a different floor from the living room average 30% in value.

Direct Roof: Roof top terraces with an internal direct connection to the apartment, but with no room on the terrace level average 25% 

Roof Access: aka Rooftop Cabana,. are only accessible through a common element, the least valuable terrace type averages 10%

What's the difference of a traditional analysis and The Terrace Experts?

Outdoor space is not as valuable as the interior space it is attached to, that is a hard reality. Private outdoor space is therefore calculated as a fraction of the interior space or X% of the interior. However, most brokers do not know what that X should be, or how to justify their X. The lazy way to solve for X is to randomly pick the same percentage for any and every terrace encountered (usually 30-40%) and when questioned about that, simply accredit that percentage to a reputable appraiser (often Samuel Miller).

However, since not all terraces are on the same level, It is easy to see the flaws in that. We discovered a perfect way to solve X

We appraise each terrace individually using a Terrace Score Card and grade them on 97 points over 5 categories. These scores are tabulated to derive the exact percentage of the terraces’ usable square footage that will be added to the interior of the apartment. The total of 100% of the interior sf + the scored pct of the terrace, will give us the CSF (Calculation Square Footage)

Our methodology allows us to not only recognize the quantity, but also the quality of every square foot you have and allows for value comparison across all types and terraces and finishes.

How is the value of a terrace calculated?

fraction of the value of interior space, or X% of the interior $/sf. For example, if the interior space is valued at $1,000/sf, and the X is 25%, the terrace is worth $250/sf.

However, most brokers do not know what X should be for your home, so they just pick a random average number (typically 25%-35%) because a reputable appraiser has stated that as the average for the year. It is easy to see that this is inadequate, doing a disservice to both the seller and buyer.

We used our vast pools of data and found a perfect way to solve for X: We appraise each terrace individually, grading it on 97 assessment points over five categories. These scores are tabulated to derive the exact percentage (X) to be used in future calculations. We then calculate the following:

(Ext.SF × X%) + (Int.SF × 100%) = Calculation Square Footage (CSF)

CSF × Int.$/SF = Total Value

Our methodology allows us to recognize not only the quantity but also the quality of every square foot you have and allows for value comparison across all types of terraces and finishes.

What is the most valuable terrace type?

As a category, Direct Living terraces (those with a direct connection to the living room) have the highest starting percentage and should be considered the most valuable. However, due to architectural limitations, their value range is restricted. Contact us to find out about the city’s most valuable terraces.

What width is the most desirable?

There is no single width that is better than any other; it is more a range. Terraces that are less than eight feet wide have significant limitations in their usefulness, while there is a diminishing return on terraces wider than 20 feet. However, there are plenty of exceptions, so for individual analysis, contact us.

What amenity adds the most value to my terrace?

Pools add the most value, but they are the most expensive, so they might not offer the most “bang for your buck.”

Where possible, upgrading the terrace type is the best investment. Aside from that, landscaping and an outdoor kitchen are great investments; call us for detailed explanations.

What is the ideal elevation for a terrace?

This is also more a range than a hard number. If the floor is too low, you will have no view or privacy because your neighbors will look down on you; too high, and it is hard to enjoy the space due to constant wind, making plantings impossible and requiring super heavy furniture. The ideal height is more a relationship to the immediate neighbors, but floors 12-20 are often great.

Can a terrace lose value?

Lack of views, insufficient light, and excessive noise all detract from the value of your home. However, any such limitations likely didn’t change from when you bought your home, so you probably calculated them into the price when you purchased. This means they don’t hurt your investment value; just don’t expect a buyer to overlook these issues either, and price accordingly when you are ready to sell.


The quickest way to lose value is by ignoring your terrace. It is part of your home and should be treated as such; if you ignore it, that will cost you dearly on the resale. Since it takes time to reverse the signs of neglect, start this weekend.

Is there a best time to sell a terraced home?

The demand for terraces is highest in the early spring, so that makes it the best time to launch. However, your terrace might not be in the best showing condition until late spring. As we are the only brokers with the data to predict trends and the tools to take advantage of them, please call us to discuss how to best cash in on market trends.

Why do I need a terrace expert?

Your terrace is the most prized part of your home, with the ability to add more value than even a kitchen renovation. The way your terrace interacts with your home is a crucial factor in a buyer’s decision. Optimizing your value requires understanding that and being able to guide the buyer to see what parts of your terrace and interaction with it are most desirable. For this reason, you want an expert in your corner.


After all, if you found yourself in a legal contract dispute, you would not pick your lawyer simply based on their looks or social media presence, nor would you seek out the injury lawyer who helped Aunt Mary when she fell. Instead, you’d look for an attorney with demonstrated contract law specialty.

So why would you not select your broker the same way…based on their demonstrated specialty?


What is the easiest way to improve the value of my terrace?

Because they offer both privacy and a visual benefit, plants are the easiest way to add value to your terrace, and adding plants can be started on a shoestring budget. However, to have any long-term calculable effect on the value of your terrace, you need to involve professional landscaping architects.

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