In urban environments, a terrace is a sought-after item that contributes to give value to your apartment. Being an uncommon item, notably in old town centres, it contributes to sharply push up the price of a property, sometimes beyond reason. Owning a nice terrace in a city centre is a dream for many urban dwellers looking for their own small piece of green space, but this should not be a reason for overpaying the property they yearn for.
A terrace is a good selling point
As it is fairly impossible to buy a house with a garden in big cities, an apartment with a terrace is a pleasant alternative for nature-loving urban dwellers. They can easily fall for a pretty terrace, even more so if it is sunny, has no building directly opposite or offers a nice view. When all these factors are combined, they can quickly deem that the proposed property is something rare, which justifies a high price. Some impulse buy can cost a lot and a buyer should always check that the requested price is duly justified.
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How to calculate the price of a terrace?
This is a very difficult question and a matter of intense debate. Even if a terrace is an item of high value, the buyer should always keep cool to avoid overpaying a property. The surface of a terrace is not included in the living area. Yet, as there are no rules to estimate its actual value, some professionals use the same price per square metre as for the apartment and apply a weighting factor, according to the storey. To stick to this sole calculation seems fairly unreliable, so the assessment should take more objective elements into consideration, like the sun exposure, the surrounding noise or the absence of direct view on other buildings. As for any atypical property, the price of an apartment with a terrace remains difficult to define as benchmark properties are scarce.
“The buyer should always keep cool to avoid overpaying a property.”
Terrace, balcony, a matter of vocabulary
Some owners are quick to consider any small balcony as falling under the very sought-after category of terraces. However, the two concepts are different and, contrary to what is usually said, it is not a matter of surface as a big balcony can be more than 15 m2, while a small terrace can be around 5. The difference has to do with the very architecture of the building: a balcony extends from the walls of a building while a terrace is built on the roof of the lower storey apartment. That is why terraces are usually a characteristic of upper level apartments, though other configurations, resulting from the transformation or modification of a building, are also possible.
“A big balcony can be more than 15 m2, while a small terrace can be around 5.”
Can a big balcony be an alternative to a terrace?
The simple word “terrace” in an ad has the power to attract a lot of potential buyers. But the latter can feel disappointed if they come to visit an apartment and realise that the beautiful terrace advertised for is but a mere balcony too narrow to put a small table and two chairs. As pleasant as it can be a balcony will never be a terrace as the latter can be transformed into an actual additional room when good weather comes, and the former will never have the same market value.