Out and About: Get outta there!

School at Fox Creek, Tall grass Prairie National Preserve

THAT'S what counts as outdoor space. (Flickr photo by Kansas Explorer 3128)

Who doesn’t yearn for a home with outdoor space?


Here in a Manhattan of cement sidewalks and limestone canyons, it is those folks who fit into one or more of the following categories:

1.  Pragmatists, who know they’ll be spending most of their time at home indoors and want the biggest bang for their purchase dollars;

2.  Floraphobics, who detest gardening;

3.  Realists, who abhor street noise, nosy neighbors and immoderate heat, cold, rain or wind;

4.  Anal retentives, who deplore the use of a balcony as a “bonus” storage room.

I’m sure you can think of other types as well, but the fact is that even they may tend to salivate at the possibilities offered by outdoor space, which I believe is excessively sought and insufficiently used.

Notwithstanding, appraisal executive Jonathan Miller has told me that the correct valuation of outdoor space ranges between one-third and one-half the price attributed to a property’s interior on a per-square-foot basis.  Most sellers and their listing brokers tend to price an apartment accordingly, but others think of such places as heaven on earth.

Consider two duplexes separated by six blocks just west of Columbus Avenue in the 70s. Continue reading

This co-op studio requires strong legs, most bucks

Living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchen of the priciest co-op of its size in New York.

First, you trudge up three full flights of stairs in one of two conjoined townhouses in the mid 60s off Fifth Avenue on Manhattan tony Upper East Side.  (Your neighbors in the other cooperatively linked townhouse are spared the hike since they alone have access to an elevator.)

Then you arrive, breathless, at an unusual  apartment that might measure 450 square feet, each of them exquisitely renovated.  The unit is so small that the bed has to be suspended close to the ceiling Continue reading