How to be “King of The World” in Back Bay

David Bates / May 21, 2012-11:30 am

This is your brain —?

This is your brain on a roof deck — !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sales Survey: Only one out of four Back Bay condos had decks

Few amenities in real estate provoke the emotions that a Back Bay roof deck does. Sure, there have been times when I have considered registering freshly sanded hardwood floors with the FDA as a visual narcotic, but even those shiny, slippery, oh so pristine floors that look as though it would be completely fine to eat a nine-course gourmet meal off them, can’t compete with the supreme experience of standing on a roof deck with the Charles River in front of you, the Boston skyline behind, and historic streets and blocks to the left and right.

As a broker, you can tour buyers through an otherwise mundane Back Bay condominium and when you finally climb the final stair to the building’s highest vista, they get that excited glimmer in their eye that says, “I’ve discovered the meaning of life and it’s roof decks.” No buyer has communicated it, but at times I speculate they are thinking: “If I buy the condo I’ll live up here instead. Don’t tell anybody.”

In Back Bay, only a small percentage of condominium owners enjoy decks. Out of more than 400 condominiums which sold in 2011, only about one out of every four had any kind of deck. I counted 51 sales which were part of associations with common roof decks, about one out of eight sales. The median sale price for condominiums with common roof decks was $560K. Even rarer were condominiums with private roof decks. I counted only 35 condominium sales with the oh so precious amenity of a private roof deck, about one out of twelve sales. Their median price was $1.2 million, more than double that of a common deck. If you own a condominium with a private roof deck, go ahead, go to your deck right now. Follow Leonardo’s lead and shout it: “I’m king of the world!” And those of you who don’t have private roof decks, go to your window and shout: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Then call me so I can show you a Back Bay condominium with a private roof deck that’s for sale.