Why Manhattan Townhouses are Highly Desirable Real Estate

Why Manhattan townhouses are highly desirable real estate - The Sussilleaux Team

Why are Manhattan Townhouses Highly Desirable Real Estate?

Why are so many people interested in owning a townhouse in New York City?

With over 40 years of combined experience as real estate brokers in New York City, we have sold many townhouses, and physically visited hundreds more. We can attest first hand that these are very special properties, unique in so many ways.

In a nutshell, Manhattan townhouses are highly desirable real estate due to their unique features, historical charm, prime location, scarcity, and strong investment potential, making them an attractive option for home buyers and investors in the heart of New York City.

The Allure of Manhattan Townhouses: History, Architecture, and Location

Architectural Styles and Historical Significance

Townhouse offer a glimpse into New York City’s rich architectural history, with styles ranging from Federal and Greek Revival to Italianate and Beaux-Arts. Each townhouse serves as a testament to the craftsmanship and vision of a bygone era, adding to their desirability as real estate.

Prestigious Neighborhoods and Historic Districts

Manhattan townhouses are often located in some of the city’s most prestigious neighborhoods, such as Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side. These areas are steeped in history and boast charming streetscapes, upscale boutiques, and renowned dining options, making townhouses in these neighborhoods even more appealing.

Proximity to Cultural Institutions and Amenities

The prime locations of Manhattan townhouses often place them within easy reach of world-class museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. This proximity to cultural institutions, along with access to parks, schools, and public transportation, adds to the allure of owning a townhouse in Manhattan.

Unique Living Experience Offered by Manhattan Townhouses

Spaciousness and Privacy

Manhattan townhouses provide a level of spaciousness and privacy that is rare in a bustling city like New York. These homes typically offer multiple floors of living space, with grand rooms and high ceilings, creating an atmosphere of elegance and exclusivity.

Classic Design Elements and Modern Conveniences

Many townhouses in Manhattan have been thoughtfully updated to include modern conveniences, such as gourmet kitchens, spa-like bathrooms, central air-conditioning, and state-of-the-art home automation systems. However, these upgrades are often carefully integrated to preserve the original charm and character of the townhouse, ensuring that the home remains a unique blend of history and modernity.

Outdoor Space and Gardens

A sought-after feature of Manhattan townhouses is the presence of outdoor space, whether in the form of a small patio, a rooftop terrace, or a lush garden. These private oases provide a serene escape from the bustling city and are perfect for entertaining or simply relaxing.

Investment Potential of Manhattan Townhouses

Stable Market Value and Appreciation

Manhattan townhouses have historically demonstrated strong market value and appreciation, making them a smart investment for buyers seeking long-term financial security. Their unique combination of architectural significance, desirable locations, and limited supply contribute to their ability to maintain and grow their value over time.

We remain amazed at the resiliency of the townhouse market to fluctuations in the broader real estate market. We note that even during tough times, townhouses seem to hold their value, while other real estate options may dip. On the other side of the coin, during up markets, townhouses appreciating often exceeds that of the general market.

You can reach out directly to Michael and Dina to find our more about the historical appreciation in value of Manhattan townhouses.

Limited Supply and High Demand

The limited supply of townhouses in New York City, coupled with their enduring appeal, has created a high demand for these unique properties. As a result, competition among buyers can be fierce, and properties that are well-maintained or recently renovated often command premium prices.

Rental Income Opportunities

Some Manhattan townhouse owners choose to rent out all or part of their property, generating a steady stream of rental income. The desirability of these homes, coupled with their prime locations, can make them attractive rental options for well-heeled tenants seeking spacious, private living arrangements in the heart of the city.

It should be noted that in our experience, this is a great option to defray the cost of ownership, but frankly rental income is unlikely to be cash flow positive unless you’ve owned the property for a very long time. What makes ownership of a rental property work from an investment standpoint is the historically attractive rate of appreciation in the property’s value over time creating a great return on investment (ROI).

Preservation and Renovation: The Art of Combining Old and New

The Importance of Maintaining Historic Charm

Preserving the historic charm of a Manhattan townhouse is essential for maintaining its value and appeal. This often involves a delicate balance between honoring the architectural integrity of the original structure while updating it to meet the needs of modern living.

PRO TIP: We have seen every type of renovation and modification you can dream of in townhouses. However, those owners who preserve the historical nature of the building, while upgrading infrastructure usually tend to do much better in a higher resale value down the road. The buzzword is “original detail”.

Modern Upgrades and Sustainable Solutions

Many townhouse owners choose to incorporate sustainable solutions and modern upgrades into their renovations. These can include energy-efficient appliances, solar panels, and green roofing materials, seamlessly blending eco-friendly features with the home’s historic character.

As I stated in the previous paragraph, maintaining original detail, while incorporating modern conveniences such as central air conditioning often yields the best results.

Working with Architects and Contractors

Renovating a Manhattan townhouse requires a team of skilled professionals, including architects and contractors, who understand the unique challenges and requirements of working with historic properties. They can help ensure that the finished product maintains its architectural integrity while incorporating the desired modern conveniences and sustainable features.

The Process of Buying a Manhattan Townhouse

Researching the Market and Identifying Your Needs

Before embarking on the journey to purchase a Manhattan townhouse, it’s important have a clear understanding of the market and your needs and priorities. This may involve determining your preferred neighborhoods, architectural styles, and any specific features you’re looking for in a townhouse.

Michael and Dina can help you with this and guide you through the process.

Financing Options and Budget Considerations

Townhouses in Manhattan can come with hefty price tags, so it’s essential to explore financing options and establish a budget early in the process. This may involve securing pre-approval for a mortgage, evaluating your financial resources, and determining the amount you’re comfortable spending on a townhouse.

Working with Real Estate Agents and Attorneys

A knowledgeable real estate agent with experience in the Manhattan townhouse market is an invaluable resource throughout the buying process. They will help identify suitable properties, navigate the complexities of the market, and negotiate on your behalf. Additionally, working with a real estate attorney familiar with local regulations and historic preservation requirements can help ensure a smooth transaction.

Closing the Deal and Moving In

Once you’ve found the perfect Manhattan townhouse and negotiated the terms of the sale, the final steps include conducting a thorough inspection, securing financing, and closing the deal. With the keys in hand, you can then begin the process of making the townhouse your own, whether that involves moving in right away or embarking on a renovation project.


Manhattan townhouses represent a unique and highly desirable segment of the New York City real estate market. Their architectural significance, prime locations, and spacious living environments make them a sought-after option for discerning buyers. By understanding the history, investment potential, and preservation considerations of these properties, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a Manhattan townhouse and enjoy the unparalleled living experience they offer.

We are available to discuss things further with you if you want additional color on NYC townhouses and how they may be a great fit for you. You can always contact us HERE.

Further Reading

You can return to The Complete Guide to Manhattan Townhouses, or view the previous article: The History and Architecture of Manhattan Townhouses, or proceed to the next article: The Unique Features of Manhattan Townhouses

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the most desirable neighborhoods for Manhattan townhouses?
  2. What should I consider when purchasing a Manhattan townhouse as an investment property?
  3. How can I find a suitable contractor or architect for renovating a Manhattan townhouse?
  4. What are the ongoing maintenance costs and responsibilities for a Manhattan townhouse owner?
  5. Are there any tax benefits or incentives for owning and preserving a historic Manhattan townhouse?

What are the most desirable neighborhoods for Manhattan townhouses?

Some of the most desirable neighborhoods for Manhattan townhouses include Greenwich Village, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side. These areas boast historic charm, prestigious addresses, and close proximity to cultural institutions and amenities.

What should I consider when purchasing a Manhattan townhouse as an investment property?

When purchasing a Manhattan townhouse as an investment property, consider factors such as location, architectural style, condition, and potential rental income. A well-maintained townhouse in a prime neighborhood with strong rental demand can yield significant returns.

How can I find a suitable contractor or architect for renovating a Manhattan townhouse?

To find a suitable contractor or architect for renovating a Manhattan townhouse, seek recommendations from friends, neighbors, or real estate professionals familiar with historic properties. Look for professionals with a proven track record of working on townhouses and preserving their architectural integrity.

What are the ongoing maintenance costs and responsibilities for a Manhattan townhouse owner?

Ongoing maintenance costs and responsibilities for a Manhattan townhouse owner can include property taxes, insurance, utility bills, and routine upkeep, such as exterior painting, roof repairs, and landscaping. Additionally, maintaining the home’s historic character may require specialized expertise and materials.

Are there any tax benefits or incentives for owning and preserving a historic Manhattan townhouse?

There may be tax benefits or incentives for owning and preserving a historic Manhattan townhouse, such as federal or state tax credits for approved restoration projects. Additionally, some properties within designated historic districts may be eligible for property tax abatements or other financial incentives. It’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable tax professional or real estate attorney to explore the available benefits for your specific property.

Michael Sussilleaux

Michael Sussilleaux

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

M: 917.647.1464

Dina Sussilleaux

Dina Sussilleaux

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker

M 917.324.6158