By Craig Knizek
There’s an incomparable luxury for a property to have its own private tennis court.
The ability to play whenever one wants, at a moment’s notice, simply by walking out of your house, is a priceless attribute for the busy person who enjoys not only tennis, but basketball as well, since many private tennis courts also have at least one basketball hoop for a half-court game.
One of the reasons homes with tennis courts are automatically called an “estate” is that given the amount of flat usable land that is required, it invariably elevates the value of the property into the upper echelon of value.
There is a rarity of parcels that can accommodate the 60 x 120 feet measurements required for a tennis court. When the court also has a proper lighting system for playing after dark in the cooler summer nights instead of the intense daytime heat, then the value increases even more. That is particularly true now that some neighborhoods are placing restrictions on having newly constructed courts with lights.
One of the best attributes about a Tennis Court estate is the variety of usages a homeowner can enjoy with it-it doubles as a basketball or volleyball court, it can accommodate a bandstand and dance floor for a wedding reception or Bat Mitzvah, it’s a perfect surface for tenting and hosting a gala function or political fundraiser, or simply, it’s a safe place for children to ride bicycles and tricycles within property boundaries.
Certain properties here in town have become renowned for the social interaction and/or deal-making which occurred on that property’s tennis or basketball court. Merv Griffen’s, Garry Shandling’s and John Branca’s games all come to mind.
Billy Rose, President and Co-founder of The Agency, recalls “many of my friends and I still recall fondly my game at my St Ives house, at which some 50 top entertainment pros played for years each Saturday morning; it was perhaps the thing to which we each looked most forward each week!
Some homes in the canyons or hillsides that don’t have the required amount of flat land, extend their property utilization by building the court cantilevered over the sloping hillside. This can provide spectacular views that add to the enjoyment of the court.
Expert appraiser Chris Adelman offers that the value of a tennis court varies from area to area, but that in can add as much as $150,000 in value to a comparable property in the same area, especially if it has special features such as a clay or grass surface, a sunken court, or a grandstand for an audience.
I had a client purchase a tennis court estate in Tarzana, and then consider ripping the entire court up, since he didn’t play tennis. I urged him to consider just adding synthetic grass over the entire court so as to provide the green grassy area he wanted, but to preserve the value of the court for re- sale purposes. Ultimately, the owner smartly compromised, keeping the lights that were in place, using half of the court for a fantastic basketball court, and tore up half of the court for a huge grassy yard. Definitely a win-win-win solution.
Photo Above: The Lit Tennis Court and 2 Bed/2 Bath Guest House/Home Office at 3950 Vantage Ct. View More Photos.
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