Thinking Of Hard Loft Living? Here’s Why It Could Prove Challenging
Friday Jan 03rd, 2020
They are super cool, one-of-a-kind accommodation that is not too common to come across; Perhaps this is why we get so excited at the prospect of loft living. Since they make up only a small portion of the condo market, they also prove to be a far better long-term investment. In fact, I love the idea of lofts so much that I could literally spend days vouching for them, and how amazing they are, but you probably already know that! It’s my style and I love it, but that doesn’t mean that the loft life is for everyone.
This is what most real estate agents do. They are simply looking to sell. So, they point out the obvious, like those fantastic granite counter-tops or that uber-chic shower room and put a positive spin on everything in sight. But the harder part is to paint the other side of the picture as well – be honest about the challenges that the buyers could face if they decide to go for it.
However, this is no way to buy a loft you could potentially be spending a major chunk of your life in. There must be quite a few things that you could later come to detest about your loft, such as exposed concrete ceilings or brick walls, and then end up spending an arm and a leg laminating a drywall overtop of it! Even though lofts are my personal favorite, here are a few areas that you need to consider before looking up lofts for sale in Toronto under 200K!
Most lofts featured in your local newspaper’s “Condo of the Week” section have spectacular terraces. But you are just looking into a magazine. In reality, most hard lofts don’t have outdoor space. And logically speaking, how can you even expect them to have outdoor space when they were essentially converted from a space that was not intended to be residential. The loft you are looking at was probably an old brick warehouse all the way back in 1900! Why would it even have balconies outside each window!
A lot of people who look for lofts want a big outdoor space. Nevertheless, some hard lofts have added cantilevered balconies, which offer a tiny outdoor space. Some buildings have even gone through major renovation projects, including the addition of proper balconies, annexed to the floor plan for the unit. But those, do not come for free. The cheaper units are still devoid of balconies. So, if you are hunting lofts for sale in Toronto under 200K with outdoor space, you’re going to have a tough time.
Remember when I said these spaces were never meant to be residential? Well, picture this. A 5-storey factory, built as cheaply as possible in 1930. Made for hard-working men to build things and work; nothing else. Aesthetics were probably the last thing that mattered. Who cared if the floor/ceiling were constructed from wood, or if the sound of the machinery could be heard all the way in the courtyard or the top floor. Fast forward today, it should come as no surprise that these hard loft buildings are notorious for an awful sound transfer. Most residents complain that they can hear everything going on in every unit. If you really want to experience the effect in a Toronto loft, visit anytime after 6 pm, when the neighbours are home, especially over the weekends.
The Open Concept
A true loft is just one big open concept space, with no perceptible boundaries between sections, except perhaps a wall separating the bathroom from the rest. But the thing is that most people don’t exactly comprehend the very idea of a loft. The term has started to be used so interchangeably with condos, that most people harbor their own ideas of what their dream lofts would look like. Most people walk into a loft, aghast at the vast openness, and start planning all the spaces they “build a wall”. But then comes the problem of making sure the wall “works” with the rest of the space. In addition, you wouldn’t want your bedroom in a window-less area, dark and gloomy, cut off from the rest of the space. My advice: Unless you are ok with the open floor concept, don’t go for a loft.
Image how expensive it could be to heat up a hundred-year-old-warehouse-turned-residential-condo, with 13-foot ceilings! Do you see the irony here. The same high ceilings that are one of the biggest selling features of the space, could cost you a fortune in heating costs. To make matters worse, a lot of hard lofts have electric heat. And those beautiful, original, old windows that we love about condos weren’t exactly meant to keep heat inside. If you are considering a unit with electric heating or original windows, or both, try to get copies of the hydro bills.