Urban living can be an exhilarating prospect, especially for younger couples, professionals or any of us that like to be within striking distance of that electricity and magic that the hustle & bustle of the city can provide.
With continued urban development trends in metropolitan areas across the country, and the many lifestyle choices that they offer, it can be confusing and even overwhelming for those looking to embrace the urban life to choose between so many options for types of living spaces to call home.
Many factors draw people to choose urban living over more suburban or rural lifestyles. There are almost as many choices as to where and how to live in your favorite city. Lofts are more popular than ever, providing perks like convenient, local, safe and secure living and a sense of community, to name a few.
If you haven't signed on that dotted line yet and are still undecided as to what type of home will best lend itself to your goals, then consider loft living; it might be right up your alley.
What Is A Loft?
Vast open space is generally what defines a "Loft." Lofts typically have high, vaulted ceilings and windows substantially more prominent than those of a typical house or apartment. Historically, loft apartments are carved out from older, abandoned and otherwise unused industrial buildings such as warehouses, factory or other commercial buildings. These older buildings are converted and up-cycled into large, open, individual living units.
A hallmark and unique selling point of these open loft apartments are the industrial remnants of the building interior left in their places, such as exposed heating and ventilation ducts, plumbing and electrical piping, brick walls and concrete floors. These unique elements can add to the aesthetics and feel of the living space.
Some loft apartments can be designed and finished by the developers and ready for a new owner or renter to move into though it is common for the property developer to leave the loft space raw, open and unfinished. This raw look is often a major selling point as it allows for the new tenant to exercise complete freedom in designing the living area of their dreams.
Initially, the word loft, in our context here, referred to the attic room or the very top floor of a building. "Hard" lofts, made out of the existing spaces in old buildings, and "Soft" lofts, newer buildings designed specifically with loft spaces purposefully built, are two types of lofts you will notice.
Here in the U.S., the loft movement began in the SoHo district of Manhattan during the 1960s and 70s. Urban revitalization took off in the States during the 80s, and the loft apartment wasn't just for starving artists anymore, they were in demand. Throughout the 80s and 90s, urban living was thrust into pop-culture when loft living was front-and-center in movies like Ghost and television staples like Seinfeld, Friends and Sex and the City.
Over the past decade, many of the old industrial buildings in Minneapolis' historic industrial area, nestled between the city's bustling downtown business district and the Mississippi River, have enjoyed a revitalization movement, renovating and transforming its empty factories and warehouses into modern lofts and condos while preserving the exterior aesthetics of these historic buildings.
Is A Loft Right for You?
Here are a few of the factors that may help you decide if a loft is your best choice for urban living.
- Lofts are a larger open space, giving you the feeling of freedom and the room to move around. They aren't as constrictive and restricted by compartmentalized rooms and walls.
- The larger, open room of a loft, with its high ceilings and extra-large windows, affords you the ability to design and use the space creatively, allowing for larger pieces of art, larger pieces or sets of furniture, area rugs and multi-use spaces.
- Lofts give you plenty of space for working on projects and entertaining guests.
- You can wall-off or partition-off areas of your loft to fit your personal needs and desires.
- And maybe most important, lofts don't give you that closed-in apartment feel.
Lofts: The Ultimate In Urban Living
So why choose a loft over any other type of home? There are many reasons professionals and couples alike choose the freedom and comfort of a loft apartment. Here we'll list some of the benefits for you to consider. Your team of professionals at Roost Real Estate can further help answer your questions and will be happy to help guide you through the decision making process after considering the points in this list.
- Lofts typically are developed in proximity to restaurants, natural foods grocers, shopping and nightlife. It's more cost effective and time efficient to live closer to work, school and shopping than to commute from a traditional house in more rural areas.
- Lofts provide large, open spaces that let you create your home design to fit your tastes and lifestyle. High, vaulted ceilings and large windows with lots of sunlight help set lofts apart from other homes.
- Lofts often have Home Owner Associations (HOA) that take on much of the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep on the building, addressing concerns and problems and even providing mediation with disputes between neighbors.
- Lofts are lower-maintenance than other types of homes.
- Loft living provides a sense of community with other neighbors in the building. Being involved with your HOA and regularly attending meetings is a big part of that equation.
- Safety of living in a secured building.
- Loft developments often include secured, on-site parking.
Lofts can include some great amenities like pools, fitness rooms, open and shared rooftop spaces and some even offer valet parking and concierge services.
Roost Real Estate is the Twin Cities expert in lofts. Roost can help you find the perfect fit, so contact us today to find out more about starting your urban living adventure.