If you ask anyone who is into the trendsetting way of life, chances are that they will tell you that they want a loft. Owning a loft apartment in a big city is basically the way that creatives show they’ve made it, and to a point, it’s easy to see why.
But what is a loft? Why are people so keen on them? Is it really that different from a typical apartment? If you’re curious about what all the commotion is about, then you’re not alone. To help you out, we decided to create a mini-guide to answer the basics.
Lofts are traditionally areas that are on the 2nd or upper floor of a building, but when it comes to apartments, it has a different definition. Loft apartments are large, open-floor apartments that are designed to be easy to adapt to different setups.
Originally, loft apartments were made from converted warehouses factories, which gave them an industrial look. These days, that’s not always the case—but most loft apartments that are being built still will have a light industrial vibe to them.
One quick look at your local apartment listing site will reveal two things. The first thing it’ll show is that lofts aren’t available everywhere, and the second thing is that they are much more expensive than a standard apartment. Here’s why they’re more expensive:
- People are willing to pay extra for a large, open space in a city. This is the biggest reason. Space comes at a premium, especially in large cities where finding a spacious apartment can be difficult. The open layout makes lofts, even smaller ones, feel larger than regular places.
- They are status symbols. It is hard to sound like you’re not bragging when you say that you live in a loft. People know this and are willing to spend extra to be able to say that they live in that “chic loft on the Lower East Side.”
- Most lofts are extra sturdy and private. You can thank the industrial building materials for this benefit. They are usually made of reinforced concrete and brick, making them quieter and more private than a typical apartment. They’re also great for buyers who prize a home that’s built to last.
- They’re also rare. We’ll get into this later, but the best way to explain it is that lofts are only typically found in high-population areas. Since they’re far less common than typical apartments, they tend to have price tags that reflect it.
If you were hoping to find lofts in the middle of Kansas, then you might get a little disappointed. Lofts are not very easy to come by, particularly in suburban settings. Oh, and in a rural area? It’s just not going to happen.
People who want to find lofts will need to move to a city in order to find one, ideally in a city that has a historic district and a high population density. Once there, you can find several ways to get a loft of your choice:
- Use online real estate search engines. Most sites, like Zillow, give you a way to find ads that feature the term “loft” in them. This can make it easier to find a place that would otherwise slip between the cracks.
- Search up the term “lofts near me” on Google. This is one of the easiest ways to find corporate-run lofts in your area. That being said, this also tends to be the most common way people try to find lofts, so expect them to be in high demand.
- Ask local rental agents. No one will have a better beat on loft apartments than rental agents. Call them up and tell them that you’re in the market for a loft apartment, and you’ll likely get a positive response as most agents will be more than happy to help you hunt for a loft that's filled with character.
- Go through Facebook and word of mouth. Most commercial loft buildings will have some heavy-handed advertising. However, if you are in the art scene and want an artist’s loft, things get harder. These are hyper-exclusive and tend to be sold to people “in the know.” Word of mouth and social media are the routes you will need to go through in order to find these exclusive living situations.
This is a little bit of a loaded question since it’s hard to tell whether lofts would work for you. Not everyone is a big fan of the open space layout, especially when it comes to your overall lifestyle. You should be aware of what to expect before you move in.
An open layout often lacks privacy and can have issues when it comes to acoustics. If you are a lone person or are going to be rooming with other adults, then it might be easy to get the privacy you want. Otherwise, it can be a hassle, especially if you have kids.
Not having separate rooms does mean that you have a cool aesthetic. However, things can quickly become messy if you’re not careful. Getting storage, partitions, and having a good eye for interior design can help.
If you’re looking for a functional live-work space or just want to have a chill open apartment, lofts might be the right pick for you. The versatility that they offer means that you will be able to switch from workout zone to work zone, to sleeping zone fairly quickly.
If you’re looking for an apartment that can double as an office or an apartment that makes a serious statement, lofts might be right for you. These converted factory floors are incredibly popular because they offer a lot of space, a unique style, and the kind of flexibility urban living requires.
That being said, lofts aren’t for everyone. If you choose to get one and do the searching necessary to rent a loft, make sure that the lifestyle you lead is loft-friendly. Otherwise, you’re going to be sadly disappointed.