New Yorkers in search of something different are widening their options by looking at New York City lofts. With wide-open spaces with high ceilings, it’s easy to see the appeal. Nowadays they can fetch very high prices. They can also prove difficult to find due to limited inventory. One thing for sure, they provide a different living experience to a traditional home.
What is a loft?What is a loft?
A loft apartment is defined as a former commercial space that has been converted into a residential area. New York City lofts feature wide-open spaces, large windows, high ceilings, columns, and exposed brick, beams, and pipes. They range in size from 1400 to 2400 square feet in Manhattan. Outside Manhattan, they tend to be smaller.
As commercial companies left the city for cheaper locales, they left many of these buildings abandoned. They became popular with artists who found the wide-open space more comfortable to work in. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that they became fashionable, and now they are in very high demand.
Why choose a loft over a traditional apartment?Why choose a loft over a traditional apartment?
Many people choose lofts for the wide-open spaces they provide and large windows, making them seem even more significant. They’re also great for accommodating a growing family. It’s easy to renovate the floor plan. However, you desire, making them very versatile.
Another thing people love about lofts is the original details, such as exposed pipes that give it a history. Plus, all the open space is excellent for entertaining large numbers of guests.
What are the downsides?What are the downsides?
For many first-timers, the level of space can be a bit disorientating. It cannot be easy decorating such an ample space. Whatever theme you choose has to include the whole room if you want to be consistent.
The lack of privacy is also an issue, and many loft buildings lack the usual features found in condos like door attendants and gyms. Also, since few are located in mixed-use areas, they tend to share the block with light manufacturing, making noise levels a problem. More often found in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan.
Where can you find lofts?Where can you find lofts?
You can find lofts everywhere in areas with former industrial buildings and warehouses. For Manhattan, the highest concentrations can be found in SoHo and Tribeca. Buyers can also find many in Chelsea and Flatiron. You can also find them, but in lesser numbers, in Greenwich Village and Hell’s Kitchen.
Those in Brooklyn should focus their search on Red Hook, Clinton Hill, Dumbo, and Williamsburg. Anyone in Queens should search Long Island City, while Kingsbridge is the place to start in the Bronx.
Are they more or less expensive than traditional apartments?Are they more or less expensive than traditional apartments?
It depends. Today, many developers are bringing the best-of-the-best in materials and finishes to loft buildings. The installation of a new kitchen and bathroom will be built into the price tag, which puts developed lofts in a very high price range.
However, if you manage to find a loft in an ‘as-is’ condition and develop it yourself, it can potentially be less expensive than a regular apartment. Either way, the low numbers and high demands for lofts keep them at a high price. They can make a smart investment because although only representing 10% of the condo and co-op market, those who love them will pay a high price.