What is a Loft? 10 Key Things To Consider For Next Dream Move

what is a loft

Are you curious to know “what is a loft” and are interested to learn more about loft living? Do you imagine lofts as a sleek and stylish place with vaulted ceilings overlooking downtown New York City?

Before you pack your bags and pick out dining room furniture in the loft, check out these ten essential things to consider before you begin!

What is a Loft?

A loft apartment usually features exposed brick, pipes, high ceilings, large windows, and exposed beams. The only internal walls they have are used to section off the bathroom. Therefore, they tend to have a large open space. 

Hard Loft vs. Soft Loft

Hard Lofts

hard loft is very rugged and has an industrial feel. It looks more like commercial buildings or a warehouse than a home. When many people ask themselves, “what is a loft,” a hard loft is what they envision. 

Many hard lofts were former industrial buildings converted into multiple loft apartments. It’s not uncommon for these apartments to have concrete floors, brick walls, and exposed pipes.

Soft Lofts

soft loft usually has been renovated to feel like an apartment layout but still has unique characteristics. Soft lofts often are modern and may have elevated platforms to offer a bit of separation throughout the loft space. They are an excellent option for those who like open loft areas but want a more modern place to live

Loft vs. Studio Apartment

Lofts and studio apartments are similar because they have an open floor plan. However, studio apartments are generally a lot smaller than a loft. 

They have lower ceilings, fewer windows, and they aren’t much bigger than a large bedroom. Also, unlike lofts, studio apartments usually don’t have a full-size kitchen. 

Instead, they may have a small refrigerator, microwave, and a hot plate to cook. Because of this, studio apartments are often a lot cheaper than lofts.

Loft vs. Traditional Apartment

Traditional apartments are a lot different than lofts. Apartment floor plans consist of multiple bedrooms (i.e., three bedroom, two bedroom) and bathrooms, offering extra living space. There are walls to divide each room in the apartment, and it isn’t just one big space people use for eating, sleeping, and entertainment. 

You’ll also find traditional apartments in a variety of neighborhoods. However, they are usually located in residential areas rather than industrial ones. 

Traditional apartments sometimes come with amenities as well. These amenities can include a pool, gym, or laundry facilities. 

Advantages of Living in a Loft

Location

Many people choose to live in a loft because they like the location. , Residents don’t have to worry about being too far from the action because they are usually located in warehouses or industrial buildings

Unlike other places, lofts are often only a short walking distance from urban areas, restaurants, or nightlife, making them an excellent choice for those who don’t have a car.

Spacious

One of the biggest appeals of loft apartment living is that they are very spacious and perfect for those who want an open floor plan. Also, because they have high ceilings, they feel larger. Lofts are a great place to entertain people because of the spacious living area.

Trendy

While people of all ages live in lofts, they are becoming increasingly popular among young adults. In recent years, this popularity is because they are trendy and a good option for those that are single and don’t have children. 

Because of this, many loft apartments are located near colleges and universities.

Natural Light

Lofts are known for their natural light. Unfortunately, many houses and large apartments don’t bring in the natural light that lofts do. Those who live in a loft may find that they don’t have to turn on lights during the day.

Disadvantages of a Loft

Storage

Most lofts don’t have any storage space. There aren’t any closets, and even if there’s a full kitchen, the kitchen cabinets are usually fairly minimal. 

To solve the lack of closet space, many individuals wind up using multiple dressers, cabinetry, shelves, and wardrobes for storage, making the area look cluttered and not as open as it used to. 

Because the ceilings are so high, many individuals utilize as much wall space as possible to store their items despite the lack of square footage.

Amenities

Most loft apartments have no amenities because they are not usually located in an apartment complex. Therefore, there’s no place to put any amenity nearby. 

Because loft apartments can be pricey, many people shy away from renting them because they feel that the rent isn’t worth it simply because of the lack of amenities. 

Utilities

Since lofts tend to be located in older buildings, they aren’t very energy efficient. In addition, it’s relatively common for the utilities to be outdated, which may mean that residents have to spend a lot more on utilities than if they lived in a traditional apartment or a home. 

While floor-to-ceiling windows are suitable for letting light in, they may not be sealed, and it can be difficult to keep hot or cold air out. 

In addition, landlords are often unwilling to update the space to make it more energy-efficient, as many of these renovations will cause the loft to lose some rustic appeal. This situation puts pressure on tenants to receive a high utility bill.

Noise

Because of the location of a lot of lofts, they are noisy. They may be located in a commercial area, and residents tend to have to deal with hearing loud trucks or construction going on. 

Lofts usually aren’t carpeted, so there is no sound barrier. However, if someone has a neighbor above them, they may hear a lot of noise from them at all hours of the day and night, making it difficult for those who don’t like a lot of noise or are light sleepers. 

Privacy

Those that live by themselves may not care about the lack of walls in a loft. However, those who plan on getting a roommate might find that the lack of privacy is problematic.

Some individuals might try to get creative with the space and put up room dividers or use furniture to make separate areas. But, unfortunately, a partition will never provide as much privacy as an actual wall can. 

While lofts usually are large enough to house several people, they often aren’t ideal because of the lack of privacy. 

Is a Loft Apartment Right for You?

When asking yourself, “what is a loft” and whether or not you should live in one, you do need to consider the perks and drawbacks of choosing this type of housing. 

If you want to live in a space that feels open and has a lot of character, then a loft apartment may be suitable for you. On the other hand, if you like privacy, having access to amenities, and are on a budget, you might want to consider another option. 

No matter what you decide, it would be best to remember that no living space will be the perfect fit, but many people are happy living in a loft. Thus, reach out to a seasoned and trusted real estate agent to help you find a loft apartment that suites your needs.

Happy loft apartment hunting!

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Jonathan is a husband and father to two crazy kids. He is a software engineer, real estate investor, and personal finance blogger. He owns a small real estate business that operates a couple of investment properties in his local market. He has been featured in Grow from Acorns + CNBC, Business Insider, USA Today, FOX Business, and more!