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Real estate market news Aug 4th 2017

6 things to know before hunting for an industrial loft in Toronto - STOREYS

For those in search of a condo building that doesn’t fall under the Toronto stereotype of a modern, glass-and-steel highrise, there are tons of options out there in the market. From intimate boutiques and contemporary midrises (think The Berczy and Pier 27) to historical residences (One King West), tracking down a space that pushes the design envelope may require a bit of perseverance, but it’s far from impossible. When it comes to singling out the ultimate “anti-cookie-cutter” condo, loft apartments are arguably king. Between their tall ceiling heights, flowing open-concept floor plans, lack of interior walls and unique industrial finishes, it’s easy to see the appeal of the loft lifestyle. But buyers should note, not all Toronto lofts are created equal and if you’re in search of an authentic industrial loft, there’s a checklist of facts you’ll need to be acquainted with first. 1. Not all lofts are “genuine” or “industrial” It’s not uncommon for buyers who are on the hunt for an authentic industrial loft to quickly have their search bogged down by apartments that are called lofts but look a whole lot like conventional condos. So what’s the deal? Among the first thing serious loft buyers should know is there are two types of lofts. Hard lofts and soft lofts. Hard lofts are buildings that at one point functioned as manufacturing or industrial warehouses and later refurbished into private residences by a real estate developer. Hard lofts are usually what come to mind when you picture an industrial loft — historical decade-old buildings with exposed brick walls, massive factory-style windows and high ceilings. On the other hand, soft lofts refer to new or recently built condos that seek to recreate (or for all intents and purposes, mimic) the loft style. While these buildings boast taller ceilings than the norm and at times feature exposed piping and vents, these lofts don’t match the authentic industrial history of a full-fledged hard loft. It’s worth noting, not all soft lofts are created equal and there are several stunning options in Toronto that are worthy of a serious hard loft buyer’s attention (Seventy75 Portland for one). It takes a bit of extra effort and a good realtor by your side to separate the great soft lofts from those which use the word loft as more of a buzzword. Moreover, many landmark loft buildings in Toronto, such as Tip Top Tailor Lofts, actually feature a mix of both hard and soft loft units. As a prospective loft buyer, you’ll quickly need to determine how much importance you place on buying a hard loft. In general, hard lofts are considerably pricier and in more limited supply when compared to soft lofts. 2. You’re going to have to limit your choice of neighbourhoods Unlike conventional condo apartments, industrial loft conversions in Toronto aren’t as ubiquitous. Remember, these buildings once stood as manufacturing spaces and the developers who refurbished them had no power in picking out their locations. So if buying a hard loft is your...

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This Toronto broker welcomes a housing correction. No, really.

“See, I don’t like to look at real estate as an investment vehicle. A lot of people do nowadays… I see it more as a lifestyle thing,” says "Condo" Chris Borkowski.

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