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Condos and Lofts: What's the Difference?



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By : Andy Asbury    99 or more times read
Location is one of the most important aspects of real estate, and today there are an increasing number of people who want their home located in an urban area. Those types of people generally are choosing between two types of homes: condos and lofts. There are similarities between the two – the owners own their living quarters, but not the entire building, for example – but there also are differences that make each unique.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s difficult to make hard and fast distinctions between the two. Even if you’re doing an Internet search, you probably won’t be able to search for just condos, or just lofts. More than likely, they will be listed together.

The history of the building is one way to differentiate the two. Condos often are in buildings designed for that purpose. In addition to the individual condos themselves, there are public areas – pools, fitness rooms and laundry facilities, for example – for which all owners share responsibility through a monthly payment to their condo association. Lofts, on the other hand, oftentimes are in formerly industrial buildings that have been repurposed for that use. (Those are known as true lofts; soft lofts are built specifically as lofts, but constructed to look like true lofts.)

Lofts also are more steeped in history than condos. The idea of loft living originated in Paris, where more than 100 years ago lofts in warehouse buildings doubled as homes and studios for artists. Still today, many people equate loft living with artists or other creative types.

The truth, though, is that anyone can live in a loft and the tenants don’t define the type of structure. Another popular notion is that lofts are simply large, open spaces in large buildings. While that certainly can be true, such open space isn’t part of the criteria by which I define lofts. When looking at a property, I look for three aspects before I classify something as a loft. They are:

  1. Exterior walls made of either brick or concrete. Keep in mind that some people decide to cover these features with a new wall, so the brick or concrete may not be immediately evident.

  2. Ceilings that are at least 10 feet high. In many lofts, the ceilings are higher – up to 14 feet or more.

  3. Large, expansive windows that let in plenty of light.


Lofts often – but not always – also have exposed ductwork along the ceiling and few, if any, enclosed spaces (if they do have enclosed spaces, it’s often for a bathroom, closet or, in some instances, a bedroom).
Contact us today for help learning all about Minneapolis condos and discover great condo and lofts options in the city. For a complete directory of Minneapolis lofts and condos visit www.MinnesotaLoftsAndCondos.com today!

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