There’s a lot of confusion today as to the difference between a condo or loft–and rightfully so. In the past, lofts were open, industrial buildings converted into living spaces (usually in larger cities) that sometimes doubled as someone’s work space. Features such as steel columns, cement floors, high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, no room dividers and exposed ductwork in the ceilings prevailed. Condos were more like grouped-together single-family homes with amenities such as pools and outdoor entertaining spaces.
Today, the lines have become more blurred. Both living spaces provide a condo or loft owner the opportunity to own real estate, and share ownership of the common areas (and both have HOA dues). With the rise of gas prices and a societal move towards simplicity of life, many urban real estate owners are looking for less commute time and eco-friendly alternatives, i.e., living close to work and grocery shopping, etc…which is something both condos and lofts typically offer. In fact, in the last few years, condos and lofts have appreciated in value quicker than single family detached homes.
Lofts have maintained their industrialesque lines, but softened some of the space by adding separate rooms for bathrooms and bedrooms. The living rooms and kitchens tend to show most of the original “loft” features mentioned earlier. Many lofts are built new today (instead of converting old buildings or industrial spaces–but that still happens, too), and include amenities much like the new condos: common areas for pools, spas, and landscaping.
Condos tend to have more amenities such as 24-hour concierge or valet services, door-to-door cleaning services, private entrances, fitness centers, club rooms/theatre rooms, and high-end electronic wiring systems for alarms, personal assistants, or electronics of all kinds. Many of the interior features in condos mimic those in single-family traditional homes.
While the differences are few, the choices are many and a matter of personal taste and style.