In my experience, the answer is often “yes.” Toronto is a great city for innovative loft developments and with a little bit of help, you will be able to find the perfect home for you and your budget.
To begin with, you should consider the difference between “hard” and “soft” lofts.
Generally, authentic factory or warehouse conversion lofts (aka hard lofts) will cost more than a traditional condominium or newly constructed lofts (aka soft lofts).
Because hard lofts are in low supply and high demand. They are unique living spaces that offer award-winning architectural design, history and large, open floorplans. Unfortunately, there is a finite supply of these older buildings in Toronto that can be retrofitted and zoned as residential lofts. This limited availability increases their desirability and pushes up the price further.
However, it’s worth noting that maintenance fees are usually lower in lofts than condos. Most condominium buildings include a concierge and a variety of facilities—from gyms to squash courts to indoor pools.
Most lofts don’t have those kinds of amenities, resulting in lower maintenance fees. Therefore, a hard loft might initially cost more than a condo, but the difference in maintenance fees might offset your monthly bills.
Location is another factor to consider.
The trendy King West Village, for example, is abundant with hard lofts but they’re among the most expensive residences in the city. Over the last decade, the area has significantly appreciated in value and the price is reflected in the cost of real estate. You are not just paying for the loft. You are paying for a safe neighbourhood full of restaurants, cafes, theatres, shops, galleries, etc.
In “up and coming” neighbourhoods such as Corktown (Dundas & Queen East), you’re paying more for the loft than the actual area. Although it’s getting there, Corktown has a ways to go before it reaches the same stature as King West.
The Foundry Lofts is a great example of a very popular (and quite stunning) hard loft that’s more affordable because of its location on the peripheral of downtown. If your budget is below $400,000, you may not find a loft in King West but there are still many options a bit further west or even east of Yonge.
I’ve created a list of Toronto’s Most Affordable Lofts so that you can check out all of the options. If you’re not interested in any of those particular lofts, you might want to consider a soft loft or a more traditional condo.
Having worked for many years in the condo market, I know there are quite a number of high end buildings in the city that are affordable and come with low maintenance fees. They may not be as unique or extravagant as hard lofts, but they are certainly upscale, secure and well-located. It’s a viable compromise that many people (especially 1st time buyers) make to save money.
If you need assistance in finding a condo or a loft that meets your budget, I can certainly help you weigh all the variables and narrow in on the top buildings to consider. Our specialty is condos and lofts in Toronto. Feel free to test my knowledge!
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or even a quote on the value of your condo/loft.
Robert Van Rhijn