TORONTO – No matter which part of Toronto you’re condo hunting in – whether it’s Liberty Village, the Beaches, the Distillery District, or further midtown – conversion condos and lofts are all the rage as architects and developers rush to reclaim and refurbish the GTA’s unused historical properties.
A good real estate sales representative or broker can help you find unique properties that are right up your alley – but not before asking a few key questions.
If you’re interested in a loft specifically – that is, a large open-concept space – one of the things you’ll need to figure out right off the bat is whether you want a “hard loft” or “soft loft” conversion.
What’s the difference?
- Hard lofts are converted units with interiors that have retained much of the original character of the building. Characteristic features might include concrete flooring or exposed brick in a historical warehouse conversion.
- Soft lofts are ones that were built within repurposed properties, but have undergone extensive renovations to resemble a purpose-built home on the interior. So a soft loft might be built into a church, but still feature stucco ceilings, drywall and carpet – making for a more comfortable living environment if you’re not into exposed brick, wood or concrete.
Keep in mind, though – heritage properties aren’t only converted into lofts! Many are divvied up into contemporary suite-style condos. Some are even split into townhouses. A real estate professional can help you decide how much of the building’s original character you want in your own unit, and help you go from there.
Some other things to watch out for:
- If you’re contemplating a church conversion, be warned that there might be a few steps to walk up to get to your front door.
- Just like any other condo, don’t forget to ask about parking. Since converted residential properties are built from heritage buildings, there might not be a whole lot of purpose-built parking spaces on site.
- Again, this is the same any property, but with a renovated older building it’s especially important to hire an excellent building inspector before you close the sale.
- Also consider factors such as noise penetration between units, insulation levels for exterior walls, and of course available amenities.
With heritage building conversions becoming more and more popular among Toronto architects and developers, it’s a great time to look at one that might be perfect for you.