Vancouver lofts are a dreamy and desirable housing type in the city for many people. Many historical buildings have been converted into fantastic loft homes that are charming, industrial, and unique compared to new construction homes. If you’re interested in buying a Vancouver loft, keep reading.
- What is your lifestyle like?
- Choosing your realtor
- What kind of amenities is important to you?
- What neighbourhoods are your favourite?
- Consider the pros and cons
- Who should buy a Vancouver loft?
What is your lifestyle like?
Determining your lifestyle is essential to the loft buying process. Consider your future plans and how you like to live happily now. Suppose you don’t care for the maintenance that comes with owning a single-family home, having a safety net for major house repairs, or the fees that come along with it. In that case, loft living might be best for you.
When choosing a condo or loft in Vancouver, you’re likely going to be living close to downtown. Much like living in an apartment, they are great for couples or young professionals. If you have pets, they should be small or pets that don’t need constant access to a yard, unless you want to be taking them out on leash several times a day. Living in downtown Vancouver is excellent for people who don’t drive unless your loft building comes with underground parking.
If you don’t love the idea of sharing walls with neighbours or you want to start a family soon, a loft may not be the best option for you.
If you work from home, loft living could provide some extra benefits in terms of zoning.
Choosing your realtor
Vancouver has an endless number of realtors ready to help you purchase your loft, but you will want to find someone who has experience in the areas you’re looking in. Checking out Google and Facebook reviews, ask friends or family for recommendations, and search the internet for a Vancouver loft specialist.
Like buying a condo or an apartment, you’ll have plenty of documentation to wade through. Having a realtor that has done that before will be a massive asset for you to understand what is expected of you in your new home and where your fees are going. Since there are plenty of realtors ready to take on your business, spend some time and pick someone who you trust. Meeting with a few face-to-face before committing is a great idea so you can see who you get along with the best.
Your realtor should specialize in lofts so they can help you navigate the complex process of buying a loft, including permits, fees, unauthorized square footage, and more.
What kind of amenities is important to you?
Each loft building will come with its own amenities. Some buildings are strictly just suites, and some will come with common areas, workout rooms, and on-site management. Knowing what amenities are best for you can help you narrow down the buildings you will want to look at. You will be making a considerable investment, so if something specific is important to you, be vocal about it. You don’t want to compromise on something you really wanted and go on to regret it as time passes.
You and your realtor will want to conduct some research on the property management company that manages the buildings you’re interested in. Your realtor should be able to help you navigate the rules and regulations set out by the management company and if they’re a great company to manage your building.
What neighbourhoods are your favourite?
Vancouver has lofts across the downtown areas, including Gastown, Kitsilano, False Creek, Cambie, Commercial Drive, Downtown, Chinatown, Crosstown, Yaletown, Point Creek, East Village, Collingwood, Marpole, and North Vancouver. You can find lofts in surrounding cities like Richmond, Burnaby, and New Westminister as well.
There are plenty of buildings in highly desirable areas, but the loft market is highly competitive. Research your favourite communities with lofts before you start viewing suites. Telling your realtor what you want in a community can help them determine what areas are best suited to what you want and your lifestyle.
If you work from home, you have a lot more flexibility than someone who doesn’t drive and wants to walk to work in the Gastown area.
Consider the pros and cons.
- Typically, lofts are lower in price compared to single-family homes. Still, downtown locations often cost a premium so that you could be paying a comparable amount.
- Much lower maintenance costs and less time spent maintaining your property.
- If you opt for a building with amenities, you have access to extras right outside your door.
- Ideal location for those who don’t drive or those who work downtown.
- You can be more social and make friends in your building.
- Lofts are subject to GST, unlike condos.
- Renovations require specific permits and might be a hassle.
- Many buildings have restrictions on pets and being able to rent out your property if you buy a second home.
- A mortgage for a loft can have more rigorous qualifying factors.
- Parking and extra storage may be an issue.
- A loft can be a higher risk. Since you and others collectively own the building together, it can be riskier if one or two owners fall behind on dues or a disaster happens.
- If you choose a building that doesn’t have restrictions on renters, you could be seeing many renters come in and out of the building. There’s also less privacy compared to a single-family home.
Who should buy a Vancouver loft?
Suppose you’re a young professional or a couple who love living the downtown lifestyle. In that case, a loft can be a great decision, despite the cons. They are beautiful and cozy while being open and airy. Lofts allow for some extra space with all the benefits of condo living. If you love Vancouver lofts and have a conducive lifestyle, a loft could be a perfect solution for you.