What defines a true loft? Traditionally, people considered lofts to have an upstairs area (the loft, of a loft), but in today’s age you see many different properties being marketed as lofts that don’t fit that description. Today I’d like to talk about the most common type of “untraditional loft” you might see on the market in Vancouver; “Warehouse Conversion Lofts.” Often they can be the most confusing as they come across to many people as single level studios, but there are a few defining characteristics that separate these Lofts from their Condo cousins. Typically these properties can be over 100 years old and were originally built for light industrial activities such as textile manufacturing or print press locations. In today’s modern age we’ve seen development companies purchase these buildings and refurbish them for residential spaces, ultimately marketing them as Converted Warehouse Lofts for sale.

The most common characteristic of warehouse loft is probably the traditional exposed brick feature walls you find throughout. These walls are normally left standing from the original building, as typically the developer will sandblast the bricks to be sure they are free of dirt and debris while bringing back the deep red colour they are trademarked for. Another common feature of warehouse lofts are the massive exposed wood beams you will find spanning from one side of the space to the other. Normally these are cut from Douglas Fir Trees, which are still harvested on Vancouver Island today, and are  a personal favorite. These beams have now been replaced by more economical building products like: concrete, steel and engineered beams. Needless to say It’s a pretty cool sight to have a 12” x 12” chunk of tree literally holding up your roof (and I promise you it wouldn’t grow old!). Often you will also find features like exposed ducting, higher than 8’ ceilings, wood windows and electrical cords running along these beams which all help to define the unit as a Warehouse Loft.

Clients often ask for my opinion on lofts as a REALTOR (which I’m sure you can tell I’ve always had a soft spot towards). I’m always confident putting clients into a loft as there isn’t a huge number of lofts in Vancouver. From an investment standpoint loft prices and sales seem to weather tough markets better than your typical condo, thanks to lower supply and a consistent demand. That doesn’t mean they’re untouchable, as the prices will still fluctuate like any piece of property in the Vancouver Real Estate market, but I find them to be a safe investment. If you are looking for a property that has that “wow factor,” then I would highly suggest checking out a few lofts for sale in Vancouver!