Loft apartments and condos are here!
Across the country we are seeing a trend towards people moving back into the city. The Cedar Rapids and Marion area are no exception. Some of the most attractive spaces are what we call “loft living space”. What does that mean? A loft can be defined as a living space created in a building that wasn’t built to be a living unit. We have great loft living in our area where developers have converted warehouses or old factories into loft apartments and condos. They are attractive to a number of people including professionals who work downtown or travel a lot and those retired who desire the freedom condo-type living affords.
What makes loft living so attractive? Many lofts don’t have interior walls, maximizing the sense of space and their beauty. Typically they have high ceilings and lots of windows. . .big windows. What most people love about this type of living is the sense of community. There is also a feeling of safety because buildings and units have good security systems. In our area many have roof decks for entertaining when weather permits and are located within walking distance of parks, places to eat and shopping.
If you are considering loft living, here are some things you’ll need to know to make a wise decision before purchasing.
- Is there an application process and what is in the HOA (the homeowners association)? There are normally fees associated with loft/condo living. There are also restrictions. For instance, some places don’t allow pets or they only allow pets that are a certain size.
- Entertaining. Be sure and ask about restrictions regarding entertaining. For many of us, one of the greatest things about our living space is sharing it with others through entertaining and parties.
- How many of the units are owner occupied? Some places require 100% owner occupied units while others have a certain percentage that must be owner occupied. This helps you make an informed decision as to whether this unit is a good investment for you.
- Who and how is the property maintained? Be sure and notice common areas when looking at these units. If they are dirty or run down, this may be a sign that the building is not maintained to the standard you’d like.
- Check the crime in the area that the building is located and understand what kind of development will be coming to the neighborhood.
- Parking, parking, parking. One of the most frustrating things for guests is when they can’t find a decent place to park. It’s not that big of a deal in San Diego where it’s always sunny and 78 degrees but in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it could make the difference as to whether people want to come over or not.
Personally, I discourage being the first tenant to purchase or rent for a lot of reasons. Mainly, I wouldn’t want to be one of only a few tenants in a building. Days on the market can influence the price of rent and so you don’t want to overpay for a unit. With that said, if, after doing your homework, you find a place that is exactly what you are looking for in the area you want, go for it!
The city continues to move forward with plans for more loft living. Stay tuned for more information on city planning and whether loft living is for you.
Let Team Raeside show you what’s now available in our community.
Give us a call at (319) 361-1077.