Boston City Properties has listings in literally every single loft development in the Boston area. Our Boston Loft team is on call 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm. There are approximately 35 loft developments in the Boston area, and each are very unique. Some of the buildings are old factories that have been converted into residential luxury developments. Many of these buildings feature the brick & beam loft style, high ceilings, as well as exposed brick. Many of the buildings also feature parking. There are also many new construction loft apartment & condo developments in the Boston area such as Loft 23 in Cambridge, Mezzo Design Lofts in Charlestown, 360 Newbury Lofts in the Back Bay, and the 285 Columbus lofts near South Station.
Lofts are an attractive alternative to regular apartments or houses in the Boston area. Many people don't know about lofts in the Boston area. In this article, we will explore various aspects of this way of living. Having the information is the first step in the real estate market in achieving your goals for your living accommodations. In this article, you'll learn about lofts and the advantages and amenities you may discover if you choose this type of housing.
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What is a loft?
Let's start with a basic definition. Lofts are a unique type of apartment or room that is directly underneath the roof of a building or apartment complex. It is used for either providing accommodations or storage space and provides a place to stay for many who cannot afford a house or other property.
They are located in some different areas but are usually found in a city with lots of traffic and a need for additional accommodations for residents in the given area. Boston is a city that is in need of alternative types of housing so it's fortunate when real estate investors and landowners see the positive aspects of adding these kinds of accommodations to a building that may also be used for something else.
Where to Find Them
As we mentioned, you can find this type of apartment accommodation in apartment buildings. Many building owners opt to include them in their apartment complexes as an alternative and a way to house more tenants. Other locations might include a retail space with unused upper storage areas that could be turned into this type of living arrangement.
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Advantages to Tenants
So what are the advantages of these types of living quarters? For tenants, it may provide a space for them to live when they cannot find a normal apartment or no such unit is open at the time they are looking for an apartment.
Secondly, these units are typically less expensive than traditional apartments due to either their location or the fact that they are located on the upper floor of a renovated building.
Additionally, a loft can be created from any building or retail space that has an upper-level storage area or extra space, not just traditional apartment buildings. This means that there is more versatility for apartment managers to create this space to provide for tenants to have a space that they might not have ordinarily.
Loft vs. Apartment
These units are often seen as an apartment, but they are not apartments. There are some important differences between them, and a few of them are listed below.
- Apartments are smaller because lofts involve a much larger amount of space than an apartment unit. Apartments are usually more detailed and planned out by the land or building owners or real estate investors. So this means that they may measure exact spaces to include a certain number of apartment units. A loft, on the other hand, is larger since it is typically used to store large items from a retail or commercial space.
- Lofts can be broken down into smaller spaces, each which can be billed as a separate unit. For the building owner or apartment manager, this is a great opportunity for expanding the number of units in a building and increasing the potential number of units and rental opportunities for tenants.
- Lofts are often built from warehouses, and they have structural differences such as higher ceilings and an open floor plan.
- Windows are more prevalent in a loft since they are often built on the top floor of a building that accesses the outside. So the primary living quarters will almost always be against an outside wall facing the street.
What is an open floor plan?
An open floor plan is a freeform type of plan that has the advantage of a large amount of space that you can do whatever you want to do with it. This is an advantage to creative tenants who like to have control over their space and design or decorate it in any way they choose.
Additionally, open floor plans allow for a more significant number of large furniture items that tenants can enjoy without limiting their overall total space. Many tenants like this, especially if they have a lot of 'stuff' that they need to find the area of space for.
Lofts for Small Business Owners
One innovative way that loft space may be used is for small business owners. It is a stereotype to say that lofts are only spaces used by lower-income people. They are a great choice for someone with a small business which operates their business from their home. Young technology experts or online business owners, online sellers, and others may benefit from such a large space because of the capabilities to store items before they are sent off to customers.
This is just one non-traditional use of loft space that could be used as long as the building owner is okay with you operating a business within your unit.
Save Now for the Future
Since lofts are usually less expensive than traditional apartments, it could be a great way to save money now for the future. Young millennials looking to stash away some money and start a savings or investment plan could live in this type of unit for a few months or years and save quite a bit of money over time to invest in their business or themselves.
Also, if it's allowed by the loft owner, they could even sublet a part of their apartment to a friend and have them help pay the rent to save even more money. If you are considering moving into a loft, these are some creative ideas that you may want to check into to find out what you can do with this type of space that may even create a nice, passive income for tenants when they choose this type of living arrangement.
Security in a Loft Arrangement
Some people who are considering this type of living quarters may wonder about the level of security that they may have in a loft arrangement. But remember that these units are almost always a part of a retail building or warehouse that has been converted into an apartment-like complex. So there is normally some security on the lower levels that would prevent intruders from having free reign of the building in which you live. When inquiring about lofts, make sure and ask this question to find out what type of security your building has and how it will work for your unit that you rent.
If there is no general security system within the building, you can have special locks installed in many cases to protect yourself further. There are also many technology advancements such as the "ring" type units that can be put outside your door to identify the person at your door before you open it. If you intend to stay in the loft for a while, chances are the landlord or building owner will be open to helping you with your security concerns and may even install an extra lock for free or a keyless entry system.
Is a loft like a studio apartment?
A loft is nothing more than a similar unit to a studio apartment that happens to be underneath the roof or top story area of a building that is typically used for something else. The biggest advantage is the large amount of extra space that you will get from these units as well as the location that is typically within walking distance to local shops or restaurants.
Advantages for Landlords
We've talked about the advantages for tenants. What about the advantages for landlords? The advantage for landlords is that they can add additional units at the top levels of a building that was formerly only used for retail or warehouse space. Storage space can be easily converted into a rentable space that brings in more passive income for the landowner or landlord.
Real estate investors are excited to invest in buildings that are capable of being expanded to create an even more significant passive income.
If you are someone who is considering investing in real estate, this may be a ripe opportunity to invest in properties that will pay off big over time.
Costs of Loft Rentals
So what is the going rate for loft units in the Boston area? The average cost of an average loft space is around $1500. This, of course, depends on the area you are looking at, as well as the other amenities that may be attached. Some lofts are also decorated with fine furnishings, bringing the rental cost up more. We found some very nice-looking loft units for around $1395 in the Boston area located on Merrimack Street and some high-end lofts for around $2700 if they are built in a more elaborate building or located in a more affluent part of town.
Just like any other type of rental arrangement, lofts will cost different rates depending on some factors. You can find listings for lofts in the Boston area by searching for lofts in the Boston area on Google or a real estate site.
Look for amenities
If you are looking for an apartment but don't want the pricier cost of typical apartment units, you could look into getting a loft rental. One thing that you may want to consider if you don't mind paying a bit more is the extra amenities that often come with these types of units.
Some of the most common amenities and extras that you might find among some of these arrangements are listed below:
Living Large in a Loft in Boston
We've mentioned some of the more obvious advantages of a loft rental for renters. But there are some other reasons to rent this type of unit, as well. Below are some of the most positive benefits you may find in a loft living arrangement.
- Wide, open spaces - The best asset of a loft arrangement is the large, spacious quarters that you won't get in a traditional apartment. You can do some unique things with this much space, so it's perfect for artists, writers, studio photographers, or videographers since you have ample space to stand several art canvases around in different areas of the location or to set up professional photography equipment. They truly have the look of a studio or artist quarters and seem to be perfect for those who are busy with the creative process and want a space that is far removed from the rat race or community apartment units.
- Unique and charming - Loft units also have a unique charge that seems to be less prevalent in normal or traditional apartment units. There is plenty of space to get creative with your furniture and decorations and create a reading space, artistic space, or storage space easily within the unit. Professional designers love renting lofts because they can try out their design prowess and techniques with so much space to work with.
- Studio-type look - These units have a studio look that is unique to a loft. As mentioned above, photographers and artists love the spacious and charming look of the studio-type apartment without the higher ticket prices of regular apartment units.
- Practical and functional - Another advantage and characteristic of lofts is that they are highly practical and functional in nature. Equipped with all of the normal things such as refrigerators, bathrooms, and kitchens, they have everything they need on a practical basis. Lofts are not meant to be the most luxurious high-rise apartments in the town, but they are a unique and artistic space with loads of potential and heart.
- Shared amenities - While one of the kinds of appeal that a loft has is the sense of solitude and privacy that they provide, they also allow the tenants to enjoy the community atmosphere of the other people in the building. Whether it is built from a retail space or a warehouse or other commercial unit, other people reside in the building during the business day, providing you an opportunity to get out of your upper room for awhile and mix and mingle with other human beings.
The Writer's Paradise
If you are a writer and are looking for a space that is removed from the beaten path, a loft is a great idea. Nestled in the upper level of a commercial building or other location, you will have all of the quiet and privacy you need to create your next masterpiece. Writing takes concentration, and this type of arrangement provides the solitude and tranquility that won't allow the noise of the other parts of the building to seep into your inner sanctum.
This depends on the location, of course, and some loft residents report that they sometimes hear noise from below on the streets. However, closing a window or installing shades on the windows will often solve this problem.
Panacea for Studio Musicians
If you are a studio musician, these units are perfect. They provide a large, spacious area that allows you to set up studio instruments, recording equipment, and other items that you would never find room for with a smaller apartment.
Just be sure to check with the building manager and ask if it is okay to create a music studio on the upper level. It is possible your music will be heard by the commercial area below if such a unit exists within your building. It's always a great idea to check on these things as you are shopping for a loft before agreeing to lease the unit. If you're a musician who just writes songs with an acoustic guitar that doesn't require large amplifiers or electric guitars, probably this would not be an issue.
Easy Access to Downtown Area
Another big advantage we should mention about loft units is that they are often located close to most of the downtown amenities such as restaurants, downtown shopping malls or stores, and trolleys or public transportation. Many students or others who choose to live in lofts in Boston are doing so to save on both rent and transportation, and many opt to sell their car in favor of walking.
This can add up to a significant savings over time that can be used to start a business, buy a better vehicle later, or invest in a college education or trade school.
Why choose a loft?
If you are conflicted on whether a loft living arrangement is the best situation for you, consider the following factors:
- Need to save money
- Need for space
- Amount of privacy you want
- Amount of stuff you have
- Location near downtown required
If you can answer yes that any of these aspects apply to you, then a loft arrangement in the Boston area may be perfect for you. You can save money living large in Boston when you choose this type of living arrangement while having a significant amount of space to do it in. You don't just pay for space when you rent, so don't think that you'll pay more just because of the floor space. Floor space is only one factor that is calculated into the price of any housing or apartment rental.
Check with your local real estate people or the building manager to find out more about renting a loft in Boston. But if you need privacy and solitude to create or work, if you have a lot of furniture or other items that you need room for, or if you have simply outgrown your current living arrangement, this may be a great opportunity for you.
For real estate investors, a loft provides passive income that you would not ordinarily have in a traditional apartment building. It is usually based in a commercial building that expands to include units that provide additional income for investors and building owners. It's a lucrative opportunity if you are looking for a way to invest in real estate without buying into the housing market.
For those who need to live close to the downtown Boston area, lofts are a great way to go that allows you to be a part of the community, expand your horizons, and enjoy the spacious area that it provides.
Great Temporary Solution
Regardless of where you are living now, a loft in the Boston area may allow you to live large literally while finding your way in the world. It's great for anyone who wants to experiment with space, create an in-home business or studio, or just get off the beaten path. At the same time, it provides easy access to local amenities such as local community shopping areas, places to eat, transportations, and other community activities.
It is also appealing because it is considered a temporary solution. You are not purchasing the loft. You are only living it in on a temporary basis. You can live there as long as it is available, but many people enjoy having a rental as opposed to a house, since there are less responsibility and obligation over the long term. You can leave anytime when you are ready to purchase a home.
In this way, it provides the "best of both worlds" for the working or creative professional, as well as a wide range of others who want to live close to the action without being right in the middle of it.
To find out more about Boston lofts and other similar apartment options, contact a Boston real estate expert near you or search for available units now available in the Boston area.
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