Today I’m at 284 St. Helens Avenue. These are the Bloorline lofts and they’re authentic hard lofts. I have a new listing here, unit 101 and I’m going to use this listing to illustrate to you the difference between a hard loft and a soft loft and to show you why investing in a hard loft may be your best hedge against any volatility in the condo market. Come on inside with me and I’ll take you on a little tour. (Watch the video).Welcome to unit 101! This is a beautiful two bedroom, two bathroom hard loft that I just listed and it’s really nice in here. Now, let me explain to you the difference between a hard loft and a soft loft. What a hard loft is is a commercial building that’s been turned into a residential building. So developers have taken an old commercial building and turned it into residences. Now this building in particular was a mattress factory, so one hundred years ago nobody was living here, they were just pumping out mattresses.
Now, when you compare that to a soft loft, a soft loft is built by a developer strictly to be residences and it’s built in a style that mimics the feel of a hard loft. So a soft loft is actually not a true loft and in fact instead of calling it a soft loft you can almost call it a fake loft. Now, I’m going to take you through this hard loft and show you a few of the features that make it hard and tell you why this type of property is a better hedge against any volatility in the condo market than buying a soft loft. Follow me downstairs, I’ll tell you what I’m talking about.
Okay, so here we are in the den in unit 101 and I’m going to use this room to show you possibly the most distinguishable feature of a hard loft and the one that’s most desirable and that’s this: exposed wooden beams. Now these beams above me are probably fourteen inches wide, seventeen to twenty feet long and at least a hundred years old. In short, these beams are irreplaceable. No builder or developer trying to build a soft loft can afford to use these types of beams, even if he wants to recreate the feel of a hard loft. They’re just not available. In fact, I called a few lumber suppliers this morning to see if there was any possibility of getting one. There isn’t. They basically told me you need to go and cut down a whole Douglas fir, you need to have it trimmed, and it’s probably going to cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 to $100 a linear foot, and that was just an estimate. So you’re guessing on a twenty foot beam, $2000 a beam. There’s no way it makes financial sense for a builder to use these beams, that’s why you’re only going to find them in a hard loft and not a soft loft.
So another feature that hard lofts are famous for is this: exposed brick. Now, in this case it’s been painted, and it’s true, developers could use brick to build soft lofts nowadays, but they don’t. What they do is they pour concrete and they put a brick veneer over the top. So when you’re buying a soft loft it’s made in the style of a hard loft, generally you’re not even getting real bricks.
Another feature that a hard loft boasts is these huge industrial windows. Now, these windows are great and they basically flood this entire unit with light. Now, you may get large windows in a soft loft downtown, but you’ve got to worry about them falling in and killing someone.
Now, here’s why buying a hard loft is a better hedge on your investment money against volatility in the condo market than buying a soft loft: right now hard lofts make up approximately 3% of the total market for condos in Toronto. Soft lofts, the sky’s the limit. There’s two hundred new units coming on the market every day. Now what that means is that every time a new soft loft is built, the ratio of soft to hard gets larger. So, what’s happening is there’s tons of new soft lofts being built, but there’s no new hard lofts. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Whenever there’s more soft lofts, the lower the price, the less hard lofts, the higher the price.
If you’re thinking of buying a condo and you’d like to live in a condo and be an owner, but you’re afraid and you’re worried about a correction in the condo market, look at a hard loft. Just like the one we’re offering here at unit 101. Currently we’re listed at $439,000, okay? We’re over a thousand square feet which means we’re less than $440 a square foot. Compare that to a soft loft downtown at $500-$600, you’ll see that there’s inherently more value here and a lot less chance that this unit’s going to depreciate if there’s a correction in the condo market.
Listen, everybody who wants a loft wants a real loft. They want the wood, they want the windows, they want the exposed brick, and they want the authentic lifestyle that a hard loft offers. They don’t want a cookie cutter soft loft at 600 other people in the same building have. That’s why your bet is best with a hard loft.
So I’d like to thank you for joining me on my little tour of unit 101 at St. Helens and thanks for watching my comparison of hard versus soft lofts. You know, if you’re thinking that you’d like to be a condo owner and you want to get into the market, but you’re a little bit scared of correction, do yourself a favor. Give me a call and let me show you a few hard lofts. I’m sure we can find a nice value between your lifestyle needs and protecting your interests, and by your interests, I mean your hard-earned dollars. So once again, my name’s Chris Borkowski. I’m a broker with Re/Max Hallmark here in the Bloorline lofts here in the city of Toronto. Thanks for watching.
If you have any questions, or you’re looking for Hard Lofts Toronto, Toronto real estate investment, or a Condo in Toronto, call me at 416-486-5588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.