Austin Apartments: What is a loft in Austin?
When searching for an apartment or condo, often times you will hear the term “loft” used to describe an apartment you’re considering. Many people think they know what a “loft” is, but does this term always mean the same thing? The short answer is NO; what Austin apartments call a loft may have a very different look and feel than what Seattle apartments call a loft, and so on.
In the most technical terms the word “loft” is defined as:
1. An upper story of a business building, warehouse, or factory, typically consisting of open, non partitioned floor area.
2. A balcony or platform built over a living area and used especially for sleeping.
Depending on which part of the country you are coming from, and even which part of the world, you probably identify a loft with the first definition. The vision that comes to mind in this example is the movie “Ghost” which depicts a Chicago style loft that feels like a warehouse, with open-exposed beams, brick-like walls, high ceilings and lots of windows. However, you will find that many lofts don’t look like that at all.
Austin apartments don’t often tend towards the Chicago style lofts. There are only a few and usually close to downtown. They are typically harder to come by and will run a tenant more than $2.00 per square foot.
The typical Austin apartment loft is basic a floor plan style, much like definition #2. It is usually two stories, typically with a bedroom or an office/entertainment space located on the second floor. This second floor is “open to the space below”, meaning it is defined from the space below with only a half wall or railing overlooking the living room.
About the only thing this loft will have in common with the loft most people envision is the high ceilings required to accommodate the second story. While it still provides an open floor plan that feels very large, you will not find many of the other warehouse style features like exposed brick, exposed ceiling beams, elaborate columns or extensive windows.
Some things to consider when renting a loft are the utility bills and privacy issues that may arise from having a large open space. The higher the ceiling, the more space to cool, and the higher your utility bills. This is true in the winter as well since heat rises therefore it will take more heat to warm your space. Privacy may be an issue if you are considering the loft as your bedroom, or as a secondary bedroom. If the loft is a one bedroom unit and you are considering using the loft as a secondary bedroom, there will typically be one bathroom, which is usually located in the proper bedroom.
Despite these considerations, lofts can be a wonderful way to achieve additional living space, as well as an interesting architectural feature. Whether you prefer the Chicago style or the more basic lofts, there is an Austin apartment that will fit your needs and your budget. If you are not sure what you want, an experienced apartment locator can be an asset in your search for the right Austin apartments.
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