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Chicago Lofts

Chicago lofts became popular in the 1970's and the 1980's, when Chicago developers turned to the old factories and warehouses and started converting them into homes. These converted factory spaces came to be known as the Chicago lofts. There was a great demand for these lofts as the construction costs were lower, and people were drawn to the old world charm of these brick and wood structures.

The History of Chicago Lofts

Original Chicago lofts, called hard lofts, consist of either hard concrete construction, exposed brick structures with original wooden posts, beams and floors. The ceilings of the lofts are high and unfinished, the pipework and heating ducts are exposed and the windows extend from ceiling to floor. The high ceilings and the large windows give one the feeling of air and space as one enters a loft.

Though Chicago Lofts are still in demand, it's not the same as in 1979 when nearly 4,842 units were converted into residential spaces. By 2002 this number had fallen to about 1900 units. One reason is that there aren't many original warehouses and factories left to convert, and now developers are turning to constructing new buildings to resemble lofts - called soft lofts. They are very liveable like the old places but they are not the original vintage lofts.

Chicago Lofts: Shopping for Your Perfect Home

If you are thinking of buying a loft you have to remember a few points. The Lofts are not like traditional homes with separate kitchen, bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms. It's more likely to have a kitchen and a bathroom and the rest is one big room. You can modify and rearrange it the way you want.

Also, the developers have discovered that not all old construction is rock solid. Many of these old buildings need to be radically re-worked to make them safe and livable. New layers of insulation have to be added, bad and uneven floors have to be replaced, heating and piping have to be redone, the interiors have to be sand blasted. Actually almost everything is new inside the old shell of the building.

When buying a loft ensure that builders have followed all the safety regulations with regard to a Chicago loft. Though all the toxic materials have been removed and the place redone, there is no harm in checking with the regulatory authorities that the buildings are really safe and liveable.

Lofts in Chicago are found mostly in the downtown Chicago areas. The average price for a loft is about $300,000. Though Chicago lofts can vary in price, ranging from $190K - $1.5 million.

As with any other property, thoroughly research the Chicago loft you wish to buy. If you want a vintage loft then check whether this truly was an old building that's been converted. Also make sure that it's been properly inspected and all safety standards have been met and all the documents are in order.

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