Not all lofts are created equal, but when you are searching to PURCHASE a loft, you have to keep in mind that how someone values a loft is unique, but how a bank values a loft is not.
Banks looks at a short list of criteria when determining the value of a loft. Here is the list in no particular order...
1) What is the reported square footage of the loft?
2) How much are the lofts selling for on this floor?
3) How much are the lofts selling for on the floors immediately above and below this loft?
4) What is the average price that lofts are selling for in this building?
5) Is the housing market going up, going down, or soft in the immediate area?
6) How much are the lofts selling for in the neighborhood?
7) Are there any major issues with the loft? (This is the main reason Appraisers show up and look at the loft. All the other items could be done from their office). Common factors that decrease property value are missing kitchens and bathrooms, damage to the loft, and squatters.
8) How much is the Home Owner's Association fee?
9) Are there any lawsuits filed by the Home Owner's Association against the Developer?
10) How many people are renting in the building verses occupying the residences as actual home owners?
Out of all these 10 items, I think the most VALUABLE criteria that demands a Buyer's attention is the square footage of a unit. Here are all my reasons why.
1) The square footage determines how many people are going to be interested in buying the unit in resale. Out of the 1000s of people I've helped purchase a loft, 95% of all people want a minimum of 1000 square feet in a loft. Most don't want to look at anything underneath that square footage. I'm not saying there are some cute 560 square foot lofts. I'm saying that smaller lofts are less attractive to most people.
2) Investmentwise a larger unit will rent for more money if you ever decide to rent out the loft.
3) Many people both live and work from a loft. Smaller units don't usually provide this option to have a live and work area.
4) Lofts are great for entertaining unless they are too small.
5) Bigger lofts usually mean more windows and more light. Light and views are also important in the loft purhcase.
6) Value is usually determined by how many square feet you have. The larger number of bricks of gold you have, the more money you have.
7) The larger the loft, the more opportunity you have to change things around if they don't work for you. Small spaces predict where you are going to put the bed, television, desk, closet, etc. More options means more value.
8) It is more likely that someone will choose a larger loft on a lower floor over a smaller loft on a higher floor.
9) You can personalize a larger loft. Holiday decorations, artwork, and furniture make an empty box or rectangle look great, unless you don't have floor or wall space to put things.
11) And last, but certainly not least, storage. A larger loft allows you to store more items. Everyone has stuff and without space to put your stuff, you quickly become unhappy in your space.
Bring The Yard To Your Dog
Admitted Slob Finds Order in Loft Life
By Donna Huffaker Evans
Loft living isn’t for everyone.
That was the first thing my realtor said, before I’d even plopped into his metal office chair.
“It’s very different than living in a house,’’ he said, passing out a questionnaire to my husband and I. We had to fill out paperwork before the guy would even take us as his clients. I knew it would be a perfect match: he and us and us and the loft.
However, as I sit writing this on the roof of my building some months later, watching the sun rise above the fourth street bridge and backlight the Verdugo Mountains, I can see how living in one open room has its challenges.
For one, I’ve had to unlearn years of slovenly behavior. Turns out, everything has its place. Like Tetris, you just have to learn to place it correctly.
When I met Dan, I marveled at how this bachelor lived in a tiny Long Beach apartment with nary a sock on the floor. He made his bed, dishes were in the cabinets (he didn’t even have a dish washer) and the only things on his desk were a computer and cup of pens. The notebook usually protruded from his back pocket. He had no washer or dryer in the unit, yet somehow crumpled socks and yesterday’s boxers found their way into the hamper, which never overflowed onto the floor.
My floor was my hamper. In Burbank, I prided myself on the piles I stacked about my desk, office and room. Grandma lived with me at the time, but she never came into my room, nor rolled into the wash room, her wheelchair stymied by the step. I cleaned her clothes and dishes every day, and her sheets every other day, but never bothered to toss in my towels or trousers. They just piled up until they fell over.
Some time after Dan moved in, I threw a towel over the largest piles as we were having guest over for a barbeque.
“Do you think you’ll ever do all of your laundry, dear?’’ Dan asked through grtitted teeth?
“I don’t know. It’s in the laundry room. Who sees the laundry room?’’
In a loft , everyone sees everything.
Our unit is a spacious, open room that we’ve hung sliding doors to wall off our bedroom and the closet/guest bedroom. Yes, the closet and guest room are one in the same. Another thing about loft living – it’s only for you if you enjoy creating interesting uses of space. The unit came with zero closet or cabinet space. You know all that crap you have in your garage? Purge when you move out, purge again when you move in. Then give away that stained Mickey Mouse sweatshirt from Great Aunt Hilde because something better should hang in the closet you might need to build.
All those errant clothes and dusty boxes filled with stuff I don’t remember that sucked up every inch beneath my bed for years in Burbank?
Our bed is on a riser now, completely visible from the main living area. Who wants to be eating dinner wondering if those gnarled socks are the cats’ chew toy, or something I wore for a sweaty afternoon run?
The piles of clothes and stacks of laundry?
We downsized our hampers so each holds about two loads. When I can’t jam one more fiber in there, it’s time for Tide.
And my husband’s all-time biggest pet peeve about my Oscar Madison-style house keeping: shoes strewn about like the aftermath of a Macy’s sale. Now, unless they’re on my feet, they’re on a shelf in the closet/guest room.
The running joke is, “Have you slept in the closet yet?’’ But in reality, it’s a creative space that accommodates a full-sized inflatable mattress, plus guests enviously eye the order we’ve achieved in life, just by having everything in its rightful place…Except for his boots. And that helmet.
This posting is sponsored by: http://www.LoftLivingLA.com
by Donna Huffaker Evans
Growing up, neighbors were people on the periphery of our lives. We waved to them across the fence, or nodded as they drove by, but neighbors weren’t friends and vice versa.
“Well, we don’t need them knowing all our business,’’ Mom quipped, as if the guy two yards away might’ve sold our grilling secrets to the Soviets.
Mom never borrowed a cup of anything from anyone, and no one on our street ever just popped over, like Ethel did to Lucy or Larry did to Jack on Three’s Company.
Of course those TV characters lived in apartments, not houses, so proximity was on their side. Mom, like many people, looked at owning a home as a step above apartment living, where you don’t have to smell other people’s dinners or find out at an unfortunate hour that the neighbor above you really, really enjoys thrashing to the sounds of Slayer.
I wanted it all, minus Slayer. I hoped for a home where neighbors knew my name, and I, theirs. Robert Frost wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.’’ I wanted neighbors who made good friends. Friends who could help you out of a jam, should one arise.
When you live alone, though, you get pretty crafty at doing things yourself rather than asking for help. Furniture’s too heavy? Plop one end on a rug and drag. Can’t open the jelly jar? Use that rubber twist-off thing. Lock yourself out? Stash extra keys everywhere. And yes, give one to your neighbor.
It’s been a long time since I’ve lived alone, and I’ve never had to ask a neighbor for help. Milk? Yes. Ice? Yup. But not assistance.
You could say Dan has spoiled me. In the past, I’ve relied on him to reach the screaming fire alarm or hoist the heavy pan from the oven depths. And when a dress zipper snags, Dan’s the one who guides it back into place and latches the little hook that otherwise would require a good yoga stretch.
But on Tuesday, hours after he was safely at work and 20 minutes until I needed to be at an interview 10 minutes away, I’d zipped myself into a situation. Seems I’d grown out of the little yellow dress that, at one time, had left lots of room for growth. My freshly moisturized hands slipped every time I yanked the zipper upward.
Sweat beads rolled down my reddened face as I realized unzipping it was no longer an option.
My neighbor, Mark! Sure, I was new to the loft, but I’d talked to him several times, and we’d cocktailed and barbecued on the roof. I doubted neither my husband nor his boyfriend would mind my asking him to help me dress.
Turns out, my pleading text was lost in translation, but after he ROFL, he asked how he could help. By that point, needle nose pliers saved the day – and the dress – and I arrived to my meeting perspiring, but prompt.
Hours later I bumped into Mark at the mailboxes.
“That dress looks great on you! How’d the interview go?’’
Now that’s a good neighbor. Good friend? Here, they’re one in the same.
Story is sponsored by:
By Donna Huffaker Evans
One of the first things you learn as a reporter is to be super nice to the court clerk. To all of the public servants actually, as they hold the keys to the kingdom. Or at least the file that you desperately need to peruse. While it’s easier to smile at someone already smiling, I rather like the challenge of penetrating a wall of grump.
I braced for a gaggle of grumps in Los Angeles city government.
In Burbank, the bureaucrats were smiling before I even approached the window. Odd, I thought, but maybe it was because the city government was a manageable size. In fact it was solely due to Burbank Fire Department’s rapid response time that I chose to stay in the Media City when my 93-year-old Grandma moved in with me. Grandma was awesome, unlike the thieving relatives who attempted to financially bleed her dry. Back in 2002, at the age of 31, very single and a full-time reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, I found myself the caretaker for a nonagenarian in failing health.
So when the police raided the relatives’ house, and arrested them, that left the placement of my ever smiling Grandma to me. I opted for my home rather than the old folks home. But because they’d taken such poor care of her – no exercise of any kind – her leg muscles atrophied to the point that she could not climb the eight steps into my building, let alone the 22 that led to my door.
There I am, explaining to Grandma that the relatives would be going to jail for what they were doing, all the while trying to figure out how to get her out of my 1994 Mustang and into the apartment. Then it hit me: The Burbank Fire Department. How many times had I heard my scanner, years earlier at the Burbank Leader, squawk, “Old woman, trouble breathing,’’ moments before the sirens roared to the victim’s rescue.
In true Mayberry fashion, I asked the BFD if they could carry Grandma into my apartment. Minutes later, an engine arrived with many, many handsome men who hoisted her out of the car and into a stretcher-type chair. Surrounded by six hard-armed firefighters, Grandma blurts, “See, Donna, I can get a man. I can get six of them.’’
Every other encounter I had with a Burbank official after that was equally pleasant. And while I’ve had drinks in the backyard of Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski’s house, I don’t expect to toast Antonio any time soon.
Customer Service Surprise
However I also didn’t expect calling Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar’s office would be as pleasant. Sure the residents of Downtown Los Angeles have been warm and welcoming, but what about the bureaucrats?
All of our furniture and worldly possessions had been stored in a POD for several months. Delivering the POD to unload it promised to be tricky, as my loft doesn’t have a driveway, merely a loading zone that I crossed my fingers would be available at 7 a.m. on that Saturday. The real problem, though, was the warning from the PODS people: “If we get a ticket for being parked on the street too long, you pay for it.’’
Well how long was too long?
I could’ve researched it, but I wanted to check out the customer service of my new city’s seemingly bloated bureaucracy. So I called the District 14 council office. I explained the issue and furrowed my brow when the gent on the other end asked for my number so someone could get back to me. My first big city blow off. Awesome.
I hadn’t finished typing the text to my husband, slamming the sloths of Los Angeles government, when the phone rang.
“Hello, Mrs. Evans? This is [so-and-so] from Councilman Huizar’s office. First of all, welcome. I understand you have some concerns about your POD?’’
The official went on to explain as long as it was picked up in a day or so, there would be no problem. Then he told me to have a nice day.
Day? It’s going to be a nice Downtown life.
This article is sponsored by: http://www.LoftLivingLA.com
By Donna Huffaker Evans
Nothing sours me more than paying a buck for a lemon at the grocery store.
This is Southern California, where, since I moved here in ’96, I’ve fancied myself a citrus liberator. Always keeping an eye out for overgrown grapefruit trees or low-hanging lemons. In Burbank, if I needed an orange, I pulled it from our tree. If my cocktail demanded a garnish, I reached over the fence and helped myself to the north side of the neighbor’s lemon-lime hybrid. Eventually I plucked clean the portion I could reach, so there was only one thing to do: buy a picker and gather from the top.
By the time it took a circus maneuver to retrieve any more, I shifted to plan C: the U.S. Bank on Olive Avenue. Rows of trees, loaded with lemons, some so ripe they’d fall into the bag with only a nudge.
I loved everything about my citrus liberation – especially the dirt. It was authentic. The last thing I want is to stand in some pristine grocery store aisle surrounded by fruit that’s been sanitized for my protection. And add to my annoyance the exorbitant price of $1 per lemon.
“What are you going to do once we’re downtown,’’ my husband asked, as I brushed chunks of dirt from Burbank’s last plundered pickings.
I have to admit, he’d stumped me.
We have lived in our Arts District loft for a month now, and while the neighborhood is rich with murals, poetry, eateries, film shoots and myriad architectural gems, it’s woefully devoid of citrus trees. Magnolia, jacaranda, crepe myrtle trees a plenty, but nary a fruit in sight.
The farmers’ markets, right? There’s a Certified Farmers Market at City Hall on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and one on the Bank of America Plaza Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Well, as an editor for Patch, I work from home about half the week, the other half in the community I cover. I kept thinking with a four-hour window, I could plan my day to hop on the A Dash trekking west, collect my organic bounty, and return in plenty of time to post another few stories.
Inevitably, my police scanner will squeal and by the time I return, the vendors are long gone.
But that’s how I found Grand Central Market.
A Downtown institution since 1917, Grand Central Market is like a progressive party in a multi-ethnic neighborhood. You can grab a taco after getting a Chinese massage across from the Pupuseria , buy gobs of low-priced produce to go with your red snapper filet, and pick up a prescription, all while waiting for your photo to print on a T-shirt in the basement.
As I perused the different pockets of produce, I noticed that none offered organic testimonials, but all looked like they might have come from someone’s back yard. The lemons weren’t glinting beneath the lights, and they were priced right: 89 cents a pound. Of the pile I picked through, six were sprinkled with dirt.
"Downtown Dishing" is presented by http://www.LoftLivingLA.com
By Donna Huffaker Evans
Me: “This is not the suburbs!’’
Him: “Babe, we live in Burbank.’’
Me: “But there’s a liquor store at the end of our block!’’
This alone, I reasoned, catapulted my residential status into the likes of our friends who lived in lofts Downtown. I liked the way they walked everywhere, rode the Metro to hit Hollywood and always mentioned a new restaurant, or pointed out how some ghastly bar just turned gastro pub fabulous.
In reality, it took me a good 40 minutes to hoof to a strip of bars or selection of non-chain eateries. I drove more than I walked, and as much as I tried to utilize public transit, the closest red line stop required wheels or gobs of extra time.
But what I envied most about our Downtown friends was their sense of community – the very thing the suburbs were supposed to provide. I met Mike and Kathryn’s friend from the Rowan once – once – and weeks later as I walked down Spring Street, this woman flailed her arms like she was signaling a plane. She was saying hi to me. I’d lived on the same street in Burbank for 10 years and the most my neighbors ever talked to me was when their kid kicked a soccer ball through my window.
So we packed our stuff, sold our house and moved to the Arts District. We’ve been at Molino Street Lofts for one month and in that time the residents have hosted a cookout and asked me to join the social committee. We’ve gone out to dinner a few times with folks we just met. Several dinners at several restaurants – all within walking distance.
People smile and say hello here. They hold the door for you. They apologize if their chair bumps you. It’s like the south without racism.
Last week, on a Facebook group for the Arts District, residents chatted wildly about an adorable scraggly dog that looked to have been dumped out of a car. He appeared hungry and certainly skittish. Several residents caught him long enough to hand-feed him, but then he dashed away. Naturally they named him Dasher.
Back and forth the comments flew: who’d last seen him, where. Had he been given any water? Did anyone have a friend looking for a dog (it’s Downtown – someone is always looking to adopt a dog). One after another they strategized about how to capture the little guy and nurse him back to a healthy size. All for a dog no one knew.
That’s a community – and a community I’m thrilled to call my home.
"Downtown Dishing" is presented by http://www.LoftLivingLA.com
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