Is there a downside (ie, resale value) to buy a loft instead of condo in SF?Gabe

Asked by Gabe, San Francisco, CA Thu Dec 13, 2007

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Jennifer Dav…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Fri Dec 14, 2007
I happen to own an loft at 200 Brannan and selected this loft (aka condo) because of the building and location. So to support other comments, the value of the loft is dependent on the building. If loft living fits your lifestyle, I would work with an agent closely to select the best building!
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Melanie Nard…, , San Francisco, CA
Thu Dec 13, 2007
I lived in NYC about 17 years ago and the whole idea of "lofts" was a movement to gentrify old brick factory buildings downtown by housing artists inexpensively.

More recently, here in San Francisco, this "loft" idea, which features live/work zoning, was a building style that took advantage of light industrial zoning to build residential units - and make a profit for the developer. I have looked at buildings such as 200 Brannan, when some are advertised as lofts, and others as condo, on the mls, and I see little difference in sales price. Most "lofts" in our City are condos (which are simply a form of ownership), with "lofts" being a type of layout of the unit. As Jed has pointed out, there are buyers who love the loft layout, and others who prefer a "separate bedroom," that point out a weakness in the loft floor plan for families. Think of demographics ... we're a City with lots of young workers at the moment who do, perhaps like yourself, enjoy the City *loft* lifestyle. Location will trump your loft question.
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Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Thu Dec 13, 2007
Kevin is right on the loft vs condo issue and the numbe rof potential buyers. I wan to take another of his points and expand. The "character" of the property, everything from the exterior burb appeal all the way to the interior space. I believe that with all the new condos coming on the market over the coming years if you are going into resale you will be competing against new so try to select a condo now that has soem stand out appeal. Something that will make it attractive in the future.
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Scott Pierce, , San Francisco, CA
Thu Dec 13, 2007
Kevin's answer was pretty right is so building by building, but within the parameters he mentioned. I always tell my clients, good Realtors shouldn't let clients buy bad properties....unless they insist. When a client is looking at something that I think could have limited resale value later I ALWAYS let them know what I think. After all, that is part of the reason why you use a good Realtor.
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K Feat, , San Francisco, CA
Thu Dec 13, 2007
Hi Gabe, that's a good question. In many ways lofts are a particular floor plan that appeal to a certain segment of the home buyer populace. The open floor plan will attacts single buyers and some couples. The lack of enclosed bedrooms will be limiting as well.

With a traditional condo, you'll have a broader market. A more potential buyers will provide you with 1. less time on the market and 2. potential for higher offer prices for your unit. So, strictly "typing" off the cuff, a loft may limit your future resale value.

Having said that, some lofts have characteristics that may reach a wider audience. For example, some of the older brick and timber lofts attract more buyers due to the ambiance and character of the loft and building. Also, keep in mind location. This will matter too in your overall resale value.

I hope this helps.

-- Kevin
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