Lofts are often described as cool, hip, urban and a number of other Bohemian phrases that connote a certain idealized lifestyle. Lofts often have many appealing elements, to be sure. Many people looking to break out of the dull, drab four walls often are attracted to the allure of a loft home. They often offer exposed brick walls, expansive open spaces, unique floor plans, timber beam ceilings, hardwood floors, fireplaces, and the list goes on. Lofts offer great flexibility in terms of the home layout and many are one of a kind homes.

Before jumping on the loft bandwagon, carefully consider all aspects of your choice. Is loft living right for you?

Exposed Brick. Looks good, but here's the downside. Lofts are often constructed from old factory or industrial buildings. The brick is typically very old and has begun to deteriorate. This mean dust and lime scaling. It is difficult to maintain a clean home when your walls are constantly throwing off dust. Sealing the brick in many cases is not a viable option. Insulation. That same brick may not offer you the same comfort as a modern insulated home. An exterior exposed brick wall means exactly that. You are exposed to the outside elements. The only thing between you and the outside is a layer of potentially decaying brick with no real insulation. Always consider the heating cost when considering a loft with exposed brick.

Also, take a careful look at the floor and ceiling partition. Is there an adequate sound barrier? Many lofts have flooring that was original and may not be insulated between you and your neighbors. Make sure you visit the home when neighbors are present so that you can personally judge sound insulation. 

All that space. That open floor plan looks appealing at first, but does it suit your lifestyle. Many people find comfort in defined rooms which a loft may or may not offer. Do your furnishings comport with the space? Are living areas distinct from sleeping areas? Consider what happens when a spouse, partner, guest want to watch tv when you want to sleep. A lack of doors may be sorely missed on those occasions. 

Creature comforts. Many loft building lack some of the most appealing creature comfort. Modern building, as opposed to those constructed as factories at the turn of the century, offer many amenities. Pools, gyms, common area decks, gardens, etc. may be missing. In sum, lofts are a great hip urban adventure for many. For others, they are an image that may have little practical appeal after careful consideration.