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Why Buy A Loft

When I first moved to Chicago I stayed with my friend Andrew while looking for a place to live. He lived in a tremendous loft in the River West area. The place had once been a shoe factory and now was primarily occupied by artists. The ceilings were at least twenty feet high and the room was so big my friend often rode a bike from one end to the other.

"If youíre going to live near downtown, you need to get a loft," my friend told me. "No apartment will ever be this cool."

He was right. Windows that stretch out of reach, hardwood floors, exposed brick and walking distance to anywhere, the loft was by far the best deal around. For the same money I might have spent on a tiny two-bedroom a half an hour outside of downtown I was finding huge lofts literally one Ďel stop away from the loop.

Usually just over $1000 a month meant a loft in Chicago complete with kitchen, bath and the cost usually included heat and water. Finding something that close to work saved me the need for a car and the aggravation of commuting. The time I once spent in traffic was now being spent at a coffee shop a block from my loft. I probably donít need to mention how much better I felt getting to work than many of my commuter co-workers!

But getting to work isnít the half of it. Chicago lofts are everywhere. Whether you want to live downtown, Lincoln Park, River North or any of the many other great neighborhoods, lofts are popping up everywhere. Most loft dwellers hunt down the neighborhood they like first, then start shopping for the best lofts.

Because of the nature of the loft, you are always close to the nightlife. Whether you want to be right on "the strip" or just nearby, the loft is ideal. No house or apartment can get as close as the loft. Some Wrigleyville lofts are so close to the Cubs you can practically buy a hotdog through your window!

I have a few friends who have found great little lofts near their school that give them a great place to live with the privacy theyíd lose in a traditional dormitory. As lofts become more attractive to college students they are likely to become harder to find, but the advantage to students is clear, especially those who want to stay in Chicago year-round instead of being booted out of the dorm at semesterís end.

Chicago lofts vary from tiny little places for students to giant two- and three-story lofts that would blow your mind. There are so many new lofts opening up regularly that you are sure to find on in the neighborhood of you choosing. The advantages of a loft over an apartment are many. But perhaps the first you will notice is just the feel of the loft. Itís definitely far different than living in a generic dry walled boxy space. Lofts definitely have the city feel that apartments lack and they canít be beat for location.

My friend Andrew was right about another thing, the view of the city is much better through a ten-foot high window!

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