Shaking hands when buying a loft in Manhattan

Buying a loft in Manhattan

Do you love the idea of living in a wonderful NYC loft? It certainly looks a lot different than a traditional home. High ceilings and wide-open spaces look very comfortable and appealing. But, if you’ve decided to start over in Manhattan and get a loft here, you should know that buying a loft in Manhattan is not very cheap. The reason is simple – there’s a limited number of lofts in New York, but their popularity has increased. So, let’s see how to best approach this situation and get the most of it.

Buying a loft in Manhattan

Is it actually possible buying a loft in Manhattan for under 1 million dollars? Let’s say that it might be possible, but it’s very difficult to find one. Actually, it’s almost impossible to find one for this price in hot locations:

  • Dumbo
  • Williamsburg
  • Queens
  • The Bronx

However, if it’s even possible to buy a condo in New York, you might want to look them up in Brooklyn. Even if you do buy one, the chances are it’s going to a smaller loft and one of the cases of condo conversion.

A well-lift loft
Living in a loft offers a different experience

Industrial or residential use?

If you go to the outer areas, you’ll find industrial-buildings owners who are still satisfied with renting out their buildings for industrial purposes. That’s the reason why they don’t have a real need to convert their property into residential real estate. But, if you’re getting closer to the inner circle if you’re moving to a new part of Greenwich Village, you can find converted lofts there. But, because of the price, you might want to consider smaller ones.

Abandoned industrial space
It’s not cheap converting industrial spaces

Smaller lofts

Should the size of the loft discourage you from buying this property? With the high price of apartments in NYC, smaller apartments are quite normal. And there’s a way to deal with your belongings you no longer use. Now that storing your belongings is simple, smaller lofts are an option that you should definitely consider.

What is a loft?

Spaces that were built for industrial use, but later they were redesigned to be used for residential purposes, are called lofts. The reason why they are so specious is that they weren’t made as apartments. However, this is what makes them so hot on the market.

Artists are to be blamed

During the 60s and 70s, artists started to fall in love with lofts. They inhabited these spaces, even if they weren’t most practical. They were drafty, sometimes without running water even. But this was where the magic happened, the place where creativity flow. With the popularity of those artists, lofts became popular, too. Even people who weren’t artists and didn’t have the tendency to become artists could see the appeal in big windows and well-lit open space.

Are they more expensive than traditional apartments?

Buying a loft in Manhattan can definitely be more expensive than investing in traditional apartments. The reason is that the developers are investing quite a lot, in order to change their industrial use. And be sure that they’re going to include it in the price. But, what if you find a space that you want to convert yourself? It definitely depends on the particular situation. In general, the limited number and high demand make that very pricy.

Are they better than traditional apartments?

It’s not an easy question to answer since it comes down to personal preference. Some people like having so much open space, as it gives them room to do something with it, even make separate rooms. Other people, however, don’t like exposed pipers, or bricks. But, these “downsides” are exactly the reason why others love lofts so much. Either way, if you like having people over, open space is great for accommodating them.

Nicely designed loft with exposed bricks - very popular with people buying a loft in Manhattan
Some people search for the exposed brick walls when buying a loft in Manhattan

The downsides

Even if you love lofts, they have some downsides. For example, some are located in the blocks where spaces are used for different purposes. Having a manufacturing company close is a problem, because of the noise. Also, you probably won’t find features like doorman and gyms, that most of the regular condos have. And similar to making your office beautiful, you’ll have to use one theme when decorating.

Looking for the property

Looking for the property and planning the move is a challenge. And that’s especially when organizing your long-distance move. But, this shouldn’t distract you from getting dealing with brokers and sellers the way that you should. And that is, by taking everything they say with a grain of salt. It’s in their best interest to sell you the apartment. Even if it’s not worth the money. So don’t fall for the usual tricks for creating a sense of urgency.

Picking the right property

Before making the decision, look as many as apartments as possible. This is not a cheap investment, so you don’t want to make a mistake when you can avoid it. A small downside can become a big problem if the cost of the repair turns out to be higher than expected. Also, when checking out the property, write down your impressions and don’t expect to remember everything.


It’s crucial to know what to look for in an apartment. But, it’s also necessary to know to play the bidding game. And it’s a game because there are rules and you have to learn them. And while it might not be the game you like playing, it is a game you have to play. Here are a couple of tips:

  • Start low – it’s easy to go up from that point when buying a loft in Manhattan
  • Bluff, even if it’s not too much for you to pay for a certain property
  • Walk away if the price is too high, pretend to walk away
  • Practice on the properties you don’t really want

Final word

Do not rush when buying a loft in Manhattan. Look for the right opportunity, but also be patient and wait for one. It might even take a couple of months before you find the perfect loft. Instead of becoming desperate, use this time to research the market. Also, even if you aren’t interested in buying the particular property, notice the brokers’ and sellers’ reaction and become good at playing their game. It’s a skill that you’re going to find very useful.

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