Tag: Loft Condos Ottawa

Hard Lofts

An authentic Hard Loft is a rare beast. Lofts in Ottawa are in short supply due to the nature of their origin. In order to fit this category, a former industrial or commercial use space must be converted into a residential living space. Out of this formula, some common elements arise. Old, often exposed brick, visible mechanical elements of the building such as pipes and beams, large windows and vaulted ceilings. The latter is the element from which a loft derives its name. A lofted ceiling that allows a living space to feel much larger than the square footage of the floor plan. Ceiling heights from 11 to16 ft are common.

Of special interest, will be the history of the building. The story that these conversions tell is almost as important as the design in conveying the style of the home. The original use, any subsequent commercial conversions and the date of the original construction, all contribute to setting the buildings apart. All of these factors naturally limit the height of the buildings, but not necessarily the amenities. There are Hard Lofts that also include common areas, fitness rooms and shared rooftop spaces. Of particular interest are buildings that have been reclaimed from the public domain such as schools and churches.

Soft Lofts

Soft Lofts are new builds designed to offer the space and style of a hard loft. The demand for hard lofts far exceeds availability and the costs associated with these one of a kind spaces, place them out of reach for many buyers. Here is where the Soft Loft comes to life. Builders, eager to fill the demand for open concept spaces, adopted the term loft and applied it to units which outside of the conversion elements, fit the design and style criteria of a loft.

More commonly found in low and mid-rise buildings, upper floors in high rise buildings may also have units that have been given a Soft Loft treatment. The popularity of the Soft Loft is growing along with the demand for higher ceilings, open floor plans and unique design elements. Luckily supply is high since the units are created with new builds, there is no limit on how many can hit a given market. However, due to the low supply Hard lofts are more likely to retain their value over time and suffer less vulnerability to market shifts.

One of the biggest bonuses of Soft Lofts is their inclusion in building projects that compete for best amenities. New build condos have to offer a wide and exciting range of amenities to attract potential buyers. Finding a soft loft in a building that also has the concierge, party rooms, pools, full-scale gym and rooftop BBQ’s is not uncommon. They are also not restricted by an existing structure. A soft loft can be built into any design or building, offering more options for style and layout. Developers will sometimes use the mixing of these elements. They design multiple building complexes, combining Condo units, Soft Lofts and Townhomes into a single project.

Here are our 3 favourite Hard Lofts in Ottawa:  Studio Argyle, Wallis House and Warehouse Lofts

Studio Argyle: 

Studio Argyle Condo Ottawa was built in 2000 by Domicile Developments. This unique low rise building contains 40 units spread out on 4 storeys. Studio Argyle Condo Ottawa is an eye-catching building with its prominent red brick and cream accents. Located in between Ottawa’s popular and well-known streets, Elgin Street and Bank Street, this building is in the heart of Ottawa’s Centretown. Enjoy a Sunday stroll down the Rideau Canal, or go afternoon shopping in the Glebe. Studio Argyle Condo Ottawa allows you easy access to Ottawa’s economic and social neighbourhoods. Perfect for the artsy modern student, professional or retiree these units are unique and stand out with their distinctive architecture. The lofts here are dramatic, pipe and/or brick exposed units with a feel you won’t find anywhere in Ottawa. Fireplaces in living areas, expansive outdoor terraces and gas in the kitchen and balconies make this building truly unique. Studio Argyle Condo Ottawa features a beautiful lobby with accent art pieces, elevator, underground and surfaced parking and private storage lockers.

Wallis House:

Wallis House Condo Ottawa is a classic heritage building unlike no other. Constructed in 1983 this building was originally one of Ottawa’s first modern hospitals. After the hospital closed in 1924 the building served as a seminary, barracks, veteran housing, an armoury and during the Second World War Canadian Military Soldiers occupied the building. In 1990, Wallis House Condo Ottawa was officially designated a Heritage Building by the City of Ottawa. Following this designation, Smallwood of Andrex Holdings in partnership with Wilberfoss Inc and Domicile acquired the property and converted the interior of the building to the current 46 authentic loft condominiums that were designed keeping in mind the Heritage significance of this amazing building. Cathedral ceilings, wide hallways,  and soaring windows characterize each unit, which boast a New York-style loft feeling. Beautifully upgraded, 1-2 bedroom units feature exposed brick walls, exposed ducts, fireplaces, hardwood flooring, and open concept living, with many units featuring 2 storeys for trendy loft living. Building amenities include an exercise center, security, and a rooftop terrace. Located blocks from walking paths, parks and the Rideau River, yet is still within walking distance of everything downtown has to offer.

Warehouse Lofts: 

Warehouse Lofts Condo Ottawa prior to it’s condo conversion, was a factory warehouse creating a variety of products of the years. In 2000 the building was converted into a condominium by retired Ottawa real estate lawyer, Craig Callen Jones. The condominium conversion project consisted of creating 30 open-concept unique lofts within the preexisting structure. The lofts feature inviting and well thought-out design accented by warm hardwood floors, high quality and creative built-ins, exposed brick walls, wood beams, and high cathedral ceilings! The beautiful timber beams used in the conversion project are a stand out in this building, setting it apart from other loft conversions in the city. Many units also feature exposed duct work, fire places, and beautiful staircases allowing for 2 storeys of authentic loft living. Enjoy living in Little Italy, steps away from some of Ottawa’s greatest restaurants, pubs and shops!
*Averages based off of a 5-year period

 Here are our 3 favourite Soft Lofts in Ottawa: 150 Caroline Av, Lofts at Tribeca & The Dwell

150 Caroline Av:

Welcome to 150 Caroline Av Condo Ottawa, in the heart of Wellington Village. Built in 2004 by Routeburn this low rise building contains 40 units. They come in a variety of layouts containing 1 or 2 bedrooms. The units in this building offer a lofty feel with 9″ high ceilings & floor to ceiling windows, some even include natural gas or electric fireplaces. The Penthouse condos in this building boast 2 storeys for added space with 10″ high ceilings on the top level. Every unit contains 1 private balcony, many feature an additional private terrace, that features beautiful views of Ottawa and the Gatineau Hills. Amenities at 150 Caroline Av Condo Ottawa include elevators, fob security access at all exterior building doors, underground parking, visitors parking and storage lockers. There is even a Bridgehead Cafe on the main level of this great building, convenient for morning or afternoon coffees. Enjoy being in the heart of Wellington Village, shops, cafes and restaurants at your doorstep!

Lofts at Tribeca:

Lofts at Tribeca Condo Ottawa is one of Claridge Homes newest Developments. Located at 197 Lisgar St, Lofts at Tribeca Condo Ottawa is right in the heart of Centretown. Lofts at Tribeca Condo Ottawa have 1-2 bedroom lofts available to purchase, ranging in size from 900 sq ft to 1,435 sq ft. With an average price of $519/sq ft, you don’t need to give up quality or style for affordability. These modern industrial style lofts come with designer finishing packages and custom kitchens. The building holds 20 units spread over 2 stories. On the south side of the building, there is a landscaped terrace to enjoy the view of our nation’s capital. Residents of Lofts at Tribeca Condo Ottawa have access to all of the amenities located within Tribeca Condo Ottawa & Tribeca East Condo Ottawa. These buildings offer a recreational and fitness facility, including a gym, change rooms and swimming pool with kids splash pad. A community party room as well as separate meeting rooms and board rooms and 2 guest suites are also available to residents and their guests. There is also a fabulous rooftop terrace offering amazing views of Parliament Hill.

The Dwell:

The Dwell Condo Ottawa , built by Domicile in 2007, is a great urban loft building containing 35 units located in Centretown. Although located on a quiet, tree-lined street, this building is just steps from the hustle and bustle of Ottawa’s shops, restaurants, and bars. The units are characterized by high 12 ft ceilings, hardwood floors, gas fireplaces, large windows, central air, and balconies. A unique feature of this building is the units offer gas hook ups on private balconies for residents to use for their own personal bbqs. Underground parking, storage lockers, elevators, a bike room, and secure entrances are great features that this building offers. The Dwell Condo Ottawa is ideal, perfect for either relaxing or entertaining.
*Averages based off of a 5-year period
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4 Tips To Rent the Condo of Your Dreams

Yes, the rental market is on fire! We’ve been hearing all over the country that rental inventory is low, and prices are on the rise. Everyone is focusing on this, while we should be looking at something far more important; tips to rent a condo in this market.

Before this rental boom, the old rental market was like the pace in Ottawa, slow and steady. You could afford to be 10 minutes late because most people would not notice. Now, the new rental market is like New York City: a city that never sleeps and moves at a breakneck pace… don’t be late.

Here are 4 Tips to Rent the Condo of Your Dreams:

  1. Know what you want, but be flexible

Knowing is half the battle, the other half is doing. The same goes for the rental market. Far too often, we meet with clients who don’t know what they want. All they say is, “I want to rent a 1-bedroom condo”. Great, I’ll go find a needle out of a haystack while I’m at it. Point being, before you start looking for a condo, know exactly which neighbourhood you want to call home, have a short-list of buildings you like, get a good sense of what units rent for, and know when you need to move. Now that you’re all organized to start your search, you need to be flexible like a Slinky (click here if you don’t know what it is, you’ll thank me later).  It’s super contradictory, but it’s the market we live in. A unit in your dream building may not be available for April 1st, or it may be available; just at a higher price, or it may not be available at all. Worst case, you may have to rent something that’s not perfect, but it’s only for 1 year. When it comes down to it, stick to what’s most important for your condo and for the rest, be like a Slinky!

  1. Be Prepared

We’ve seen too many instances where clients have lost deals because they weren’t prepared. I know what you’re thinking, “Zev, it’s a rental. I don’t have to be prepared. We go see a unit and put an offer in, it’s simple”! And are right, it is simple. It is also simple to have a 6 pack, live an Instagram worthy life, and live on the beach for the rest of your life; it’s just not easy (ok fine, maybe beach life would be easy). It’s not easy because it takes a tremendous amount of work to east the right food consistently, do your hair and make up and find the perfect scene, lighting, and timing for that photo, and find the perfect spot to put your beach chair to enjoy the ocean sunset with your favorite cocktail (That one’s not hard).

Now apply the “It’s simple, but not easy” principle to finding a rental. Before you go looking at condos, ask your boss for your letter of employment (with your salary), get a copy of your full credit report, make sure you have enough for your first and last months deposit, and fill out the rental application. Do the hard work now and enjoy the sunset on the beach later.

  1. Move like the Flash, Fast!

Remember when your parents told you the story of the tortoise and the hare? I can still hear my dad telling me “Zev, be the tortoise”. Let’s recreate the tortoise and the hare story in the context of the condo rental market. The tortoise is someone who looks on realtor.ca and ottawascondominiums.com periodically to find the perfect condo. They look at a new unit from time to time, ask to see a unit they like at their convenience, take a few days to figure out when to see the unit and think about putting an offer in for days. Fast forward to the hare. They are constantly checking new rental inventory through the internet, OC building alerts (shameless self-plug, but they really work), auto-searches, and hounding their agent for new units. When they see something they like, they book a showing same day and make a decision on the spot. Guess who wins? Finally, the hare!

All jokes aside, we hate when people put pressure on us, let alone our clients. This is a stressful process. There are units in certain buildings (TriBeCa) that get listed and rented in a matter of hours. We want you to have the full picture of the market so you can make the most informed decision. No one wants to lose their perfect condo by not knowing how fast the market moves. Fortunately, there are times when being the hare actually works, thank you Ottawa Rental Market!

  1. Incentives

Full price offers don’t matter in this rental market. Chances are if you have followed the advice in this post, and you’re preparing an offer; someone else is too. Yay, multiple offers on rentals! When your fortunate (not really) enough to be in this situation, the Landlord has all the control in the world. They choose which offer they want. Now, before I go into details on incentives, I want you to debunk one myth. Myth: because my offer is exactly what the Landlord wants, I have perfect credit, and a great paying job; the Landlord will pick me. I had a client that had to learn this the hard way. We got into a multiple offer scenario and advised him on which incentive to use to get him the unit. He flat out refused to offer anything else. I asked him how come and he said, “Because I’m me and I’m a great tenant”. I don’t know if there is an emoji that can effectively sum up how I felt when he said that. Anyways, his offer didn’t get accepted. But, as it turns out, the advice I gave him was right and it was the exact same advice the other agent gave to their client who won the unit.

Ok, now that you have hopefully felt the excruciating pain of that story, here are my quick thoughts on what incentives to use.

First, move in date. If you are competing with someone else, chances are you can get a quick win by moving in as soon as the unit is available (especially if the move in date is in the middle of the month).

Second, add an extra few months or a year on to your lease term. This works well between November and February and when you find a sought-after unit in a popular building. No one likes looking for a condo rental or renting a condo in the winter. Inventory is low, tenant selection is lower, and you have to move in the snow. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Finally, money. I’ll save you listening to the theme song from the apprentice. Bottom line, every Landlord likes more money. Typically, a 1.5%-3.5% over ask offer should do the trick. You can mix and match these incentives as you please to get the unit you want. Sometimes it’s better to pay a little more for what you want. As one of my client’s famously said, “I’ve seen enough condos to know, that I don’t want to keep looking. I’m happy to do what it takes to get this condo”.

Overall, the rental market is going gangbusters and we don’t expect it to stop anytime soon. Please use this as a guide to help you navigate your search. Should you need any assistance finding a condo rental in Ottawa, feel free to reach out to one of our Condo Pros.

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