Ask an Expert: Laurin Jeffrey, real estate agent
Toronto’s Laurin Jeffrey is real estate agent with a fondness for lofts. He’s worked with Century 21 for seven years. We asked him all about soft lofts, work/live zoning rules, and why finding cheap spaces to convert is becoming near-impossible.
Denise Balkissoon – The Grid
How did you start learning about lofts?
I’m an old-building geek. I love old factories and old houses—they have so much more character than a lot of the newer stuff. I’m also an avid photographer, and I’ve taken lots of photos of old and abandoned buildings.
How do you feel about new buildings billed as “soft lofts”?
I’m opposed to people portraying them as equal to a converted factory. They have their own niche. I like a lot of them; they’re modern and clean. But a condo with high concrete ceilings is not a loft.
Are Toronto lofts zoned for live/work use?
The vast majority are not, but that’s another misunderstanding. A true live/work space means it’s zoned so that you can operate a business without living in it if you like. But you don’t need special zoning to work in your dining room. It’s only if you have employees or clients coming in. True live/work zoning means paying part of your property taxes as a commercial enterprise, and that would be way higher.
Do some buyers have unrealistic expectations about lofts?
People think they’ll get 2,000 square feet of raw space in a grubby old building for $200,000 and finish it off themselves. Maybe 20 years ago. Anyone with the wherewithal to buy an old building and convert it has done so. There’s nothing to convert. Trust me, I’ve been looking.
Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416-388-1960
Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.
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