Loft Tour Charity event this weekend

29 Apr 2015 · by ChrisSampaio

Come tour a selection of the most unique, artistic, and architecturally significant living spaces that define the unique Downtown LA lifestyle at the second annual INCREDIBLE LA LOFTS TOUR!  This fundraiser benefits the local and international service projects of the Rotary Club of Downtown Los Angeles.

This self-guided tour will take you through twelve lofts in the Historic Core, allowing you time to enjoy a leisurely stroll through ever evolving Downtown Los Angeles.  Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online HERE

2015 RDTLA Incredible LA Lofts Tour

Why Use Wood-Look Tile in your Loft?

24 Apr 2015 · by Virtual Results PubSub


A newer trend sweeping the building industry is the use of wood-look porcelain or ceramic tiles. While natural wood flooring is still an optimal choice for most Lofts, here are some reasons you may want to take a second look at wood-look or wood-grain tiles:

Humidity situations:

  • Moisture: if you live in a humid or moist climate, natural wood may succumb to warping or swelling when exposed to excess moisture. Fluctuations in humidity levels where the level in the air is higher than the level in the wood can cause a condition known as “cupping.” Cupping is when the floor has a washboard appearance and feels uneven underfoot.
  • Lack of moisture: in the reverse situation, where the wood has more moisture than the air, the moisture in the wood evaporates and causes shrinkage. In plank wood flooring, gaps may form between the planks. Parquet flooring exposed to low humidity may loosen and break apart. Even in typically high-humidity areas, running a furnace in the winter can reduce indoor humidity enough to damage wood flooring.
  • Properly laid porcelain or ceramic wood-look plank tiles give the rich look of wood, but do not swell or shrink with excess humidity or arid conditions.

Temperature control:

  • In warm climates, the cost of air conditioning can be a budget breaker. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are cooler to the touch and can help reduce the need for excessive air-conditioning.
  • At the same time, ceramic and porcelain tile is not as cool to the touch as marble, for example, so in colder climates it is not too cold in the wintertime. If your climate tends to extremes, you can mitigate the cold flooring in winter by installing radiant or hydronic (circulate water) heating mats under the tile.


  • Tile comes in five varying grades of durability rated from light traffic to extra heavy traffic. The choice of tile should reflect the traffic and use that it will receive. Tile strength is graded by the Porcelain Enamel Institute and rated for hardness from Group 0 (only wall tile) to Group 1 (I, or PEI1) through Group 5 (V, or PEI5).
  • Compared to wood or carpet, ceramic or porcelain tile is water, stain and wear resistant. That means you can get a wood look in your kitchen or bath and not worry about damaging the floor if your dishwasher floods or the kids start a water fight in the shower.
  • Scratches can mar the look of wood flooring, requiring expensive sanding and refinishing. Laminate flooring like Pergo cannot be repaired once scratched—those individual planks need to be replaced. Depending on the grade, ceramic or porcelain tile is nearly impervious to scratches from normal wear and tear, so if you’re one of those Loftowners that like to move the furniture every week or two, but love the look of wood flooring, wood-like tiles are a win-win.

Resale value

For Loftowners, along with all other considerations is the concept of resale value and return on investment (ROI). Wood flooring increases Loft values, but wood-look ceramic or porcelain tile can add the same or similar value over the long-term. Additionally, tile often is less expensive to install, so your return on investment can be even greater.

The best choice is the choice that fits you and your family’s lifestyle, continues to look good for years and is easy to maintain.


Lofts — Not Just for the Young

16 Apr 2015 · by Virtual Results PubSub

LoftsAs a real estate trend, loft living is here to stay. Originally thought of as live/work spaces for artists and musicians, the term “loft” evokes transformed warehouses and industrial spaces with exposed brickwork, open pipes and electrical conduits and other industrial-type accoutrements such as old wood or concrete floors. While the original concept of a loft is the transformation of an old commercial building into big, open living spaces, modern lofts can include new construction and spaces with walls, too. Buyers drawn to loft living include historic artistic residents, young professionals and even empty nesters and Baby Boomers.

Easy care

While artists are looking for more space and young professionals want to be nearer to work and nightlife, empty nesters desire the spaces as an answer to their need for less demanding upkeep. With no yard to mow or flowerbeds to tend, roofs to replace or leaves to rake, the urban life is a great draw for active mid-life professionals once their children leave home.

Easy access

Living in a warehouse just for the sake of living in a warehouse is not what we’re talking about here. Even in small communities, downtown living typically means being nearer to activities, theatres, public libraries, medical care, shopping, offices and public transportation. For some, living nearer to the places they like to go means they’ll actually get to experience events more often. Leaving work, driving home to the suburbs only to turn around and come back into the city for a show, concert, gallery opening, etc. is a huge effort compared to stepping out the front door of your loft building and walking a couple blocks to the theatre district.


As urban loft living grows in popularity, the strict definition of a loft as a transformed warehouse, commercial or industrial building has given way to some new construction and to the so-called “soft lofts.” Due to the popularity of actual converted lofts, savvy developments replicating some of the features of traditional lofts into new construction offer an option for urban loft-style living in newly-built buildings that take advantage of the urban atmosphere and open floorplans. But, they offer lower-cost utilities with the use of more ecologically designed windows or more efficient heating and cooling options. Often, soft-lofts use recycled materials and renewable resources. Additionally, rather than one large space, a soft-loft may have actual walls dividing bedrooms from kitchens and other more traditional apartment features including built-in closets.


A most compelling reason for loft living in an urban area is the sense of close community that many residents claim from living and working near to where they also shop and play.

If you’re interested in learning more about loft-style condominiums or commercial buildings that might make a great loft conversion, we can guide you through the ins and outs. Give us a call today and we’ll get started.


Final Four for Loft Buyers

10 Apr 2015 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Final Four for Home Buyers

When it comes to basketball, we only have 64 teams to narrow down into our Final Four to fill our brackets. When it comes to buying our first Loft, we have thousands of options and dozens of choices to consider, but when it all comes down to it, there are just a handful of things that are really important to new Loftowners:

  • Affordability
  • Livability
  • Accessibility
  • Sociability


Once you’ve bought your new Loft it’s too late to really consider if you can afford it. With a Loft, the bottom line of the sales contract is not the bottom line of expenses. In addition to Principle, interest, taxes and mortgage insurance, you’ll need  insurance (not the same as mortgage insurance, which only insures the bank, not you, downpayments on utilities, travel expense if you’re further away from your workplace and money to set aside for maintenance. If you’re planning on making any improvements, you’ll need to set aside money for that too. So, when you’re planning on purchasing a Loft, don’t forget to add in all the other costs to live in it once you get it.


Buying a Loft, whether resale or new introduces a host of options about appliances, numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage space and even the layout of the kitchen. If you don’t know how your family lives in a space, you may end up with a Loft is beautiful inside and out, but just doesn’t fit your living style.

In fact, you’ll find lots of stories about people that bought new Lofts only to find out that their current furniture didn’t fit. Talk about a new expense! But when you can see your furniture in the room, and start making decisions about where to place items before you’ve even made an offer, you’re probably on the right track.

Some people move to popular neighborhoods because it seems like a good investment, only to discover that none of their friends live nearby and rules of the association make it difficult for them to work on favorite hobbies. Others move to the countryside, with panoramic mountain vistas or lake views only to discover that they’d rather be in a downtown walkup.


If you don’t travel to and from your potential new Loft during rush hours, weekends and other potential traffic times, you won’t know how accessible it will be for you and your family. A lovely Loft that your family enjoys while you commute two hours each way to work is probably not the perfect choice for you. Additionally, if you’re planning to live in the Loft for many years to come, you’ll want to avoid Lofts with lots of stairs, narrow doorways and other structural items that might make it less useful as you get older.


Living out of town can seem like a dream (and for many people it is a perfect location), but if you like to go out in the evenings or walk over to meet friends at a nearby pub, you’ll find it hard going living a distance from your local haunts.

As your real estate professionals, we can help you find the perfect Loft for all the parts of your life. We won’t talk you into anything that doesn’t fit into your final four.


The Value of Professional Staging

3 Apr 2015 · by Virtual Results PubSub


Views very widely on the value of hiring a professional stager to prepare your Loft for sale. Many real estate agents swear by it and have years of sales to back up their claim. They cite their own impressions, sales history and anecdotal evidence to underscore that professional staging adds value to the Loft.

On the other hand, an academic study done in 2014 by Michael Seiler, professor of real estate and finance at the College of William & Mary and co-authors, Mark Lane, associate professor in the finance department at Old Dominion University, and Vicky Seiler, researcher at Johns Hopkins University, showed virtual tours to potential buyers with staged and un-staged scenes of the same Loft. Buyers consistently priced the Loft’s value at about the same. The conclusion of the study was that the cost of professional staging does not raise the perceived value of the Loft.

Before you nix hiring a professional stager, however, you should know that this same study showed that staging does give buyers a positive sense of a Loft’s “livability” that promotes a quicker sale. Since the Loft in the study was in the $200,000 range, the research also does not show how staging influences the sale of a higher-priced or luxury Loft.

One of the results of the study was the information that while buyers believed themselves to by savvy and not influenced by “staging,” the most often believed that other buyers would be influenced by it. In essence, they thought they would know the actual value of the Loft more than other people would and could therefore negotiate a better price. Since the Loft in question was not “real” the actual outcome of a sale was not provable.

Should you hire a stager?

In the final analysis, the value of staging falls into two categories:

  • Will the Loft sell for a higher price?
  • Will the Loft sell more quickly?

Will the Loft sell for a higher price?

A 2012 survey by HomeGain of over 2,500 realtors showed that staging increased the selling price of Lofts from $3,000 to $3,900 and that the return on investment was more that 4500 percent. In the same study, 73 percent of the agents surveyed recommended staging.

According to ASP®, the Accredited Staging Professional training organization, citing a report by The International Association of Loft Staging Professionals®, staged Lofts sell for an average of 17 percent higher price. On a lower priced Loft—say under $200,000—that 17 percent would only be $3,400 and so the cost of professional staging may seem like a wash. On a $750,000 Loft, however, that same 17 percent will amount to a whopping $127,500 back in your pocket.

Will the Loft sell more quickly?

According to The International Association of Loft Staging Professionals® study, staged Lofts sell within an average of 11 days. Agents that swear by staging, their Lofts spend 73 percent LESS time on the market and are subject to fewer concessions to the buyers.

Who do you believe?

When the market is strong, many agents believe that staging may be unnecessary because properties already receive multiple offers. In a softer market, or a specific price range however, staging your Loft may lift it above the competition.

Answering the claims against staging by the academic study, LoftGain points out that staging is more that just painted walls and well-placed furnishings. True staging appeals to multiple senses including smell, mood, temperature, sight and memory.

Most important is to rely on the professional recommendation of your own agent. We know your market, have studied your Loft’s competition and have a vested interest in making the best recommendations for you.