Difference Between Loft and Condo

Key Difference – Loft vs Condo

Loft and condo are two housing types that are popular among the urban population. Condo or condominiums are residential units that are usually built on new high-rise buildings. Lofts are former industrial or commercial buildings that are converted into housing units. The key difference between loft and condo is that lofts often have an open floor plan whereas condos have interior walls to separate different rooms.

What is a Loft?

Lofts were originally cheap places for struggling artists to live and work. They used lofts as a combination of residence and workplace. This place is usually a large, open space above an industrial or commercial building. The concept of lofts originated in Paris; however, during the past decade, it has evolved and become popular among urban dwellers. Today, the word loft refers to an apartment-like unit which has an open floor plan (most rooms are not divided by walls) big windows and exposed fixtures. The term loft mostly applies to an upper story.

Loft apartments are apartments that are built in former industrial buildings. In real estate, there are two types of lofts: hard loft and soft loft. Hard lofts are former industrial buildings which have been converted to residential units. Soft lofts are units built in the loft style but in a newly built building.

Difference Between Loft and Condo

What is a Condo?

A condo (also known as a condominium) is a housing unit that is owned individually. It can be a part of a large high rise, a cul-de-sac of cottages or anything in between. Condos can be very similar to apartments in appearance. Condos are also available as detached single-family housing units. Condos come in different styles and sizes. In a condominium complex, single housing units are owned by different individuals, but the common areas of the buildings are owned equally by all the unit owners. The owners form a group called HOA (homeowner association) to maintain and manage a building. The common areas of the building are maintained by this association, and the members have to pay a monthly fee.

Key Difference - Loft vs Condo

What is the difference between Loft and Condo?

Floor plan:

Loft has an open floor plan.

Condos don’t have open floor plans.


Lofts are in former industrial buildings.

Condos are built in new apartments.

 Image Courtesy:

“Stunning-loft” by TNS Sofres (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

“SoNo Maritime Condo Building” By JohnOwensCT – Photograph Taken with my own Canon Camera (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia