Common condo lingo

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February 28, 2005 // UPDATED 1:52 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Nicholas Forte
Nicholas Forte

The Downtown condo market contains terms that can seem a bit squishy for the unintiated buyer. For example, what's the real difference between "loft" and "loft-style"? And when is a "loft" not a loft at all?

Here's a quick glossary of terms to know:

Loft - a space that has typically been converted from a factory space to residential space. It usually includes an upper level area that overlooks a room or space below and an unpartitioned space. Generally, the floor plans are open without interior spaces blocked off by walls.

Loft-style - commonly refers to an industrial dcor or architecture, with characteristics including exposed bricks, heating ducts and polished concrete. Usually in older buildings but, lately, builders are creating spaces to mimic older structures to give an industrial loft feel. They don't always feature strict open floor plans of a loft.

Town homes or townhouses - condos that can have two to four levels. They usually share structural walls with a neighboring unit that in turn are clustered together in a larger freestanding building.

Some new condo developments, such as The Nicollet, a 50-story building planned for 10th & Nicollet, have several levels of multi-floor units they call townhouses before giving way to single-floor condos.

Condominiums - condo for short. These are properties wherein a person owns a specific space in the building referred to as a unit. They're multi-occupancy buildings - like apartments - and within the building(s), there are typically common areas of shared ownership with all of the dwelling owners in the building(s). These co-owned areas include sitting areas at central entrances and common entertaining spaces in the complex.

Studios - these are properties within a multi-occupied building that feature a living space, a bathroom and a kitchen area. In most studios, the bathrooms are the only enclosed space in the unit with interior walls. Studios have less square footage compared to condos and town homes.