To Suite or Not To Suite...That is the Question

Do you own a home with a suite that helps pay your mortgage? Or are you planning on buying a home that has a suite?

In July, Surrey council voted to allow one secondary suite per single family home. This came from surveys collected from the community that found that 63 per cent of Surrey residents support allowing a suite in all single family homes - with the most support in the Newton/Fleetwood area. This is not a new concept, Surrey has had this for decades, but the fact that this is an issue that's being discussed is something to consider. Delta is planning on following in the footsteps of Surrey and most of the municipalities already have this in effect.

A staff report on July 26, 2010 recommended that in allowing one secondary suite per single family dwelling that there would be stipulations including multiple suites in a house be prohibited, the registered owner must reside on the premises, the owner provides additional off-street parking and the owner pays appropriate utility fees to offset the added costs of city services.

Now if you are an owner of a rental property that has more than one suite, this would mean that you would have to eliminate any other suites in that home and take down walls, remove extra kitchens and have that done with permits etc. If you have a coach home and a suite in the basement, you would have to eliminate the basement suite. This would be a big cost to the owner and loss of income. On the other hand, if you are planning on buying a home with a suite or suites in order to help pay for your mortgage, then you will want to be aware of this. As real estate agents, we help our clients by researching, doing our due diligence, checking zoning and by-laws. We provide the information and then it is up to our buyers to decide if that home is the right fit for them.

We'd like to hear from you. Where do you live? Do you have a suite as a mortgage helper? Do you own rental properties? Or do you oppose suites in homes?

If you have a real estate related question you'd like us to answer or have any other comments, contact us:
Greg and Liz Holmes, The Holmes Team 


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