Buying a suited home in Lethbridge can be a very good idea. It can mean extra income for you if you are looking for just a revenue property, or you may want to live in one suite and rent out the other. Before looking for a suited home in Lethbridge, be sure to be aware of the pros and cons of buying one. (check out our list of Legally suited homes in Lethbridge)
EXTRA INCOME: You may want to live in the home yourself, and rent out a suite for extra income. It may be just the extra you need so that you can comfortably manage your mortgage payments.
CLOSE, BUT NOT TOO CLOSE: Suited homes are great if you have a relative or friend that you want to live close to you, but still maintain some of your privacy.
GREAT REVENUE: If you are buying a suited property solely for revenue, you are likely to get more money for 2 suites, than you are for one home.
SOMEONE AT HOME: Sometimes, homeowners may need to travel frequently on business or for other reasons. If there is a reliable tenant in the home all the time, it can make these people feel easier about leaving for extended periods of time.
NON-CONFORMING, ILLEGAL: Unless it is explicitly stated otherwise, a suite in a home is likely to be non-conforming, or illegal. That means that the city does not recognize it, and may shut it down and stop you from renting out the suite. This may happen if neighbors complain. (check out our list of Legally suited homes in Lethbridge)
PARKING: With a suited home, parking is often an issue. The people upstairs, and the people downstairs may have 2 cars each. If there are too many cars on the street, it could upset the neighbors who may call the city.
WEAR AND TEAR: With a suite, your utilities are going to be higher. There is also going to be increased wear and tear on the property.
UTILITIES: Splitting the utilities between upstairs and downstairs can be quite troublesome. It may be easier to have utilities included in the rent.
LACK OF PRIVACY: Although the suites are separate, there is still somewhat of a lack of privacy. Laundry may need to be shared, and there can be a lack of soundproofing in some homes. That means you can hear everything.
TENANTS ALREADY IN HOME: There may be tenants already in the home that you want to buy. This will usually mean a 90-day possession of the home, as the owner needs to give them notice when it is sold. It also makes it more difficult to arrange a showing of the home as the tenants need to be given at least 24-hours notice of showings, and showings cannot be arranged on Sundays. If you wish to buy the home and keep the existing tenants, this can be a PRO.
In 2009, Lethbridge put forth a new Pre-Existing Secondary Suites bylaw to ensure life safety and the continued availability of safe affordable housing in single family residential zones.
Suites that were in existence before January 1, 2007 can now be legalized by bringing the suite up to current building and fire codes.
Some of the things that the city is looking for include:
-bedroom windows large enough
-hardwired smoke alarms in place
-condition of heating and ventilation systems.
For more detailed information, please check the city of or to arrange for an inspection of a suite that you own, call the Fire Prevention Branch at (403)320-3811 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in purchasing a suited home, please give me a call or send me an email. I maintain a list and keep track of the suited homes available in Lethbridge.