How to Add a Suite to a House – 5 Things to Look For

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One way to boost your rental income on a property is to add a suite to a house.

The cost of adding a suite is often a small investment compared to the returns it generates. When you add a legal suite you’ll often find it also adds a ton of value to the property. The hard part, we’ve discovered, is finding a house where it’s going to be relatively cost effective to add the suite.

We searched for months to find a property where it made sense for us to add a legal suite. The perfect property for suiting finally found us. Someone who had received our yellow letter several years ago had saved the letter and just contacted us now – ready to sell her property.

We thought it was PERFECT for suiting. It was in our target area, untouched since it was built in 1980, and fit our criteria for adding a suite. We closed on it last week and demolition is nearly complete.

We’re chronicling the adventure for you in a video series.

In the first video I explain the 5 things to look for when you add a suite to a house.


You’ll have to watch the video for all the details, but the 5 things we look for when we’re searching for a house to add a legal suite to are:

  1. Entrance Points: How do the tenants get into the suite and the main home?
  2. Heating Sources: Is there a furnace that has ducts that need to be closed off or is it baseboard heating?
  3. Flow of the property and how the suite can flow when added in: So many suites lack flow because it’s awkward to put it into an existing home. Considering how it’s going to flow is important which is why we are removing 3 walls in this project and adding one.
  4. Where are your plumbing and electrical systems relative to where you’re putting in the kitchen, appliances and any bathroom changes you need to make. One of the most significant costs of suiting revolves around electrical labour. The easier it is to separate the units the less you’ll pay. And can the electrical system handle the added load or does it need more?
  5. Where will the laundry be for each suite?

There is more to consider, like purchase price, rents, location and condition of the property but generally speaking if those things are great (And in this case this property is in our #1 focus area and is in great shape – just needs cosmetic love) then the other items are the important ones on our checklist for finding a property to add a legal suite to.

Want more videos in this series? Here’s how to add a suite to a house – week 3 update.

 

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