I typically go on about how great second suites are for investments, showing the incredible ROI and cash flow figures when building and renting out one of these units.
One aspect I don't discuss as often is how incredibly beneficial they are for the other 98% of the people who buy real estate - owner occupiers.
With the rise in housing costs (both ownership and renting), it's obvious that having an additional housing unit on your property can come in quite handy.
Here are 5 ways owner-occupied homeowners can benefit from a legal second suite.
1. Extra space for a rental unit
The first is the most obvious (we don't need to spend too much time here). Having an extra unit that can be rented these days for an extra $1000-$2000 a month can really help out in mortgage and other expenses.
A legal unit can be rented without worry of being shut down, and can possibly even help you with mortgage qualification.
2. Extra space for family members
There's a growing trend towards multi-generational households. With rising housing and child care costs, the reduced expenses and help with kids is certainly welcomed by many.
On the flip side, adult children are staying at home longer (for the same reason of affordability), and a second suite is a great option for them.
A separate unit with its own living, sleeping, cooking and bathing arrangements allows proximity to family members while creating some separation for privacy (close, but not too close!).
3. Option to downsize to the second suite
Aging in place is a desire for many entering their golden years. Many empty nesters want to stay in their property and in their communities, without having to deal with the burden of maintaining an entire house, which they are unable to use fully anyways.
Carving out a second suite and moving into it, while renting out the main unit, can be an excellent option for many empty nesters. This allows them to reduce their workload, add security with more people in the house, and most importantly bring in extra income.
Many seniors are looking into this to allow them to help with retirement, and also travel many parts of the year. Having part of the house rented is also where the added security comes in handy when travelling, and not having to worry about your home. You’d be surprised at how many folks don’t travel because no one’s “keeping an eye on the house”. That’s no way to live.
4. Can rent out as a short-term rental unit
This is also nothing new. Unlike long-term rentals, using short term rental sites like Airbnb and Home Away can allow you to earn income as a landlord without the concern of “being stuck” with a bad tenant. You can even choose to keep the unit empty at times, or allow visiting friends and family to rent from you.
It also allows you to become an entrepreneur of sorts, focusing on providing good customer service and a good product for potentially a high fee (In Airbnb, “superhosts” get more bookings and earn more).
5. Decrease loneliness
Yes it’s not all just about dollars. Loneliness is a real issue that not enough people discuss, especially in our sprawled out suburbs, where grabbing a loaf of bread requires you to hop into your car.
Having extra occupants in your house can help alleviate the loneliness associated with suburban living (especially if you’re in the empty nester category as outlined in point 3 above).
Of course, you’ll have to ensure that you get along with the other occupant!
Beneficial to both owner-occupiers and investors alike.
So if you happen to be a owner-occupier of real estate (which I’m guessing many of your are), rest assured that your second suite is incredibly valuable. If you are an investor, you can be certain that your property will also be appealing to the average homeowner for the reasons outlined above.
Now go out there and tell your family and friends all the benefits they can expect if they only add a legal second suite to their house!