By Terry Black, Realtor
I’ve consulted several owners and relied on personal experience being an owner of a property with a secondary suite apartment. There were so many. I’m presenting just 7 Pros this month (maybe more next month) and Cons in a future article.
1. Improving one’s property
Whether an owner lives at the same address as the secondary suite or not there are benefits to having a nicer property. Whether structural, cosmetic or privacy related, add value to the neighbourhood or an energy efficiency improvement there is satisfaction in bettering one’s property.
Income above expenses is a good thing. It creates the ability to borrow additional money for other things (if reported on an income tax return) and funds maintaining the property itself or adding additional improvements.
3. Income Earned can be Invested
Whether they be GIC’s, stocks, equities, property or other type of investment having investment income is a hedge against future costs and an opportunity to help others in need.
4. Provide Housing for People
Not everyone can afford to buy a property for themselves or decide to rent not buy. In an era of housing shortage, it is good to assist others in their housing need while having income to offset costs and make a reasonable profit in return for risk.
5. Problems Are Known
If you live at the property and something breaks down or a tenant misbehaves there is an advantage in that you will know soon. Thus, you will mitigate against further damage and have opportunity to deal with the problem quicky.
6. Make A Friend
While some would argue that it is not reasonable for an owner to become friends with a tenant I disagree. Having been a landlord for 21 years it feels good to chat with a former tenant and catch up on how they are. This is unlikely if they misbehaved but could be an opportunity, nonetheless. Sometimes it is an opportunity to practise grace and forgiveness.
7. Develop a Trades Contact List
Most people need help with their property at some time. Few people are good at every trade and some work is dangerous or not lawful to do without proper training and insurance. It helps to know good tradespeople that are familiar with you and willing to help to do a needed repair or improvement.