I have built numerous basement suites, which is a great way to unitize unfinished space as it gives value in the renovation and value in the cash flow that you can receive with rental income! A great way to help finance your 1st home & build equity for the purchase of your next....
The 1st thing you need is a house that can support a suite. Some would argue that you can put a suite in any home, & that maybe true, but it is a lot easier and cheaper if you get the right type and size of a house to start will. (You maybe able to put in a basement entrance, but it will save time & $$ to purchase a home that already has a basement entrance!).
There are several key factors to look for in a home if you are thinking of building a suite, even how the home is heated can be a factor, so having someone who’s done it themselves & knows what to look for and what to avoid advising you, would be a very smart decision!
There are city guidelines if you are making a legal suite. You will need to have your floor plan drawn up, all your permits in place and adhere to all safety codes & standards. I’ve gone through the process and it can be stressful and costly, but once you know the steps (& hoops to jump through) it can ensure you don’t have problems with neighbours, tenants or the city. Having a legal suite will also increase the value of your home for re-sale, as the income is guarenteed, which means the future purchasers can use that income to help finance their mortgage. Some banks may not consider rent as income, in an illegal suite as it can be shut down at any time.
Regardless of whether you make it legal or not, I would advise you use all the city standards & codes regarding fire barriers and hardwired smoke detectors. Get the permits, use the right materials and get it done right the 1st time! Believe me, it will save you thousands of dollars, time and stress!
If you are looking for a home that has a suite or suite potential, I would love to help. I have a value to renovation formula to determin if the cost of the renovation will be profitable. I also use this to determine the purchase price.
Knowing what the renovation cost will be going in will ensure you are making a profitable decision regarding your new home or an investment property.