Basement Suite Calculator for Vancouver Houses

Expensive Vancouver Houses = Basement Suites

Let’s face it, single family houses in Vancouver are expensive.

To make owning a house more affordable many in Vancouver install a basement suite or purchase a house with a suite.

Basement/Secondary Suite Calculator for Vancouver Homes

The last two houses I have owned in Vancouver have had basement suites and they have had a huge difference in affordability.

Most buyers of houses in Vancouver will be looking at houses that either have suites or may plan installing a suite.

I have added this basement suite or secondary suite calculator to allow home buyers and those thinking about installing a basement to calculate both the costs and income of having a basement suite or revenue suite.

This calculator offers a very high level of detail in terms of what it will calculate the amount of equity a secondary suite will pay down on the mortgage as well as the amount of the mortgage paid by basement tenants, etc.

If you have any questions on using this calculator or need advice in regards to basement suites, please feel free to email me or call me at 604-763-3136.


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What is a Basement Suite?

A basement suite (sometimes called a secondary suite, a garden suite, or inlaw suite) is a separate living unit in the basement or lower level of a single family home that is rented out to tenants. Secondary suites range in size from studio apartments to 4 to 5 bedrooms on some houses.

Basement suites usually will include the following:

  • their own bathroom (with shower or a bath),
  • their own independent cooking facilities (could be a hot plate all the way up to a custom gourmet kitchen)
  • their own separate door
  • their own washer/dryer or may share the washer dryer with the upper level or another suite in the house.

Potential Income from a Basement Suite

A properly installed and/or authorized/permitted suite can sometimes cover up to 50% of the mortgage cost for a single family house when a buyer puts down a 20% or greater downpayment.

Authorized or Unauthorized & Permitted & Not Permitted

Many basement suites in Vancouver are not authorized and were built by non-professionals without required structural, electrical, or plumbing permits.

The bad news is that some of these suites may not meet basic standards of health or safety.

Of utmost importance, an unhealthy and/or unsafe suite may adversely affect the health of the homeowner and the tenants in the suite. If there is a fire or a flood caused by unpermitted work that was not done to code, you may not have insurance coverage to repair the damage.

The good news is the City of Vancouver likes basement suites and is aware that many are not authorized and were built by non-professionals without permits.

The City has a great policy of assisting owners in legalizing existing secondary suites that meet very basic requirements. You can learn more about City of Vancouver policies on legalizing basement suites here and here.

Thinking of Buying a House with a Basement Suite? Get Professional Advice!

If you are thinking of buying a house with a basement suite, make sure to consult with your Realtor, your home inspector, and your insurance broker.

Looking for more real estate calculators? Check out this Realtor Commission Calculator!


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