The Power of Secondary Suites

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share one of my favourite quotes from Robin Sharma, whose words continue to inspire and motivate me.  gratitudeI agree that gratitude is the base of the pyramid, and that which stands as the foundation of all mastery and greatness.  Those who are grateful find happiness – and I hope to teach our children the importance of this practice.  Especially with all the world turmoil that we see, it is that much more important to be especially thankful for all the things that are easy to take for granted.
Every once in awhile (especially lately) I have mild panic attack when I see what the real estate market is doing. Appreciation numbers like 18% in one year are pretty scary, for home owners and investors alike.

With the increasing price of homes in the areas I invest, it has become more and more challenging to cashflow.  And I doubt that the trend is going to slow down anytime soon.  Areas like Oshawa, Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Barrie and St Catharines continue to be on fire as flocks of people grasp at the last affordable housing in proximity to the GTA.

A few years ago, I took the plunge and duplexed my very first bungalow.  As the saying goes – ‘When Life Hands you Lemons, You Make Lemonade!”

Now, this has become one of my key strategies and one of the reasons I am able to continue to grow my portfolio.

Even in areas like Mississauga where I work with alot of homebuyers, basement apartments are on the list of must haves for many; this is the only way they can comfortably afford a home.

I read an article that listed some of the top renovations that add value to your home.  Adding a secondary suite was top 5 and can greatly add to the affordability and hence desirability of your home.

Interestingly enough, I very rarely see legal basement apartments.  I saw a huge gap in the market here and realized it was an opportunity to create cash flowing properties with safe, beautiful basement apartments.

I just finished one of these jobs in Hamilton where I renovated a 3 bedroom bungalow and added a 2 bedroom basement apartment.

It was a lengthier process as I had to apply for City Permits and get approvals every step of the way.  But in the end I had a product that I could not be more proud to call my own.

Believe it or not I had a bidding war when I put it up for rent and had a record number of high quality tenants who wanted to live here.

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Having a unique product, spending the money on legalizing and quality finishes – yes it is painstaking at times but at the end, it allows me to continue to invest in an ever competitive market.

With a record number of immigrants who continue to land in the GTA every year, creating safe housing by utilizing often unused basement space is a way for homeowners to increase affordability and for investors to continue to cashflow.

So until next time., happy Canadian Real Estate Investing.

Jose Jafferji, REIA

Your Real Estate Investment Advisor

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