Lethbridge Real Estate Basement Suites

Lethbridge Real Estate Basement Suites

One of the most popular lethbridge real estate investments is to purchase a single family home that has a suite in the basement.  These types of properties can either be used as pure revenue properties which generate 2 suites of income or quite often the owner lives in one suite and rents out the other and uses that income to offset the mortgage payment of other costs of homeownership.  Either way, these properties virtually pay for themselves which is why they are always in strong demand.


The biggest concern when looking for a house with a basement suite is considering the safety and legality of the suite.  Many of these suites violate safety standards and just do not present a safe living environment should there every be a fire in the home.  The size of the basement windows, whether they slide open or swing open, just how large the egress space of the window is, the entrance and exit to the suite, the location of the furnace and hot water heater and their proximity to walls and doors, these are just a few of the concerns that a buyer should think about before buying a lethbridge home with a basement suite.  Sometimes it is a good idea to consult a residential contractor or have a professional inspect the suite.


As far as the City of Lethbridge is concerned, the zoning for the property is very significant.  They do not want homeowner in single family neighborhoods increasing the population density by putting suites into their basements.  Suites that were in place before 1969 are generally considered to be grandfathered into existence and allowed to remain in place, but suites that were constructed, installed, or substantially renovated after that date may not be allowed and the City may demand that they are removed.  This is something which a good real estate lawyer can help you with.


Some important questions then to ask when buying a 2 suite property are: what is the zoning?  how long has the suite been in place?  does the City know about it?  was it constructed with a permit?  does it meet building code or fire code?  How large are the basment windows?  Is the basement exit accessible?  is the hvac system seperate from the other suite?  Is there a firewall protecting the occupants from a fire in the other suite?  These are all really important and it is advised that you get this information in hand for any property which you might consider buying and renting a portion of it out.  Any good Lethbridge real estate person will be more than happy to find these answers and share them with you before writing an offer.

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