Buying a first house, especially in Vancouver, is a big financial investment for new homeowners. For many residents, the only way to reduce high mortgage costs is to renovate and rent out basement suites. However, since 2009 there has been an increasing move toward the development of laneway suites. These suites are an excellent way of diversifying rental units. This week the City of Vancouver, announced that changes will be made to the laneway project as a means of further enhancing the development of laneway suites.
Laneway housing has been a great success for homeowners in the Lower Mainland. Not only do these suites add value to the existing property, they also provide greater opportunities for places to live in the city. In addition, laneway houses provide a rental option that is detached from the main home, providing greater privacy for homeowners.
The City of Vancouver will be making amendments to the existing laneway housing program. These changes will include encouraging one storey laneway development that is more accessible for the elderly and less impactful to neighbours. The City also plans on making laneway housing more livable by increasing floor and storage space without changing the size of suites, as well as expediting building permits.
The City has issued 800 permits for laneway houses since the launch of the program in 2009. Five hundred laneway houses have been built in the RS-1 and RS-5 single-family neighbourhoods. The amendments proposed by the City will further enhance the development and abundance of laneway suites in the city.
If you are interested in purchasing a home in Vancouver with an attached laneway suite, speak to a Vancouver real estate agent such as myself. I would be happy to provide information on the various housing options in the city or answer any questions you may have on laneway suite development. If you can do a laneway house this may push up the value for potential buyers-something every seller of Vancouver real estate wants!