It isn’t news to anyone that it’s expensive to live in Vancouver. If you are considering building a laneway home as a way to earn some extra income, here are some things to consider.
Laneway houses (LWH) cannot be strata titled and they are permitted in Vancouver lots with RS-1 and RS-5 zoning designations. You can check with the City of Vancouver if your home has the permissions to proceed. You may build a LWH if your site is a minimum of 9.8m (32.15ft) wide. The Director of Planning may approve a LWH on narrower lots if the site is at least 7.3m (24ft) in width, and the impact of massing on overlook and neighbourhood privacy is first considered. In order to build a LWH, your site must have access to an open lane, be located on a corner served by an open or dedicated lane, or be located on a double fronting site served by a street on both the front and rear.
Once you know if it’s even possible on your property – it’s best to consider if you simply want to become a landlord. Sharing your space with other individuals isn’t for everyone. Do some research, understand your rights, and be sure to take your time when interviewing potential tenants.
What’s Involved in the Actual Construction?
The City of Vancouver has a great page to get started regarding the permits, site surveying, architectural plans, fees and the application process.
When deciding how much space you plan to use remember the size and make up of your laneway house can make a big difference in how much rent you can charge. A small one bedroom unit around 500 sq ft may be rented out at $1,000 – $1,200, and a larger 2 bedroom unit around 750 sq ft can be rented for up to $1,800.00/month.
Regarding financing your LWH – if the construction is financed with a loan on your primary residence and rent out the Laneway house, you can qualify for tax deduction on the mortgage interest from your loan.
The Fun Part.
Rain City Renovations can help you, start to finish, with the design, planning and construction of your LWH. We custom build the space to maximize square footage so you get the maximum rental income and our quality work gives you years of reassurance that you won’t be taking incessant calls from your tenants or extended family that something has broken.
We’ll help you get started and make the construction easy and on-budget. Contact us.