Owner occupied.

How rental suites can help Homeowners in BC.

Words byREW Editor
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The tides rise and fall, and so does the real estate market. Sometimes it feels like the ebb and flow of market prices are just too much to keep up with, but amidst a wave of ever-changing property values, there's one little lifeboat that homeowners in BC have started to clamber aboard. Let’s explore the humble rental suite.

The mortgage-helper.

Like a garden that gives back to the green-thumbed gardener, a rental suite or secondary suite can be the gift that keeps on giving. This ‘mortgage helper’ has become increasingly popular amongst homeowners in BC who are seeking to cushion their monthly expenses, all while providing affordable housing in an often-tight rental market. Let’s take a closer look at how these residential revenue generators might just change the game for homeownership in Vancouver and beyond.

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Pocketing the difference.

Imagine if you could make your mortgage pay for itself. With a rental suite, this isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. The income generated from a secondary suite can be substantial enough to offset a large portion of your monthly mortgage payments. This makes owning a home more financially manageable, especially in high-cost areas - take all of British Columbia, for example. It's like having a silent partner, contributing to your property investment month after month.

'Til debt do us part.

When you decide to rent out a suite in your property, your debt-to-income ratio becomes more favourable. How? The income you receive from your tenant is considered when lenders calculate this ratio, effectively increasing your income. This could make you eligible for better lending rates or allow you to borrow more if you choose to invest in another property. Now, that’s a strategic move in the chess game that is Vancouver real estate.

Life in the fast lane.

With an additional source of income streaming into your bank account each month, you may even find yourself in a position to accelerate your mortgage payments - you genius, you. This means you could pay off your mortgage sooner than expected, freeing yourself from the shackles of home loan debt quicker than you can say financial freedom. Plus, you'll be saving a tidy sum on interest over the life of your loan. Now that's a win-win situation.

Now, if you're thinking this all sounds too good to be true, it's important to remember that becoming a landlord isn't all roses and revenue.


To renovate, or not to renovate.

Creating a rental suite may involve renovations, and that means an upfront cost. However, think of it as a long-term investment. Over time, the rental income can cover not only your mortgage payments but also the cost of the renovation. And if you ever decide to sell your property, a legal secondary suite could increase the value of your home. It's an investment that reaps benefits now and in the future.


Property tax relief? Yes, please.

Did you know that BC offers a secondary suite property tax relief? It's called the Home Owner Grant, and it's designed to help homeowners reduce the amount of property tax they have to pay on their home. It’s just one more reason why creating a rental suite can be a smart financial move.

The not-so-fine print.

While the financial advantages of having a rental suite are compelling, it’s vital to know that landlords have responsibilities too. From ensuring the suite is legal and meets building codes, to maintaining the property and addressing tenant concerns, the role comes with its share of commitments. It's essential to understand landlord-tenant laws in BC and to treat this endeavour like the mini-business that it is. But don't let this put you off - with careful planning, becoming a landlord can be a rewarding and profitable venture.

The cherry on top? By renting out a suite in your home, not only are you helping your own financial situation, but you're also contributing to the supply of rental accommodation in the city. That’s community spirit for you.


In a nutshell, while property prices continue their inevitable dance with the economy, homeowners in BC can find stability in the revenue generated from a rental suite. So if you've been thinking about how to soften the blow of a hefty mortgage, perhaps it's time to consider the idea of becoming a landlord. A rental suite could be the unsung hero of your property, turning your home into a source of income and paving the way to greater financial stability.

Remember, no two property journeys are alike. It's all about finding the right fit for you, and perhaps your future tenant. After all, a house is made of bricks and beams, but a home is made of hopes and dreams. Why not share the dream, and the mortgage, with someone else? One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor…literally.

Onward and upward.

At the end of the day, a rental suite can turn your home into a powerful financial tool. It can help offset mortgage payments, improve your debt-to-income ratio, accelerate your mortgage payments, and even provide some tax relief. But more than that, it can transform your life and the lives of others in profound and meaningful ways.

So here’s to making the most of our homeownership adventure, our investments, and our communities. To growing, adapting, and finding innovative solutions that help us all. And to the humble rental suite, a small space that can make a big impact on your real estate journey.


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