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Unlocking Potential: Adding a Secondary Suite to Your Edmonton Home

If you're considering renovating your Edmonton home, adding a secondary suite can be a smart move. It not only enhances your living space but also opens up opportunities for rental income. Before you dive into the renovation adventure, let's break down some key aspects.

Costs

Renovation costs can vary, but it's essential to budget for both the construction and potential hidden expenses. On average, expect to invest $50,000+, but this can go up depending on the extent of the changes needed.

Permits

Edmonton has specific regulations for secondary suites. Before you start knocking down walls, check with the city to ensure you're compliant. Permits are required, covering safety and zoning regulations. It's a crucial step to avoid issues down the road. You can visit the official City of Edmonton - Secondary Suites page, with information on permits, guidelines and regulations for suites in Edmonton.

Things to be Aware of

Consider the existing layout of your home and how the addition will impact it. Plumbing and electrical systems might need adjustments. Also, think about the logistics of creating a separate entrance for the suite.

Potential Pitfalls

Renovations can uncover surprises. Be prepared for unexpected challenges, like outdated wiring or plumbing issues. Having a contingency fund will help you navigate these bumps in the road without derailing your project.

Benefits

Adding a secondary suite comes with perks. Beyond extra income from renting it out, it can increase your property value. The additional living space can also make your home more attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell in the future.

Other Considerations

Think about the type of tenant you want to attract and design the suite accordingly. Also, keep in mind that managing a rental property comes with responsibilities, so be ready to take on the role of a landlord.

In a nutshell, renovating to add a secondary suite in Edmonton can be a game-changer. Just be sure to do your homework, secure the necessary permits, and have a realistic budget in place. It's an investment that can pay off both now and in the future.

Here are a couple more resources that may help:

Alberta - Secondary suites - Building codes

RenovationFind - What is Needed to Build a Legal Secondary Suite in Edmonton

Happy renovating!
Jason

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The Importance of Home Maintenance: A Comprehensive Guide

Owning a home is not just a financial investment; it's an investment in your comfort, safety, and peace of mind. Regular home maintenance is the key to preserving these qualities and ensuring your home remains a haven for you and your family. Let's delve into why home maintenance is crucial and how it can benefit you in the long run.

1. Savings Through Proactive Care

Think of home maintenance as a proactive measure rather than a chore. By addressing minor issues promptly, you prevent them from snowballing into major, wallet-draining problems. For instance, fixing a minor leak might seem insignificant, but it can prevent extensive water damage and mold issues down the line.

2. Boosting Your Home's Value

A well-maintained home is a valuable one. If you ever decide to sell, regular upkeep enhances your property's appeal to potential buyers. Plus, it saves you from last-minute, costly repairs during the selling process, making your home a more attractive prospect in the real estate market.

3. Enhancing Your Quality of Life

Your home is your sanctuary, and its condition significantly impacts your daily life. Properly maintained homes are not just aesthetically pleasing; they also contribute to your well-being. Imagine a home where the HVAC system operates efficiently, ensuring a comfortable temperature year-round. It's not just about luxury; it's about creating a stress-free environment for you and your family.

4. Ensuring Your Family's Safety

Safety should always be a top priority. Regular home maintenance allows you to identify potential hazards before they escalate. Simple tasks like checking smoke detectors or verifying the integrity of your electrical system can prevent accidents and keep your loved ones secure.

In conclusion, home maintenance is the foundation of a secure, comfortable, and valuable living space. It's never too late to start a regular maintenance routine, whether you're a new homeowner or have cherished your home for years. By investing time and effort into your home today, you're ensuring a better tomorrow for you and your family.

Here's to a well-maintained and happy home!

Warm regards,

Jason

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Provincial Property Assessment notices have arrived in the mail, giving some homeowners a big smile and a bit more spring in their step (increased property taxes aside), while others wilt and lament at a modest gain or decrease in assessed value.


Hold on a sec, neither this assessment document nor either party's emotions, are tied to current true market value. In fact, provincial property assessments can be significantly too high or too low. Values are determined in July of the previous year, and properties are rarely visited in person by provincial appraisers.

For this reason, provincial property assessments should never be solely relied upon as any sort of relevant indicator of true market value for the purposes of purchase, sale, or financing.


Think of the assessed value, instead, as something akin to a weather forecast, spanning far larger and more diverse areas than the unique ecosystem that is your neighbourhood, your specific street, or your specific property. A weather forecast made the previous July, not the previous week. This is when assessed values are locked in; a full six months prior to the notices being mailed out.

What's my home really worth?

Usually, market value is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for a home, and what the seller is willing to accept.


A quick survey of recent sales and their relation to assessed values will often demonstrate no clear relationship between the sale price and assessed value. It's often all over the map; some properties selling well below assessment and others well above.


You also want an experienced and local Realtor to help you determine the selling price of your home. A (busy & local) Realtor will have a far better handle on what is happening in your area for prices than does a government document, and in many instances will save you from yourself.


In theory, a comprehensive current market review completed by a Realtor should not differ radically from the value determined by a professional appraiser.


Professional Appraisers spend all day every day appraising properties, and their reports are often seen as less biased. Imagine your reaction, as a buyer, to the following statements…:


  1. The seller says their house is worth $500,000.
  2. The seller's Realtor says it's worth $500,000.
  3. This house is listed at $500,000 based on a professional (marketing) appraisal.


Most buyers would consider #3 the most reliable of the above statements. And most buyers requiring financing will have the benefit of the lender ordering their own independent appraisal to confirm the fair market value. Sellers rarely order an appraisal in advance, which can create some interesting situations.


In practice, Realtors are relied upon for listing price estimates. Most buyers dont care much about what anybody else thinks the house is worth. Buyers care what they think it is worth. This is why we say that market value is ultimately determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for the home, aligned with what is acceptable to the seller.


It is important to note that there are two kinds of professional appraisals. There is the marketing appraisal, such as one ordered by a seller. And there is the financing appraisal, which is done so the bank is satisfied the house is worth what the buyer and seller have agreed it's worth. The financing appraisal is a less in-depth review and is essentially answering the question; is this property worth the agreed-upon purchase/sale price.


A marketing appraisal goes deeper (and costs more) but a lender is not concerned with the actual market value over and above the purchase/sale price. A lender just wants the simple question answered. It is a rare day that the appraisal for financing has a value that differs significantly, if it all, from the sale price. Therefore, one should not be surprised if, when buying a home, they find that the appraisal comes in bang on at the purchase price. As they do 99% of the time.


The 1% of the time that the value is off it is almost always a private transaction where the seller has had no professional guidance at all and has inadvertently set their price below market by relying on something as inaccurate as their AB Assessment document.


Eva Neufeld
Accredited Mortgage Professional
Mortgage Tailors
780-244-0505
Email: eva@mortgagetailors.com

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Minor renovations that make a major difference

(NC) Renovations can be a daunting task. If your goal is to increase your property value, smaller upgrades can provide a higher return on your investment.

Here are some budget-friendly projects for key areas of your home that can boost your property value:

Kitchen. You don’t need a complete remodel to increase the value of this space – it can be as simple as focusing on one thing, such as cabinets or countertops. Refacing old cabinets by adding a fresh coat of paint, a new finish or updated knobs can bring new life to your kitchen. Adding new granite countertops is an easy way to modernize an older kitchen. Make sure to choose a countertop that fits with the price point and aesthetic of your home.

Bathroom. The bathroom is where most of us begin and end our day; modernizing it is a great way to increase your property value. New floors or shower tiles will give the illusion of a complete makeover. Updating the vanity, sink or mirror are also inexpensive options. Smaller bathroom projects like these can have high appeal to future buyers.

Windows. These are often overlooked in renovations. However, upgrading windows is a great idea for both aesthetic and energy-saving purposes. In cooler climates you can purchase windows with insulating properties, and in warmer climates you can purchase those that reflect sunlight.

Deciding on the right budget to suit your needs can be hard, but worrying about the financing shouldn’t hold you back. For an easy way to finance these renos, check out The Home Depot Project Loan, available across Canada.

 
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