Author Topic: What to do: build a garage, put in a basement suite?  (Read 436 times)

Healthie

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What to do: build a garage, put in a basement suite?
« on: October 26, 2020, 11:44:18 PM »
I've got around 35k right now that I'm thinking of putting into something for the house. I have a 1650 sq foot house, 4 bed 2 bath, laundry on bottom floor. My girlfriend is 6 months from finishing her nursing program.

The foundation needs to be wrapped. I've decided I'm going to do this in the Summer myself; so some of the cash I was going to spend on a contractor I can spend on something else.

In addition, I put in new flooring, redid the bathroom, and did new paint, baseboards and doors in the basement. These got ruined by sewage and will be covered by insurance - the estimate is about 18-19k.

This is likely not our forever home or our forever city. We plan on exploring interior B.C where the weather is better and we're closer to friends and family. These houses in Vernon, Kelowna, Kamloops, etc., are around $500k+ for anything we're interested in (1600+, 4 bedrooms, garage). together we'll make around 130k/year; not including overtime from both of us, and this will only go up as we go up wage steps.

My plan was to build a garage at the side of my house. I love woodworking and am sick of pulling out all my tools and project then having to rush them away before a rain. In thinking about what would make more money in the long-term, my house makes a reasonably good rental. Basement suites here go for $900+/month; and since I'm getting 18k towards the basement, I could make it into a suite with the same reno company, who have a good reputation.

I don't know if I want to be a landlord, so I'm thinking I would get a rental company to deal with this. I bought the house 2 years ago for about 200k. I'd like to hear opinions on picking a garage or putting in a suite. My thinking is the suite is definitely less fun, and we cannot rent it out while we're still living in the house (tools, storage, drum set), but once we move this is a great long-term plan. On the other hand, both of us would get good use out of a garage for woodworking. We are tentatively planning on only staying a couple more years in this house. Mortgage is up in 2023.

Just looking for opinions and considerations. I'm leaning towards the suite. I'm finding the prospect a bit exhausting as I've done a lot of renovations & repairs since I bought it.


GreenEggs

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Re: What to do: build a garage, put in a basement suite?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 07:09:58 AM »
How about building a garage with a living space above?  The larger the garage, the larger the living space.  It could be separate from your personal living space, so you can rent it out while still living in the home.




Fishindude

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Re: What to do: build a garage, put in a basement suite?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2020, 07:48:51 AM »
I'd build the garage.   Someplace to keep your toys and vehicles indoors, plus a spot to do projects in the winter.   Insulate it good, and put in a heating system of some type.

Upstairs areas in garages are typically a bad idea.   They just fill up with junk you should have thrown out anyway, and who wants to climb stairs all the time.   Don't waste the money on it.

Do you really want a stranger living in your basement?   I sure wouldn't.

Paper Chaser

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Re: What to do: build a garage, put in a basement suite?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2020, 09:14:19 AM »
Garages rarely improve home value enough to justify their construction. If you're only planning on being in this house for a couple more years, I'd suck it up and do the basement suite which is far more likely to pay you back both in rent and when you sell.

Healthie

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Re: What to do: build a garage, put in a basement suite?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2020, 05:48:43 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I decided I'm going to do neither. Adding a suite isn't simple with the layout; and the ducts transfer sound really clearly. We only plan on being in the house for a couple more years, and I don't think getting 2 years of enjoyment is worth 20k+ and hard work.