In this episode of Get Real Wealthy Season 2, Quentin talks about a unique basement conversion that he did in the past to help people who are starting out or working on their first few properties.
Quentin says that in a market where it’s hard to cash flow, basement conversions can create great cash flow. He shares a project that he did in Courtice, Ontario. It was a single-family house, but it was actually connected by the basement. In Clarington, you could convert such properties. One of the issues that he had with the conversion was the parking, but as he was on a corner lot, he actually had the parking that was needed to do the conversion. In this particular unit, the stairs were actually in the middle of the house going to the basement.
He was able to solve this problem by sealing off the dining room and putting a door where the sliding door was into a common area. He put a door on the other side of the entrance to the basement to seal off that particular unit. So, he made it fire code safe and did this all with permits, but by having the entrance to the basement from the back, he was able to create space for the unit in the basement. He adds that the motivation behind these conversions was that he wanted to bring his properties to their best and highest use. Which is something he was able to accomplish with this conversion.
Quentin adds that in each municipality, they’ll have different rules to make sure that you can do the conversion legally. Sometimes, they’ll have green space requirements. So how much green space do you need to have? What type of parking access do you have? The egress and lighting rules are usually provincial or statewide. However, the way that municipalities interpret building code is different. It is something that varies and you need to take it into consideration before undertaking any project.
In conclusion, he says accessory dwelling units are a great solution for affordable housing, and “increasing the density of current housing will be a lot easier than creating new housing, and if we can create a lot of these accessory dwelling units that would help to take some of the load off what’s happening out there.”
Quentin D’Souza is the Chief Education Officer of the Durham Real Estate Investor Club. Author of The Action Taker's Real Estate Investing Planner, The Property Management Toolbox: A How-To Guide for Ontario Real Estate Investors and Landlords, The Filling Vacancies Toolbox: A Step-By-Step Guide for Ontario Real Estate Investors and Landlords for Renting Out Residential Real Estate, and The Ultimate Wealth Strategy: Your Complete Guide to Buying, Fixing, Refinancing, and Renting Real Estate.