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Any Landlords here?

March 12th, 2006, 04:18 PM
I was wondering if anyone is a landlord here?

I really want to stop renting and buy a house, but I can't move any farther out of the GTA from where I am, and it can't be more expensive that what we are paying in rent now. That means we can't afford anything more than $150,000, and properties in that range are rare unless it's a condo, but we can't afford the condo fees on top of a mortgage.

I suggested to my BF that maybe we should get a place with a basement apartment that we can rent out. My parents have two houses, and rent out one, and the basement of the house they live in, work full time, and have no problems dealing with it all. My BF thinks it would be too much work and one of us would have to be home all the time in case something happened. I told him that's not right, because my parents work fulltime and they are fine. All you have to do is have a good mechanic/contractor/plumber you can trust and call in an emergency.

Anyone have a rental in their house that they look after? Is it worth it?

March 12th, 2006, 04:31 PM
My boyfriend's dad has a couple of buildings and from what I've seen, it's worth it. The other person pays a lot of your rent and taxes, so spending a bit on repairs isn't so bad. Besides, just because you're a landlord doesn't mean you have to be a good one.:evil:

Definitely get it thoroughly inspected first though.

We didn't get a rental property because I just needed to not have neighbors for a bit. But then in Montreal, at the time, it was still possible to get an ok fixer-upper house under $100 000 (this was last year).

March 12th, 2006, 04:49 PM
My Step-dad's brother is a realtor who specializes in rental properties. He is good at his job, just not the best business man (he sells and buys good houses REALLY well, but he spends too much time with each sale that he doesn't have time to take on too many clients at once, and barely makes any money. But he loves what he does!)

I don't see why it would be too hard at all. We don't need the space of a basement right now. We live upstairs, rent the basement. Maybe find a nice older couple or a single female who is clean. Can't be that hard. And it would save us some $$$ because the rent there would pay a good chunk of the mortgage, and since moving means having to pay water and heat, we need the extra money.

March 12th, 2006, 04:55 PM
I say go for it. From what you've said in the past, you're probably going to be the one to do all the work or the coordinating for the work, so to me it's really up to you.

March 12th, 2006, 08:54 PM
Just to add - I would recommend buying/ borrowing a copy of the "Dummies Guide to buying a Home in Canada" - very good reference & provides a ton of info on the process....

I rented out a room at my place (mind you it was a friend) when I bought my house - had absolutely no problems! Best thing I ever did -gave me a bit of extra $ - but I would caution even if you're going the basement apt route - be very picky about who you let rent the place - even if it means renting to a friend for less money!

Have you checked out Hamilton? Depending on where you work, etc (GO train goes to Union Station) - it might be worth it - lots of houses in the $100-150K range in downtown Hamilton -and there's a healthy rental market. It might be a good way to build some equity - then sell & move to TO in a few yrs.


March 13th, 2006, 07:20 AM
Be sure to checkout before you buy if the area you are thinking about allows suite rentals. We live in an area where it doesnt - no one rents out except out neighbour - and he ends up getting another one every three months as he keeps having to evict them as neigbours keep complaining. (not me of course :D ) To me it wouldnt be worth renting it out like that no to mentions the inconvenience for the renter too.

March 13th, 2006, 07:23 AM

but I would caution even if you're going the basement apt route - be very picky about who you let rent the place - even if it means renting to a friend for less money!

Totally agree with that one - get references etc everything, even do a criminal check if you can do that.

March 13th, 2006, 10:40 AM
we rent our basement apartment in our home. It works really well- helps with the mortgage... everyone has given good advice here about reference checks, etc. You really need to be sure that the people living there won't be loud, etc. Be very clear about 'house rules'. Read the landlord/tenant act; it is available online and is very clear. Regarding the work- yes, it can be work (toilet overflows, or something breaks- you have have to fix it ASAP). Are you handy? Luckily between myself, my husband and my dad we've been able to do most things ourselves.
Good luck with your decision!

March 13th, 2006, 01:53 PM
Yesterday, while researching the new bylaws re smoke detectors that came into effect March 1, I came across a whole by-law section on basement suites - you should check it out for your municipality - both from the tenant's perspective and yours. Certainly you would want a good, quiet tenant, unfortunately, they expect the same from you! And, make sure the person likes dogs.

March 13th, 2006, 04:20 PM
My son bought a wonderful little house with a HUGE yard for$165.000 on Hamilton mountain,any closer to Toronto and you would pay much more.
Oakville where I am,a little bungalow goes for $300.000 +.
My next door neighbor is renting their house for $1.300/month +util,but are renting out the basement for $700,helps with their rent.

March 13th, 2006, 08:38 PM
Thats a great idea. I'm a mortgage broker and I've financed a lot of people who have done what you're doing to afford a "better" area in a city.

Tenants can be a headache, but anything that makes money takes some work.

As long as you screen the tenant properly including a reference check, credit check and employment check. It should be OK.

As far as maintenance and repairs go just be sure your tenant can contact you at all times and have someone avialiable to handle problems when you're out of town...not really a big deal.

March 14th, 2006, 02:07 PM
We rent out our bsmt right now . There are pros and cons to the situation for sure. Without the bsmt income things would be very tight. The extra cash every month certainly does give us some breathing room. It is a bit of a pain to have a stranger in your house though. Hearing the coming and goings , ocassional noise, sharing things like laundry etc... do irk me. I had a friend that rented it intially and honestly it made our friendship very akward. Its not something that I would do again. We like to rent to students now because we find that they are not home very often and generally fairly quiet.

The pros are that you can rent off a portion of things like your hydro, heat , property taxes and any money that you invest in repairs etc... that directly effect the unit.

We wouldnt of been able to buy the house that we did without having that extra income , two years later though and I think I've had enough.

Oh, its also a bit of a pain to not have a bsmt . Storing things like patio furniture , bikes and other storage items means just a bigger mess in your house :D

One other thing to keep in mind is that you still need to buy a property that you can comfortably carry on your own for 3-4 months should you not be able to get a tenant. The Toronto market has a surplus right now so some times it takes a little longer.