• Melanie Evans

Why a Waterloo Region Home With a Mother-in-Law Suit Can Be a Great Investment


Want to have your loved ones close by as you raise your children? Have you considered moving back in with your parents? If so, you’re not alone! Nanny suites, mother-in-law suites or granny apartments – they have many names, but they’re a great option for multigenerational living.


You may be wondering, what are in-law suites exactly? In the traditional sense, they refer to any secondary dwelling on the same property where an aging family member, couple or tenant can live with privacy. This can include a separate backyard unit, a converted basement or an added suite.


No matter what name they’re referred to, in-law suites are a great investment for any family. Here are some reasons why:


1. Shared Costs


It’s no secret that it has become harder to purchase a home with new regulations such as Canada’s Stress Test. Therefore, with people living longer and having children later in life, expensive assisted-living facilities and the lack of affordable urban housing, more and more parents and their adult children are looking to share costs by moving in together.


Multi-generational homes allow for families to divide costs based on what works best for their situation and budget. The mortgage can be divided, hydro can be split, and even Internet and cable can be shared. It’s a great economic option for families since you’re essentially getting two homes for the price of one.


In addition, for first time homebuyers, having parents in on your home purchase is a great way to leverage their credit history to secure a mortgage. As homes become increasingly unaffordable in Canada’s housing market, in-law suites are a great option for co-ownership.


2. Making Memories


Looking to spend more time with your grandchildren? Hoping your children will get to grow up having close bonds with their grandparents? Having an in-law suite in your home will allow for countless memories to be made through shared dinners, movie nights, gardening and more. With each other close by, there’s also a sense of comfort and extra support during busy or stressful times.


In fact, research shows that interactions between children and their grandparents are mutually beneficial for both parties. Seniors have skills, talents and experiences that can help address children’s needs and development, and in return children can help seniors to avoid isolation and depression.


Grandparents can be mentors, confidants, caregivers, teachers and even friends. This unique multigenerational dynamic can provide knowledge, understanding, wisdom and emotional support for both generations.


3. Aging In Place


For baby boomers looking to downsize or to age in place without moving into a retirement home, an in-law suite can be the perfect solution. Not only will boomers keep their independence in a space of their own, but they’ll also have loved ones close by if needed for any reason.


4. Living Space Flexibility


Maybe your parents and in-laws aren’t ready to move in just yet, but you want to have that option available for the future. If that’s the case, there’s flexibility with in-law suites to repurpose the space for other uses.


A secondary suite can be a guest suite for visitors, a short term rental or even repurposed as additional family living space or as an apartment for your own adult children in the future.


5. Re-Sale Value


According to Statistics Canada, multigenerational households are the fastest growing type of household in Canada. Multigenerational homes therefore, are in demand and on the rise across Canada, as more and parents and their children choose to invest in shared properties.


For owners, if you do decide to sell, there are great odds you’ll find the right buyer fast, looking for the same type of accommodations you’ve enjoyed – whether for their in-laws, adult children or to rent the space to someone else!


The Facts


24 per cent of those ages 55 to 64 presently live with their children


21 per cent of those ages 65 and older are in similar situations


Not to mention, the additional living space that comes with an in-law suite is added square footage that will contribute to the resale value of the home!


Tips On Living With Someone In An In-Law Suite


Living with your parents or in-laws can be hard. That’s why it’s important to discuss boundaries early on in order to prevent arguments and as a form of respect. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:


Create privacy


Make sure the suite is comfortable and offers privacy for your in-laws. Having a separate entry point would be a plus.


Discuss money


Be honest and upfront about how you’re going to be sharing costs. How will the mortgage be split? Will you be charging rent?


Set boundaries


Every home has its rules, so be sure to lay out that groundwork with your co-inhabitants as well. Do you want to establish a quiet hour? What are your rules on visitors? Try setting out the 'rules' in writing so that everyone understands - and remembers - what they are.


Looking to buy a home in the Waterloo Region but need to find out more about pricing and inventory, or have questions about how the mortgage stress test might affect your plans? Team Pinto will be happy to speak to you and discuss your options. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs 'face to face'.

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