Designing a basement

  • KULA

    Status: REIN™ Member

    Posts: 74
    Joined: 31 Aug 2007
    From: Brampton

     Hi all,
    Is there any good software out there (preferrably free) to help with layout of a basement apartment?

    Niran
  • davidajones

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 100
    Joined: 20 Apr 2010
    From: Thornhill

    I haven't seen one specific to a basement but the stuff for main floor apartments would work with a few caveats!   

    Start with the drains and water supply, bathroom , kitchen sinks, laundry as moving or creating new ones is expensive.  

    Then think about how do I get as much light into the main living area.  The  laundry and bathroom don't matter.  

    Safety, there are some legal requirements for egress/ safety of getting out, size of windows, type of dry wall etc that are affected by fire safety. 

    Noise is also a factor for you and the tenant. Think about the noise from your furnace and hardwood floors above and the noise that will come up.  When building there are some steps you can take to address this.  

    For fun, might want to download some of the tv shows with Scott where they add a basement / Income  suite.  Some great ideas. 

    Take the extra effort to make sure it is dry and well insulated.  

    If the apt is nice, then your tenants will stay longer.  Good luck!  A decent contractor with you asking some good questions will lead to a great apartment !

    One last thing, I have a bious to renting to a single person, less noise, cars etc.  Less rent than if you do 2 bedrooms but a better experience for you. 

    And habits, be really careful about getting a smoker ! 

    Dave



  • invst4profit

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 2,045
    Joined: 30 Aug 2007
    From: Kingston Ontario

    I always chuckle to myself when any landlords make suggestions that will encourage tenants to stay longer. Little do they realise that in Ontario, due to rent controls, the longer a tenant stays the less money they earn. Or to put it another way the more money they lose.

    With a well run operation the transition between tenants should be seamless, allows a landlord to do minor sprucing up, fine tune there business plan and should always net a higher rent that will cover the costs and increase profits. As far as the inconvenience associated with finding tenants is concerned there is no inconvenience it is part of the business we chose to operate. Two years may be tolerable but once a tenant enters into a third year you are losing money and you need to find a way to quickly encourage them to move on.
     
    As far a cellar dwellers are concerned be cautious, familiarity breeds contempt. Cellar dwellers are generally the bottom of the tenant pool to begin with and tend to become arrogant, belligerent and possessive with time. Many start out that way. Most have an attitude that only gets worse the longer they "own your rental property".  

    Lazy mom and pop landlords prefer the least amount of work possible, Business minded investors have an eye to turning the highest profit possible. Business or hobby it's a personal choice. For those that don't know which they are they usually chose convenience over profit.

    Greg

    "An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses" (Anton LaVey)

      
  • housingrental

    Status: REIN™ Member

    Posts: 4,655
    Joined: 11 Oct 2007
    From: Waterloo

    Hi Greg

    Please be mindful when posting to take a wide perspective.

    What you have wrote does not apply to many posters situations. Some common examples of this are:

    Rented by family members
    Part of a shared house with owner
    In newer construction
    In a market with high vacancy, seasonal rental issues, or where rental rates have not increased materially.

    There are many area's and property types where high quality renters can be found for lower level apartments:

    Near universities
    High rent area's in large centers
    Low vacancy markets
    High quality setup, especially in a demand commercial / office area where there are few residential options.
    Apartments with zoning that allow for dual (commercial) uses
    Adam Hoffman - Hoffaco Property Management - Waterloo - Rent / Consult / Manage - http://www.hoffaco.com
  • terri

    Status: REIN™ Member

    Posts: 493
    Joined: 31 Aug 2007
    From: toronto

     that is so true Adam. Nice basement suites in a large urban center can attract great professional tenants and rent for more than a 2 bedroom house in less desirable area. Make sure that you know your potential tenant demographic before you start planning out your renovation and budget accordingly. 
  • invst4profit

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 2,045
    Joined: 30 Aug 2007
    From: Kingston Ontario

    No Adam in general you can not find high quality tenants for basements but you can find higher quality than average if you have a very high quality property. IT is simply not the rule. It's all a matter of perception, Yes there are special situations but "special" was not what I was referencing. 
    Yes higher quality basement tenants can be found for higher quality areas but they are still of a lesser quality than those living upstairs and that is often where the conflict arises.

    Basement apartments attract "cellar dwellers" in general but the point I was making is that long term tenants cost landlords money. It is not the best return on your investment. Trust me I have the numbers to prove my case. 

    Greg

    "An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses" (Anton LaVey)

      
  • housingrental

    Status: REIN™ Member

    Posts: 4,655
    Joined: 11 Oct 2007
    From: Waterloo

    Greg - as with most things "it depends" - your particular market and property type will impact this - in many situations attracting long term tenants = higher net income.  It's why many firms spend large $$$'s to create a sense of community at their buildings.... for tenant retention... every change over costs money, in many area's the new tenant is not always paying a higher rate than the old one + rent increase, and the stability of a building tenants can reduce R&M costs....
    Adam Hoffman - Hoffaco Property Management - Waterloo - Rent / Consult / Manage - http://www.hoffaco.com
  • invst4profit

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 2,045
    Joined: 30 Aug 2007
    From: Kingston Ontario

    I have no idea where you derive your particular financial philosophy from but it is commonly understood that the rent controls placed on our business in Ontario do not allow rents to keep up with the increased costs associated with doing business. In the short term this may be negligible but over the long term landlords lose money when faced with long term tenants. Ask any landlord having a tenant that has stayed for 10 years and they will make that point abundantly clear. 
    Step back, stop focusing on specific examples and you will realise that in general I am right. Guaranteed now that the government has restricted increases beginning in 2013 to a max of 2.5%. 

    Long term tenants = lower net income especially in larger centers where local governments are constantly increasing operating fees, garbage, taxes, water etc. Our costs do not parallel the cost of living index which up till now has been the bases for our annual allowable rent increases.

    Greg

    "An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses" (Anton LaVey)

      
  • GaryMcGowan

    Status: Forum Member

    Posts: 743
    Joined: 13 Mar 2008
    From: Newmarket, ON

    Back to Niran's question, 

    Here is Google search that may help you...
    GOOGLE 
    Gary McGowan
    Rent To Own Solutions |www.realestateventures.ca
    Named one of the Top Players of the year for 2009 and 2010
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