Due to the current economic climate many home owners are struggling to pay their mortgages and keep their heads about water, financially. Many people are buying homes that have independent suites in them or building suites into their homes so that they can have a renter to help pay the mortgage.
There are a number of ways that you can go about using a suite to help you pay your mortgage; you can build a suite into your current home, you can buy a home for the purpose of installing a suite into it, or you can purchase a home with a suite already built into it. The most common problem with suites is that of the legality of having a suite built into a single-family dwelling. Before you built a suite into your current home you will need to check out the local bylaws to make sure that you're allowed to have a legal suite in your home. Likewise, before you buy a home that you want to build a suite in make sure you check to make sure that it's allowed. Don't assume that just because a home has a suite built into it that it's been legally done; always make sure that the house is zoned so that a suite is legal.
A home with a suite in it will need proper additional insurance; make sure you talk to your insurance provider to make sure that you are properly covered. Your mortgage lender will also likely need to be informed that you have a suite for rent in your home as well.
Once you have your suite in place and you are adequately insured, it's time to look for a renter. Some home owners use a rental suite to help out their college-age children live more independently while letting them live more cheaply than having their own apartment would be. Another option like that is to rent your suite to your parents; this is an especially good option if your parents like to travel to warmer climates for part of the year and so don't want to have a house that will stand empty for months at a time. You can also advertise for renters if you don't know anyone who is looking for a suite to rent. You will need to make sure that you do background checks in this case though; you want to make sure that a renter is going to fit in with your lifestyle if they're living in your basement.
Last, but not least, find out the legalities of being a landlord. Even if your tenant is a family member, you should know your legal rights and responsibilities; many times when there is a problem between a tenant and a landlord it is due to a misunderstanding about the legal rules that both parties have to follow. Otherwise, renting out a suite or even just a room in your home can be a really good way to help you make your mortgage payments and maybe even help out a family member who needs a reasonably priced place to stay.
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