What You Need To Earn to Benefit From A Basement Suite

Still believe you can leverage a basement suite? Even mortgage helpers are rising beyond reach.

September 15, 2015

By Jenni Elliott

The local housing market seems impenetrable to first-time buyers, yet every week the HGTV show Income Property introduces another starry-eyed Canadian couple who are “making their financial dreams a reality.” Yes, there are hurdles: leaky basements, falling roofs, and/or rats. But with a little help from host (and real-estate investor) Scott McGillivray, buyer after buyer learns how to offset mortgage payments by developing and renting out a basement suite.

The catch? In 10 seasons (Income Property launched in September 2008, just as the stock market tanked), the cameras have never crossed the Rockies. After all, what young couple could afford to buy a single-family home here—with or without a mortgage helper?

There is one shortcut into the market, though, explains Eitan Pinsky, a broker with Origin Mortgages. “Properties selling for over $1 million go to professionals in their late 30s with large salaries and down payments saved,” he says. (The law requires at least 20 percent down.) “Few young adults have that amount of cash without help from parents.”

IncomeProperty_Infographic

Get the Newsletter

Own your city with Vancouver’s thrice-weekly scoop on the latest restaurant news, must-shop hotspots and can’t miss events. Rest assured your email is safe with us.