All About In-Law Suites

What’s an in-law suite?

In-law suites are private spaces, either attached to the home or elsewhere on the property that are dedicated living spaces for relatives, in-laws, and parents. These suites come equipped with a bedroom, bathroom, and even a kitchen.

They can even be designed to meet the specific needs of the occupants like adding accessible entryways for instance. Learn more about in-law suites, how they can benefit your property and what to include when adding them.

How are in-law suites added 

There are a couple of ways that you could go about adding in-law suites to your home or property. One of the easiest ways to do so is by simply renovating any existing space within the home that often goes unused.

This can be anything from garage space, basements, or bedrooms that offer some privacy – ideally in the back of the home. This way, if you need to build an addition you have the necessary land to do so.

Uses for an in-law suite

An in-law suite can definitely be a wise investment if used properly. Even if an elderly parent or relative isn’t using the area, it can certainly be a useful space for your home.

Home office – with more and more people working from home these days, it’s nice to have a dedicated office space.

Guest quarters – if you have friends staying the night or guests visiting from out of town, an in-law suite is a nice option that provides a little privacy during their stay. 

Residence for adult children – if you have grown children that still live in the home, the in-law suite is a great option for them to have their independence. 

Rental apartment – another great option for an in-law suite is to rent it out as either a short or long-term lease. This is a good avenue to explore if you’re looking for additional income.

Different types of in-law suites

Although in-law suite homes are typically used for our relatives, there are also a handful of other useful purposes these spaces serve. 

Mother-in-law-suite – these spaces can be built to keep our aging parents nearby so we can still provide care for them while still offering some privacy. It might be a good idea to consider accessibility while designing the area – think of things like ramps, walk-in shower stalls, and non-slip floors. 

Nanny quarters – some families find having a live-in nanny helpful and convenient, this is especially true as more and more people are working from home. Having this extra space set aside for the nanny can be a great way to have someone you trust around to assist if an emergency happens. This is also a good way to bring down overall childcare costs since you’re providing a place to stay.

She shed – why not use the extra space provided by the suite as a ‘she shed’ where you can go and relax. Some popular she shed ideas include a yoga studio, greenhouse, art studio, and much more!

In-law suite benefits 

Whether it’s to add an additional stream of income, an area to relax, or a space for our loved ones to live and be nearby. There are numerous benefits associated with homes with in-law suites. 

Adds value to the home – who doesn’t like the idea of added home value. An addition to your home by way of an in-law suite will certainly increase the resale value of your house as people will pay more for the additional square footage. In fact, homes that have these suites that are legally able to be rented out are appraised at nearly 10 percent more.

Qualifies for tax breaks – did you know that you may qualify for certain tax credits for having an in-law suite. If you are paying money to support a loved one or relative, you might be able to claim them as a dependent. If the area’s main use is your home office, this could also be an avenue to explore in order to gain further tax deductions.

If you rent out the space, you’ll be required to pay income tax on the rent you collect, but there are additional breaks afforded to landlords for things like utilities, insurance premiums, repairs, mortgage interest, and depreciation. 

Saves you money – a multigenerational in-law home or long-term care suite is a great way to utilize additional space while saving on costs you might run into elsewhere.

If the alternative costs you monthly nursing home payments in the thousands vs. simply living on your existing property, the financial difference would be immense.

Are in-law suites legal?

The bylaws surrounding in-law suites vary, and your local zoning office will be able to provide you with this information. Having your block and lot number will definitely help in this situation. If the local zoning laws don’t permit in-law suites, you can always try to get a variance issued to allow your specific case.

These variances aren’t free, and you’ll likely have to get approval from your neighbours. If approved, you’ll need to obtain a building permit to ensure that the project is legal. 

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Adding an in-law suite to your home or property can be very beneficial. It can give your aging parents a private place to live while still being in close proximity, older children can use this space or you can even rent it out for additional income. Regardless of your plans with the space, it is absolutely imperative that you first learn the local laws and building codes that pertain to the space before you go ahead and spend money you can’t get back.

When you’re ready to start your renovation project and begin designing your in-law unit, call the experts at Top Home Builders Inc. Find out how our team of professionals can help you.