Local Real Estate News

The Real Need For Duplex Apartments In Kitchener

It’s almost daily we see reports in the media about overheated real estate markets and the lack of affordable housing. In Toronto and Vancouver, this has become a major concern. These markets feature median property values above $1,000,000 for a single detached home. One of the way homeowners have adapted is by building accessory apartments within their home. Other investors are converting properties into duplex apartments to create more affordable housing.

Here in Kitchener & Waterloo Region, we are starting to experience a similar lack of affordable housing. Rental vacancies are declining, from 2.9% in 2013 dropping to 2.3% in 2014. Rents are also increasing at a steady rate. It’s a simple case of supply and demand, the need for apartments is increasing while supply is not keeping pace.

duplexIt’s important to note that the real need for rental units exists in 2 and 3 bedroom spaces where small families can find an affordable home. The past decade has seen heavy investment focus on the student rental market. This particular rental market is now experiencing saturation with the rise of new condo style developments designed and engineered for student needs. Waterloo has also placed stricter licensing regulations for student rental properties preventing landlords from creating improvised boarding houses in family neighbourhoods.

The real opportunity may lie within the city of Kitchener. Having recognized there is a provincial wide plan in place to increase infill and city densification, the city of Kitchener has made it easier for investors to consider turning single family homes into duplexes (a home converted into two apartments). The basic city policy is most single family homes detached and semi-detached can be converted into duplexed apartments as long as they meet the following criteria.

(You can also contact us for a copy of the city of Kitchener duplex requirements)

As a potential investor, consider filling a need for rentable living space. It’s never been easier to be a landlord. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation recently eased lending restrictions on potential investment properties. Ever consider buying an investment property? Here are a few tips to consider

Send Me The Top 5 Duplex Properties For Sale In Kitchener

#1) Buy a property that will be well suited for a duplex setup (either two units side by side, or one up and one down). Not sure which properties are suitable for this? Contact us at Benjamins Realty, as a company we own and manage a number of duplexed homes.

#2) Meet legal obligations for your apartments as outlined by the City of Kitchener. Fire safety, proper egress and enough parking are all an important part of the process and protect your liability as a landlord.

#3) Create beautiful spaces for your tenants and you will attract the right types of people to take care of your investment. Hire contractors to make the units ready for tenants especially if this is not your skill set. Need a referral for contractors who specialize in this? Contact us at Benjamins Realty.

#4) Always have a well drafted lease for your tenants to ensure the proper use of your investment. Have Benjamins Realty run a credit check to ensure your tenants will be able to meet their financial commitments to the property.

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