Recently, Barrie City Council passed a new policy to change a zoning bylaw which now allows home and property owners to create ‘second suites’ or apartments in their homes. This bylaw covers all of Barrie, with the exception of homes in the Georgian College area, which has it’s own set of rules.
What does this mean for you? Well, that depends on your situation. Some people will be happy that they can modify and renovate their home to allow for a rental unit and some additional income. This also means that those who have a loved one living in a fully contained basement with separate entrance, kitchen and everything they need can now carry on legally, provided the space meets building code requirements for safety.
The main goal of this bylaw is to allow more residents to have access to affordable housing. Some residents will be concerned that their neighbourhood will turn into endless rental properties with two families living in every home and that property values may go down. Statistics from other areas indicate that this is unlikely to happen. As of January 1st, 2015, there were just 798 registered second suites in the City of Barrie. City council predicts that this number will increase by 10-15%, which is a manageable number.
There are pros and cons to every bylaw, and I believe the main goal of this one is to increase access to legal affordable housing, which helps so many members of our city. As a real estate professional, I am seeing more and more inquiries from Buyers for homes that have a legal apartment in the basement for a parent or adult child that can’t otherwise afford to live on their own. I think this can only increase property values, if the apartment is finished properly.
John and I would be happy to talk to about second suites in Barrie and what it means for you. Please contact us anytime! John can be reached by email at John@JohnWeberTeam.com or by cell at 705-727-6111. Christie can be reached by email at Christie@JohnWeberTeam.com or by cell at 705-220-1152.