Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Sweet Suite deal - Cornerstones

living room of basement suite

For the past 2 years the City of Edmonton has offered a program to help improve the amount of affordable housing in Edmonton. The Cornerstone Project offers funding, up to 75% of $32,000 to be exact, to bring an existing suite to code or build a new basement or garden suite.

At first the program was a little lame. No funding for rentals houses had to be owner occupied and rent had to be below market average. Recently with a lot of money not going anywhere Edmonton has revised the program. Rentals are ok with market rent to a tenant with less than average income ie student etc.

So with over $6 million looking for suites to renovate we've decided to take the plunge and I'm going to chronicle the process for you here.

I've bought over 50 house but I've never bought a home. Unbelievable right? We bought our first home this month and decided to use the Cornerstone to put a suite in the basement. Even though we'll live here we'll improve the market value and make it a great rental for when we move onto our next place.

Step 1: The Inspection

So our first step was to call Cornerstones and book a inspection. A fire inspector and building inspector came out, went over the whole basement inside and out and made reports on the work that had to be done.


1. Drywall all ceilings and walls even in storage areas and under stairs
2. Ensure windows in bedrooms meet egress requirements. They also must not require special knowledge to open
3. Put hard-wired smoke alarms in suite, common areas and on the main floor
4. There should be a fan in the bathroom and proper venting in kitchen
5. Separate entrance must have easy access
6. Ceilings must be 96 inches minimum

The report also called for inspections of the hot water tank and that the furnace had property venting.

The next step PERMITS.


Dylan Parker said...

WOW! Amazing I really like it so much. Thanks for sharing your post.

Alberta Oil Sands Investor Abroad said...

Hi Dylan,
These are actually the before pictures... I wish all tenants were as easily pleased.