The Pros & Cons to Buying a Home with an In-Law Suite

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It’s quite common in Victoria real estate these days to buy homes with in-law suites. But is it really worth it?


We’ll weigh the pros and cons for you.

What’s an In-Law Suite?

Simply put, an in-law suite is a separate suite within your house or elsewhere on your property.


Referred to as in-law suites, they were initially designed and built for one or both of your parents to live in. A lot of families liked to keep them close by to help with babysitting or to keep tabs on their health.

Pros to Buying a Home with an In-Law Suite


  • Keep your family close. Of course, you could use an in-law suite as it was originally intended. To move in an ageing parent or other close family members.

    Alternatively, they can also be used for one or more of your children when they start university. You can give them a place to call their own while still being “at home.”

  • Use as an income suite. A lot of people rent out these suites to generate extra income.

    With the price of real estate in Victoria these days, it’s become ubiquitous to rent space out to tenants to offset the mortgage costs.

  • It increases your property value. These suites add livable square footage to your home. That and the fact that they’re so desired in this housing market means in-law suites add considerable value to your home.

  • Use as a home office. In-law suites are always separated from your home and have separate entrances. So, if you have an at-home business which provides on-site services, you can do this without inviting people into your home.

Cons of an In-Law Suite


  • They may not be entirely legal. You’ll have to check your own municipal bylaws to see the precise laws for your area. Some areas actually don’t allow them. And even if they do, they might have specific rules like having to offer off-street parking permits and licences.

    And if you were thinking of using it as an Airbnb, you’ll want to make sure you know all the rules for your area, too. And remember that it’s possible they could change at any time.


  • They may not be worth the cost. Although you should be getting a rental income, it may not be enough to cover the additional costs for upkeep on the suite. And if you happen to lose a month or two of rental income due to bad tenants, that can put you in arrears.

    Which brings us to…


  • Being a landlord is tough. Finding and keeping good tenants can be a challenge. And although rental properties are in demand now, that could change in the next few years. You may be stuck with a space you don’t need.

  • You won’t have complete privacy. In-law suites are separate suites, and no one should be coming into your space unless invited. However, you might still see and hear the people living in your suite.

    And they’ll be able to see and hear you, too.

Contact The Garman Group


There are pros and cons to buying a home with an in-law suite, so you should weigh them against your situation. Do some careful calculations to see if it’s worthwhile or not.


Most first-time home buyers find the thought of having an extra suite to be a bit daunting. But more often than not, seasoned homeowners are prepared for it.

If you’d like any more home buying tips, or you want to get started on your home search, we can help. Contact us today!