Blog by Mary Cleaver

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Laneway Housing

It seems like everyone's talking about density in Vancouver. Ever higher condo buildings, townhouses being allowed in traditionally single family home neighbourhoods, secondary suites both authorized and unauthorized and laneway houses. All in an effort to house the never ending stream of people moving to Vancouver from other parts of Canada and the world, as well as future generations of Vancouverites reaching adulthood.

So what is a Laneway House? How does it differ from a Coach House? Simply put, a laneway house is built on a lot where a garage would typically be and can be rented or used by family members or friends. It can't be sold separately, it belongs to the owners of the property. A coach house is typically built in the same area of the lot, but is part of the strata with the house, or duplex on the rest of the property. It can be sold in the same fashion as a condo, townhouse or duplex is sold. The coach house itself would belong to the buyer, who would also own a share of the common property on the lot. The owners of each unit in the strata are subject to the strata property act including bylaws, maintenance fees etc.

A laneway house is not unlike a basement suite in that it can offset costs for a homeowner while providing an affordable housing option for a renter. It's also a unique living space to rent in that it is a detached little home. Noone above or beside you, no elevator or common hallways, a separate entrance and even the possibility of a small garden space in the ground.

Friends of mine are selling their two bedroom condo on the west side in favour of building a laneway home in East Van. They have a blog and I encourage you to visit. If you're considering building a laneway house on your property or on someone else's as my friends are doing, you can learn a lot from their experience. Click Here:

And to find out if your home is eligible for a laneway house, check out the City Of Vancouver site here:

Thanks as always for reading, and have a great weekend!