All About Garden Suites

ArtHouse Residential was one of the first builders to complete a Garden Suite project after the City of Edmonton began to allow them in 2013. Since then, the City of Edmonton has encouraged this program to grow through the Cornerstone grant program and further changes to the bylaws that have increased the variety of plans, styles, and properties available.  In the last few years, the number of Garden Suites in Edmonton has skyrocketed as more people learn about their amazing value and versatility. There are also great not-for-profit groups like YegGardenSuites that provide resources and workshop to Edmontonians.

Edmonton’s neighbourhoods can benefit greatly from Garden Suites. Through added density, they provide vibrancy to neighbourhoods and help combat urban sprawl. Homeowners can benefit from flexible living arrangements, space for more family members, or added revenue to their real estate investments. ArtHouse sees Garden Suites as a perfect embodiment of our philosophy; smaller, creative, and flexible living spaces that enable a more efficient lifestyle.

We are excited to introduce you to a series that we will be rolling out over the next few weeks about the awesome potential of Garden Suites! It is intended to provide information to anyone interested in learning about or creating a Garden Suite project. It will explore the various needs that Garden Suites can accommodate, what aspects of design and performance are most important, and the building process. Hopefully, it will inspire you to live a little differently and fully utilize your property!

Who are Garden Suites for?

One of the best features of Garden Suites is affordable access to Edmonton’s great mature neighborhoods. The following is a list of (hypothetical) people, life stages, and investors that can take advantage of the many benefits of garden suites. If you find yourself on this list, it may be worth looking into further!

Couples

  • New homes in infill neighbourhoods can be very expensive. The ‘missing middle’ of affordable infill projects has been a hard problem to solve. For the average young couple, the most “affordable” options are in distant new development areas. But with a rental house on the property to cover a significant amount of costs, a new home in the form of a garden suite suddenly makes living in the core a more affordable option. This is also a great start to living in the same community through many life stages. Garden suites can be the start to property development and aging in place!

Families with Kids 

  • Children are a busy and quickly changing part of life. Garden Suites can keep up with these changes and remain useful to families in various stages of their development. Garden suites can start life as a simple expansion of living space. They can grow to accommodate teens, college-age kids, or as a ‘launching pad’ to independent living. As they mature, Garden suites can provide a way of increasing income through rental. Parents of adult children can downsize into a Garden Suite,  reducing their cost of living, and allowing them to travel more. This is a flexible building that can evolve with your family.

Homeowner Investors

  • Most homeowners would like to get the most out of their property, and Garden Suites are a solution. A Garden Suite on the property is very easy to manage, as there is no travel or added work beyond the normal upkeep of the existing house. In terms of investment, Garden Suites are generally cheaper than other investments like second houses or condominiums/apartments. They are also not subjected to condo fees, which can cut deeply into returns. 

Singles

  • A lot of the same advantages from other examples apply to the average person looking for their own living space. The generally smaller area is more than enough for one person, and the option exists to customize the space to your exact vision. Rental revenue from the existing house combined with a single income makes this cost effective. Garden Suites can be compared to one or two-bedroom condominiums, only with attached garages, private yard space, and no condo fees, which should make the Suite an obvious choice. 

Full Investors

  • Anyone looking at real estate investing will be prioritizing rate of return on their investment. Garden Suites provide the greatest rate of return of any commonly available residential property. The City of Edmonton is currently reviewing a proposal to allow Garden Suites on existing properties that also have basement suites, making a grand total of three dwelling units per property. If this is approved, you can expect the number of Garden Suite projects to expand rapidly, as more people take advantage of this reliable, low-risk, and lucrative opportunity.

More info to come soon! Join us back here July 29th!