Below is a full listing of all homes in Calgary and surrounding area, that have legal suites.
Legal suites in Calgary, technically known by the city of Calgary as “secondary suites” are self-contained living units within a dwelling, that are fully permitted by the City.
In the city, newly constructed legal/secondary suites must have a private entrance, cooking facilities, a bathroom, a minimum of two bedrooms (with windows of a minimum size), and a living area. The home-owner or builder must jump through a number of safety and fire safety hoops in order to build a new legal suites.
In the last few years, some of the above requirements are relaxed by the City of Calgary if that person has taken an existing (illegal) suite and applied for a secondary suite development permit. The reason being, the City of Calgary wants to legitimize more suites with the higher goal of safety, particularly for tenants, and the position is that some safety measures are better than none. Further, the rules surrounding what constitutes a secondary suite have changed over the years. Because of these reasons, you will find that not ALL homes with legal suites have ALL of the features above.
Each of the bedroom communities (for example Chestermere, Okotoks) have its own rules surrounding secondary suites. For example, Okotoks is currently incentivizing the construction of new secondary suites through a grant program.
Owners of legal secondary suites, benefit in several ways. Most obviously, they themselves, their tenants and their family members live with heightened safety, especially as pertains to the risk of fire in the property. Secondly, they are protected from bylaw complaints from neighbors, which, with illegal suites can result in the city shutting down their rental operation.
One special benefit of secondary suites is that they can help the home buyer secure financing (a mortgage), or more financing. Financing rules change all of the time, but in certain cases, a legal suite can increase a person’s pre-approval amount relative to if they were buying a home with no suite, or with an illegal suite. This is definitely a benefit if you are operating at the top of your pre-approval amount but not finding homes that fit your size, location or quality requirements.