I was showing a friend the plans for the souped-up kitchen in the laneway house (more on that in a future post) and even dragged out the little square of wood veneer to show how the cupboards will be finished. She oohed and aahed, I kvelled, it was a pleasant time. Then she said “It just makes sense to spend money on the kitchen, because of the resale value.”
And just like a needle being dragged across a record, the conversation veered off from cozy decor to cold hard facts.
We are paying for the laneway home to be built. And we’ll be spending a little more than absolutely necessary to get exactly what we want in the way of finishes, appliances and building materials. And we will live in it. But we won’t own it. The owners of the main home on the property own the laneway house as well. That’s the rule.
All our money is buying us is the right to live in the house until…..we don’t want to live there anymore.
Oh, we’ll get our money out of it. Eventually the property owners (DD and DSIL) will eventually start making payments to us for the amount we paid to build the home — but no more, no matter how much the property may have appreciated in value.
It works out very well for us all. They get a free babysitting at hand, we can share shopping trips, it’s a nice convivial living situation for everyone involved.
But we are stepping off the real estate merry-go-round forever. And that’s the way we want it.
We cannot have our cake and eat it, too. We can stay in this condo and watch it go up in value every year, but we can’t take that money and use it. Yes we are sitting on the proverbial gold mine, but that’s just it, we’re sitting on it, not mining it.
Building the laneway home gives us a chance to live mortgage-free in a lovely neighbourhood in our favourite city in the world. Next to the nicest neighbours we could imagine.
What more could we want?