Building up a duplex

3 Replies

First time poster, but have been reading through articles for sometime already and can't say enough good things about this site.  

I'm currently living as a resident in Canada, Toronto with the hopes of sooner than later moving stateside. I currently own a luxury house which i renovated completely myself and plan on selling. The idea of flipping in this city is becoming less attractive with huge fees from all angles eroding at profits, so i am turning to rentals which  always peaked my interest, but never really made an effort to follow through.

So my idea is to buy a 2 storey house in the downtown core of Toronto, which there is a huge demand for rentals on the higher executive end, and very low vacancy numbers. My idea is to build up a 3rd storey and add an addition to the back of equal length as the original house. It has been done already, actually rite behind my moms place, and he essentially set precedent for the neighborhood that only has 2 storey homes.

My main question is what are some pitfalls in all of this that can arise, what should i look out for, and other details should a look for?


2 storey is about $1,000,000

20% down

$800,000 finance

$500,000 for 8plex reno and running costs

Can gross from $16,000 to $21,000 monthly depending on how i build up the property.

Plus the city is allowing residents to convert garages into living space, so i can make a 2 storey garage and have 2 bachelors. Essentially converting a Duplex property into a 10 unit property.

Hey @John Mart , I didn't think the the city had changed the by-law to allow for laneway housing yet, but correct me if I'm wrong because I would also like to consider this option. Thanks!

Its still a gray area, but im more than likely to roll the dice. So long as its done to code, it being illegal can be disputed. Inspectors job is to check if its to code. 

Also know of someone doing it. Their big concern is alleyway/laneway homes not having garbage access, and parking. Plus im pretty sure high rise builders will start up buying city blocks to build highrise, which city is more inclined to cater to. They can get more property tax per block out of a high rise. Laneway homes wont yield as much money. 

City cares about bottom line, which horse pays more.

Hi John,

I've been flipping in the GTA for the last 4 years. Currently have 2 buy & holds and closing another deal in Hamilton. I'm completely changing my strategy away from flipping due to the market changes. Good run down on your current subject property. Let me know if I can lend my experience over.

- Louis

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here