Should my first place in Canada be a basement apartment?

Posted by David Singh on May 3, 2017 1:01:00 AM

Young adults moving in new home.jpeg

It is very common for newcomers to Canada to rent a basement apartment in Canada as their first home.  It may not sound too appealing but in Canada, basements are usually quite nice and no different than any other room in the house.  A typical basement apartment will have its own private entrance and exit, a kitchen and maybe a washer/dryer unit.  

So you don’t need to imagine a dark and damp basement apartment, in Canada it is very common for many people to start out in a basement apartment.  This is especially true if you are hoping to live close to the downtown area of a city.  Basement apartments have one great advantage, they are usually significantly cheaper than many other types of rental units.

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Why are basement apartments cheaper to rent?

I have lived in two basement apartments since I arrived in Canada and I can tell you that I loved both of them. They were both very modern and well maintained.  The only real difference was the lack of large windows that many above ground units would have.  There was still plenty of sunlight however as there were small windows near the ceiling.

If you are a little suspicious of why these units are a little cheaper, it's because you don’t have a view.  In actual fact, some basement apartments are so appealing their rent can equal a unit above ground.

Are they always small?

There is a huge range of different types of basement apartments in Canada, they can range from small to very, very large.  If you are looking for a basement apartment in Canada then you will have to do all of the due diligence that you would for any other rental unit.  As there is variation in the size, there is also a lot of variation in the layout and even the quality of them.

I’m ready to buy a home straight away, why should I rent?

Renting in an area is a shorter term commitment, as the whole country is new to you, you may want to wait a little while until you know for sure that this is the area that you want to live in.  You may even find that you want to try moving to another city or even province as there is a greater chance of you finding work in your field.

I don’t have any credit history in Canada, will this be a problem?

This is a problem that many newcomers in Canada face, the fastest way to build credit in Canada is open a bank account in Canada as soon as possible.  You can even open an account in Canada before you arrive.

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