Free laneway homes?

A Vancouver entrepreneur has a novel idea to build more laneway homes in the city.

Duane Laird is offering to build the second homes for free – if you sign a deal giving him control of the property for 12 years.

He'll then rent out the homes and return them to the property owner free and clear after that period.

"If I can get someone's backyard for 12 years, I can profitably build a laneway house, rent it out for 12 years, and then give it back to the person that owns the property," he told CTV.

Laird estimates it would cost $100,000 to $125,000 to build each prefab 500-square-foot home.

They would rent for $1,200 to $1,500 a month – an attractive price in Vancouver's hot rental market.

The owners would also have the option to buy Laird out for the cost of the build at any point.

"We're not looking to gain market value," he said.

But at least one realtor says many homeowners have seen their properties rise in value so much, they would already have the equity to finance the projects themselves.

Aaron Jasper said that way, the owner reaps the benefits immediately.

Laird says several investors and potential clients have already expressed interest.

– with files from CTV Vancouver


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