Expanding Your Property's Options by Adding an ADU.
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In April we reported on the Tiny House movement, but there’s another housing trend that hasn’t gotten as much hype. Abbreviated as ADU, an Accessory Dwelling Unit is usually slightly bigger than a tiny house but typically no bigger than 1200 square feet, depending on zoning laws. Although not really a new concept, ADUs are more like a modern spin on the “granny flat” concept of a self-contained dwelling on the same lot as the main house. The unit will have a separate entrance, kitchen, and full bath.
Why the rise in this trend? There is a need for affordable housing and multigenerational living is on the rise. Local governments are getting on board with the ADU trend, passing measures that make it easier for homeowners to build and rent out ADUs. With permits, cities make sure the units are safe and also capture property tax revenue.
Even if the property a potential buyer is considering doesn’t have an existing ADU, many are seeking to find a property that offers the potential of building an ADU in the future. Similar to extra living areas in a basement or above a garage, an ADU can serve several purposes. Grown children in various life transitions can live with their parents, and/or aging parents can live with their grown children with the benefit of more privacy, independence, and comfort for the whole family. Homeowners looking for another source of income like the idea of an ADU for rental income. And finally, with the trending toward working from home, an ADU makes the perfect work-from-home environment.
Traditionally it was typical for the ADU to look like a tiny version of the main house. Many homeowners prefer this cohesive look and many cities require it, but it’s not always the case everywhere and cities are getting more relaxed on the rules as the trend grows. Modular units and tiny houses are now more and more accepted as a solution.