Hey there! If you’re wondering what exactly an ADU is, you’ve come to the right place. ADUs (or accessory dwelling units) are a huge trend in housing these days. In this little guide, I’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about these small but mighty living spaces.
So What Exactly is an ADUs?
An accessory dwelling unit is basically a second, smaller living space on the same grounds as a main single-family home. Some people call them granny flats, in-law suites, or backyard cottages. But ADU is the hip official terms the cool kids use these days.
A Brief History
ADUs have actually been around for centuries! In the past, it was common for a large family property to have a secondary living space where grandparents could live or help out with the family. The spaces provided multigenerational housing while still allowing for some privacy and independence.
Over the decades, zoning laws made ADUs illegal in many parts of the country. But now, they are making a major comeback as cities realize the benefits they provide in terms of housing flexibility and affordability. Laws are changing to allow and even encourage ADUs in more neighborhoods. Exciting times, I know!
So why has everyone suddenly jumped on the ADU bandwagon in recent years? Well, they offer tons of benefits for homeowners, communities, and the housing market overall. Here are just a few of the biggest perks:
Extra income: Adding an ADU on your property that you can rent out creates an additional revenue stream. Who couldn’t use a bit of extra monthly income from the comfort of their own home?
Housing flexibility: An ADU provides flexible space that can serve lots of needs over time. You could use it as a home office, art studio, place for guests to stay, or potential space where your parents or adult children could live. The possibilities are endless!
Affordable housing options: As housing costs skyrocket across the country, ADUs help neighborhoods add much-needed affordable rental options without drastically changing the character of the community. The small size makes them cheaper to rent.
Environmental benefits: By adding to existing housing stock rather than building new properties, ADUs reduce urban sprawl and minimize the environmental impact of new construction projects using additional land and resources.
Multigenerational living support: An ADU creates an attached or detached living space where extended family members can live together while maintaining privacy and independence. This setup works well for taking care of older relatives.
Home value booster: Adding an ADU can increase your overall property value. Rental income potential and flexible living spaces make properties with ADUs more valuable to future buyers.
Community revitalization: Converting garages and basement spaces into ADUs enhances livability in older neighborhoods by increasing density in a responsible way. More residents nearby also drives economic growth for local businesses.
The Nitty Gritty Details
If I’ve piqued your interest about ADUs, you probably want to know more about what’s actually involved in adding and living with one. Let me break it down for you.
An ADU can either be attached to the main home, like a basement apartment or addition, or totally separate like a converted garage or tiny home in the backyard. Regardless of the setup, it has to include basic living necessities like a kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.
ADUs share the same electric, water, and other utility connections as the main home, which makes hooking them up simpler than a totally independent living space. Lots of communities restrict the maximum size of ADUs to keep them smaller scale – often capping them at 800 or 1,000 square feet at the very largest end size limit.
Surfside Builders Group and other top construction companies now offer full-service ADU installation including designing the layout, getting proper permits, and handling the complete installation professionally. This makes adding an ADU much smoother than trying to manage everything yourself. Though financing ADUs can still provide some hurdles depending on your specific property circumstances and local laws.
The bottom line is that ADUs provide tons of benefits and chances are good that they’ll keep increasing in popularity in communities across the country. More cities and towns are realizing what great solutions they provide for housing shortages and supply chain issues as populations change.
Ready to Learn More?
I hope this overview gives you a great starting point for understanding the ADU craze. Of course, there’s much more to learn if you’re considering adding an ADU to your own property. Specific regulations vary by location and intricate construction factors come into play during building. I’m always happy to chat more about ADUs or point you in the direction of great local resources for your neighborhood. This trend is here to stay, so don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions that pop up along your ADU exploration journey. Happy learning!