Is building an ADU right for you?
In January of 2017 AB 2299 and SB 1069 took effect making it easier for California homeowners to build a secondary unit (ADU) on their property. Accessory Dwelling Units, commonly known as ADU’s, have many homeowners wondering if they should invest in building one or if they could convert their garage into one. If you do not know them by their current ADU name, you may also know them as granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottage or secondary units. An ADU is similar to a guest house but should have its own kitchen, bathroom and dedicated entrance.
What are some of the benefits of ADUs?
- ADUS can provide a source of income for homeowners
- ADUs can allow empty nesters to move into the ADU while renting out the existing home to pay for their mortgage
- ADUs allow extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy. No more piling up on top of each other during the holidays or family visits
- ADUs do not require paying for land, structured parking or elevators making them an affordable type of home to construct here in California
- ADUs can provide as much living space as newly built apartments and condos making them great rentals for a variety of people
- ADUs provide flexibility allowing homeowners the ability to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they begin to require more care
- ADUs are usually built with cost-effective wood frame construction, which is significantly less costly than home in new multifamily infill buildings
- ADUs could be used as a workspace, studio space, fitness studio or an office space
- ADUs could increase the value of your property
What are some of the cons of an ADU?
- ADUs could increase the amount of property taxes you need to pay
- ADUs could result in issues with renters and maintenance of the ADU
- ADUs could diminish the amount of privacy you now have
The Bottom Line
Do your research first. There are many rules and regulations surrounding ADUs and they can vary from city to city and county to county. It is important that you know how these rules and regulations can affect you and your property including the new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020. To find out your local rules and regulations and other information about ADUs in California visit, the California Department of Housing and Community Development website.
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