Are you currently searching for a home within your budget but struggling to find the right one? Or maybe you’re already a homeowner and in need of additional income or a separate space for your loved ones. In either case, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) could be the solution to help you achieve your goals.
So, what exactly is an ADU? According to AARP, an ADU is a small residence that shares a single-family lot with a larger primary dwelling. It is an independent living space that includes a kitchen or kitchenette, bathroom, and sleeping area. ADUs can be located within, attached to, or detached from the main residence, and they can be created from existing structures or built from scratch.
If you’re considering whether an ADU is right for you as a buyer or homeowner, it’s important to note that regulations for ADUs vary depending on your location. ADUs offer numerous benefits for both buyers and homeowners. According to Freddie Mac and AARP, here are some of the key advantages:
- Living Close by, But Still Separate: ADUs allow loved ones to live together while maintaining separate spaces. This arrangement enables you to enjoy each other’s company and provide assistance when needed, such as with childcare, while also ensuring privacy. If this appeals to you, consider purchasing a home with an ADU or adding one to your existing property.
- Aging in Place: ADUs provide older individuals with the opportunity to live close to their loved ones who can offer support as they age. This setup allows for independence while ensuring assistance is readily available. For instance, if you want your aging parents to be nearby, a home with an ADU or an added ADU to your current house may be a suitable choice.
- Affordable Construction: ADUs are typically more cost-effective to build compared to larger standalone homes due to their smaller size. Constructing an ADU can also increase the value of your property.
- Generating Additional Income: If you own a home with an ADU or build one on your land, it can serve as a source of rental income that can be used towards your mortgage payments. It’s important to note that, traditionally, ADUs cannot be sold separately from the primary residence as they are considered secondary dwellings on a single-family lot. However, this is changing in some states, so it’s crucial to consult with a local expert to understand your options.
These are just a few reasons why ADUs are gaining popularity among those who can benefit from them. As Scott Wild, SVP of Consulting at John Burns Research, mentioned, ADUs have transitioned from a niche market to a significant part of new housing.
The Bottom Line
ADUs offer great advantages for both buyers and homeowners. If you’re interested in exploring this housing option, reach out to a real estate professional who can guide you through local codes and regulations and help you find suitable ADUs in your market.
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