By DESYANA WILLIS | Special to the Palisadian-Post
What exactly is an ADU? Accessory dwelling units are secondary living areas attached to or built on the property of an existing residence. Knowing a bit more about them could aid you in deciding if this is the right way to increase the value of your home or give you that extra space you’ve been looking for.
ADUs have taken on many names in the past, from granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units and more.
Today they have gained more and more popularity, with new zoning laws to combat housing shortages and people looking for ways to generate additional income right from their homes. You can accomplish an ADU installation in a few different ways, some being an attached ADU, detached ADU or junior ADUs.
With an attached ADU, you can convert an attached garage into a livable space. Or you can build a second-story addition to the house or the attached garage. With the proper permits, this can add additional square footage to the home thus increasing the property’s appraised value.
The standard for building is up to 800 square feet or 50% of the floor area primary home, whichever is greater. It can be two bedrooms and one bathroom per unit, with a max height of one story, 16 feet maximum.
Detached ADUs can be new construction built from the ground up or the conversion of a stand-alone garage. When done right, you have an opportunity to increase your property’s value by 20 to 30%. Not only will it increase value but renting the space to tenants can passively supplement a homeowner’s income. These are limited to 850 square feet for studios and one-bedroom units, and 1,000 square feet for two-bedroom units.
As for junior ADUs, they are allowed to be created within the walls of a proposed or existing single-family residence. Essentially you could add a separate ADU and build out the junior ADU to maximize your property’s space. JADUs are legally rentable units and provide the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others. Junior ADUs are limited to 500 square feet with one bedroom and one bathroom per unit.
Given your specific property, choosing the right option for you could truly add value. You always want to consult with a certified contractor before taking the steps toward building and designing. But once you do, the possibilities are vast.
As of January 1, California requires that cities and counties develop a plan that incentivizes and promotes the creation of ADUs that can be offered at affordable rent for very low to moderate-income households. This not only helps you play a part in finding solutions to the housing crisis but adds additional benefits to you in doing so. Think of this as another tool in your tool belt as a homeowner or investor.
Desyana Willis is a sales partner with Amalfi Estates, which has sold $1.4 billion in properties and was selected by the WSJ as one of the top 60 agents in the country out of one million agents. If you are thinking of buying a home or selling your own, contact Willis at 213-304-5375 or email@example.com.
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