7 things you DIDN’T know about ADUs

Accessory Dwelling Units(ADUs) are a hot topic in California. Why are people so interested in these particular home additions? Well, they have some amazing benefits! Here are 7 things you might not have known about ADUs: 

  1. What is an ADU?
    1. An ADU or Accessory Dwelling Unit is an additional living quarter on a single-family lot that is independent of the primary dwelling unit. They are sometimes known as granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, or secondary units. Some confuse ADUs with “tiny homes”, they are quite different. A tiny home oftentimes is mobile, with wheels and lacks a permanent foundation. An ADU on the other hand is a permanent fixture on the parcel of land, permanently adding value to the property!
  2. What properties qualify to have an ADU on them?
    1. This is a very common question among homeowners and investors. “How do I know whether or not I can have an ADU on my property?” In recent years, California has passed legislation to ease the restrictions on ADU permitting and construction. They have made it so most every single-family zoned parcel of land can build an ADU on it. Nearly 2/3rds of all residential land in California is zoned single-family. Meaning, A LOT of homeowners have the opportunity to take advantage of this ADU trend.
  3. Why is California allowing more people to build ADUs?
    1. Government officials in California and Californians have been faced with an overwhelming housing shortage crisis in recent years. To combat this increasing shortage, they had to get creative. One solution was to ease the restrictions of Accessory Dwelling Units. It is all supply and demand that drove this legislation into motion. Increase the supply to ease the demand. The law allowed for a period of 5 years where restrictions and rules were lessened for ADUs. All of these changes are allowing for homeowners to now build their dream ADUs.
  4. What are the different kinds of ADUs?
    1. One might think that living in an ADU means you are cramped and have very limited space. That is simply not the case if you dive into what is possible for an ADU. You can build a detached accessory dwelling unit that can be up to 1200 square feet. This gives you space from others living on the property and plenty of room for your belongings. If you would rather save the yard, an attached ADU is another great option. These can be up to half of the size of the main dwelling unit. If you have a garage that isn’t being used or you could do without, you can convert the garage into an ADU. This can be more cost-effective since you are utilizing an existing structure. You can also save the parking that your garage provides and build above the garage. You can also build what is called a JADU or junior accessory dwelling unit. A JADU is one that can be built within the walls of the existing main dwelling unit. If you are not looking to expand the livable space in your home then a JADU is a great way to take advantage of this trend.
  5. Can I sell my ADU?
    1. The answer is no, you cannot sell your ADU as a separate residence. The Accessory Dwelling Unit is legally attached to the main residence. They do however add value to the residence and can increase the sale value of the home substantially. You can also rent out the Accessory Dwelling Unit to earn passive income. There are many ways that an ADU can increase your financial standing, and they can help you achieve financial goals.
  6. You might not need to build extra parking for your ADU…
    1. One might think that you would be required to build some extra parking for your ADU to accommodate potential renters, but that isn’t always the case. One way California is making it easier for homeowners to build an ADU with limited space is to lessen the regulations when it comes to parking. Now, you need not worry about a new parking space if your property meets ANY of the following:
      1. It’s within half a mile from a public transit system
      2. It’s in a historically and architecturally significant district
      3. On-street parking permits are required but not offered to the ADU’s occupant
      4. A car-share vehicle is located within a block of the property
  7. What kind of timelines can I expect?
    1. Building an ADU that fits your needs is the determining factor when it comes to how long the construction will take. Depending on the style, look, materials, and local government regulations, your ADU can take anywhere from three to eight months to construct. If you are looking to build a massive detached ADU, then you might want to take into account that it might take a little longer than a garage conversion. PLUS, you have to remember that you have to pass inspections and make sure you have all of the proper permits before and during the construction of your ADU. 

You may or may not have known some of these interesting ADU tidbits. We hope that this helped deepen your understanding of ADUs and why Californians have been going crazy about them. If you are looking to build an ADU on a property you own, REIG ADU is here to help. 

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