They used to be called mother-in-law-units or granny flats, but today they are called accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, and are gaining in popularity across the country, especially in high-demand areas. They are becoming the wise choice when affordable housing is scarce or when family members want to stay close together.
ADUs are permanent and have their own entrance, kitchen, and full bath. Square footage can range but most municipalities limit them to 800 square feet or less. They can be detached stand-alone units or attached in some way to the main house.
They work well for small households just getting started, for empty nesters, and even for people who need rental income to live in a pricier neighborhood because the ADU can be rented out. And, of course, they are perfect for older adults who want to age in place.
Average cost for an ADU is $156,000 however, there are do-it-yourself kits that enable a homeowner to build one for as little as $50,000. Other costs associated include permits, architectural plans, insurance, fees, and utilities.
As a home buyer, an ADU or having room on the lot for an ADU, may be something important to consider when house hunting.
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