Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are another name for mother-in-law suites, guest cottages, carriage houses, and garage or basement apartments. They allow for assisted living or elderly care, or an income source for property owners. If done right, ADUs can be financially beneficial for property owners and cover part of the home’s mortgage. To make sure that installing an ADU is the best choice for you, consider the following:
- Are ADUs allowed in your community? Your home owners association may prohibit ADUs and municipalities usually approach ADUs differently than normal structures. It’s important to check the zoning laws to see if ADUs are allowed and what the rules are for installing them.
- Does it financially make sense? Renovating a home or garage to include an ADU can be costly. You must consider that these structures often require the new installation of plumbing, electricity, and even walls. If you won’t recover your investment money in 5 years, then an ADU may not make financial sense.
- Are you ready to be a landlord? Having an ADU means giving up some privacy and being responsible for maintaining the property to commercial standards. You also run the risk of running into nightmare tenants. As a landlord, you must abide by the Fair Housing Act.
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then an ADU may be a good option for you.