Why are ADUs called Granny Flats? Because they’re the convenient and economical solution to help care for your aging parents. They’re also great for adult kids, home offices, and rental income. Learn more here!

Here’s information that’s not brand new: California is expensive. Senior housing is expensive. Real estate is expensive. Building is expensive.

Now here is information that may be new to you: there is an answer that is cost effective, can add value to your property, takes only a short amount of time, and will bring you peace of mind when it comes to taking care of aging parents – have you thought about building an ADU? Also called a Granny Flat, these small structures are changing the way we think about caring for aging parents, housing grown children, and extending our living spaces.

COVID-19 changed many aspects of our lives and caused us to rethink what works and what doesn’t work on a daily basis. Many people started working from home and kids began homeschooling; even college kids who once had planned on transitioning into dorms had to spend another year under mom and dad’s roof. Homes that once functioned smoothly now felt cramped and noisy (anyone else turn up Zoom calls super loud and yell at the screen? No? Just me?)

Now that we’ve been working from home for a while, we’ve realized that we CAN work from home. Forget about the traditional 9 to 5, congested traffic, and avoiding the overly long stories from Tracy in accounting. However, working from home means that you need a defined office space where you can focus, have peace and quiet, and probably store files and supplies. 

Another issue that thousands of families faced due to COVID-19 was the difficult issue of finding housing for aging parents. The high cost of senior housing is nothing new, but the regulations and risks presented by a world pandemic made this already stressful decision even more complicated. Not being able to visit a loved one compounded by the worry that they would contract this potentially deadly respiratory disease was overwhelming.

A third problem arose when it came to college students. Their plans of leaving the nest and testing out their independence in a college dorm or apartment complex was slowly dashed as campuses closed down for semesters or even full school years. 

For young adults who wanted to purchase a condo or home, the real estate market became out of reach for many of them. Unprecedented demand combined with low supply made prices sky rocket and the competition fierce. The California Association of Realtors® reported that in March 2021, housing prices were up 23.9% from the previous year. The average home in California is $758,990, the average time on the market is eight days, and inventory is down 40.2% as compared to the previous year. Clearly, buying a home is not easy these days. For first time home buyers, the struggle is definitely real.

Now that we’ve talked about the problems, let’s talk about the solution. Have you looked into investing in an ADU (accessory dwelling unit)? Here are a few things that you need to know:

  1. An ADU makes an amazing home office! Forego any thoughts you have about this being similar to a shed found in the parking lot of Home Depot or Lowe’s. An ADU is fully functioning, insulated building that is limited only by your imagination and budget. Imagine your dream space that has the obvious necessities like Wifi and electricity and add to it your own restroom, kitchenette, and premium work space. Forget about interruptions from kids and co-workers, long commutes, and the cost of gas and wear and tear on your car. And without a long drive, just think of how many hours per year of your life you’ll be getting back! What would you do with an extra one to two hours per day!?!?!
  2. ADUs are called Granny Flats for good reason: they’re the perfect living space for your aging parents or family member. Depending on where you live, your ADU can be up to 1,200 square feet (in California this number can range from 800 sqft to 1200sqft depending on local government regulations)! Most traditional 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom homes are around 1,400 square feet! This is a great size for your parents; big enough to have a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living space and yet small enough to manage the cleaning and care of the home. Secondly, consider that a senior living community costs approximately $2,814 per month. (Please note that we are not addressing assisted living with medical care in this article. If your aging family member has physical or mental health issues, it’s only fair to the both of you to choose the proper facility for your unique situation.) 

With your parent living near you, this brings peace of mind knowing that you can easily transport them to and from medical appointments, check on them daily, and know that they are well taken care of.

  1. If an ADU is good enough for granny, it’s good enough for your adult child who wants to either test out their independence or save money for a traditional home of their own. Let’s say you want a really nice ADU which could run around $100,000. If you take out a 15 year loan at 3.92%, it would cost just $736 (this is just an example and can vary based on your credit score and other factors. Please talk to your financial advisor first). Now compare this to renting an 800 sq ft apartment which costs about $2,196/month. At the end of the 15 years, you own the ADU. When you rent, you leave with nothing. Moreover, you could rent out your ADU until your family needs it and pay it off in half the time! Not only is it adding value to your property, but it can pay for itself!

ADUs are definitely a solution to California’s housing crisis and ADU Warehouse is the answer to the question, “Where do I learn more?!” ADU Warehouse is the premier company with specialists in construction, real estate, and permitting to guide you every step of the way. Call them today to discuss what type of ADU is right for you!

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