Two years ago we moved from a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home that was 1,400 square feet to a 4 bedroom, 3 bath home that is 2,500 square feet. We love our new home and safe community but there is one thing we’re still lacking: space and money. Wait, that’s two things. My subconscious must be working overtime. But does this sound familiar? As I continue working from home and as time passes as many family members progress in years, I can’t help but wonder what the future holds. This has caused me to think about various options to address these impending situations and has very likely encouraged you to Google, “What is an ADU?”. Here are a few things that you need to know about ADUs:
- What an ADU is NOT: An ADU isn’t a shed like you would buy at Home Depot and then convert into a living space with flimsy insulation and a coat of paint. It’s not a mobile home that you remember from the 1980’s with aluminum siding that sits on a wood foundation. An ADU isn’t a tiny home that sits on a minuscule foundation with wheels and is towed from lot to lot. It’s not an old school bus or train car that’s been converted into a home. You’ve probably seen TV shows that feature these creative projects and while they are inspiring and interesting and trendy, they definitely are NOT ADUs.
- So then, what IS an ADU? An ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit and in its most basic of definitions, it’s literally a small home built on a lot with an existing home. It’s a home that has a cement foundation (which makes it a permanent structure on the property), it has a full bathroom and kitchen (although admittedly smaller and more compact than a traditional home), and they tend to come in around 400 to 800 square feet depending on the model or size of the backyard. It typically can be a studio, one bedroom, or two bedroom floor plan.
ADUs are also becoming quite popular because of their ease of assembly. ADUs are prefab homes which means that each company has a limited number of floorplan options so that they can build most of the home in a factory. The puzzle pieces are made off site and then they’re delivered to the property and are assembled on site. This cuts costs and lengthy build times by eliminating expensive, custom architectural blueprints and streamlines the process. Much like purchasing a new build home (versus a custom home), you’ll have various flooring, tile, cabinet, and paint options but you won’t be overwhelmed by choices as compared to building a unique home from scratch.
It’s important to note, though, that these aren’t the home kits of the past with cheap materials and shoddy workmanship. The ADU companies of today have state of the art kitchen appliances, beautiful cabinetry, and quality flooring. Most companies have several options and different price points to accommodate client budgets.
- What are ADUs used for? – ADUs are as versatile and unique as the people who purchase them. Again, these are not flimsy kits or outdoor sheds; they are homes that are shrunk down to fit into a standard backyard. Sheds are limited by weather, lack of plumbing, limited electricity, and aren’t sound proof. ADUs are literally an extension of your home and can be thought of as an in-law-unit not connected to your home. (However, a garage can be converted into a separate living space with insulation, a kitchen and a bathroom. This would also fit in the ADU category.)
What would you use your ADU for? We’ve heard countless options and these are some of our most popular:
- Home Office – If you work from home, this is a great way to keep your workspace separate from your home life. Additionally, if you have supplies, paperwork, or tools that need to be left out and secure, you have that option as compared to a traditional in home office. This is also a great opportunity to meet with clients without having them come inside your private home.
- Home for Aging Parents or Grown Children – If you’re middle-aged, then you are definitely in or are about to be in this situation: you have aging parents that need extra care and/or you have children who are grown or almost grown but there’s no way they can afford a home of their own. An ADU provides a separate space for independent living for your parents while still giving you the benefit of taking them to doctor appointments or ensuring that they are healthy and safe. For grown children, they can purchase the ADU to start their journey on home ownership or they could rent it from you and those dollars can be invested back into your family.
- Rental Property – Have you seen the price of rent lately?!?! This is a great way to have the ADU pay for itself and once it’s paid for, you can bring in a great income stream to help supplement your finances down the road.
- Gym/Artist Studio/Craft Studio – What is your hobby and your passion? An ADU can be your dream space for whatever you want it to be!
An ADU is a sound investment and a superb way to add more living space to your property. It gives you the advantage of increasing your square footage without the hassle or worry of moving from a neighborhood you love or a community you’re familiar with.
Are you thinking about investing in an ADU? ADU Warehouse is here to serve you! Whether you just have questions about the process or you’re excited to get started, we’d love to hear from you. ADU Warehouse partners with reputable real estate professionals, insurance brokers, contractors, landscapers, property managers, and lenders so that you can feel confident in your investment both today and down the road. We work together to give you the best experience possible for a seamless project. How can we serve you today? Call us at 1-888-540-0238 or learn more at ADUWarehouse.com.