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What are ADUs and Why Are They Popular?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are a form of residential housing that have gained significant popularity, especially in California. They are essentially additional living spaces on a property that can take various forms.

An ADU is a secondary housing unit on a single-family residential lot. It can be attached to the primary residence, such as a basement or garage conversion, or it can be a standalone structure like a backyard cottage.

ADUs come in different forms, including:

·         Detached ADUs: Standalone structures separate from the main house.

·         Attached ADUs: Extensions or conversions of existing space in the primary residence, like converting a garage or a portion of the main house.

·         Interior ADUs: Created within the existing footprint of the main house, such as basement conversions.

Why has building an ADU on your property become so popular in California?

In many areas, especially urban and suburban locations, housing affordability is a significant issue. ADUs offer a more affordable alternative to traditional housing options. ADUs allow homeowners to make effective use of their property. This is particularly beneficial in areas with limited land availability. For example, ADUs can serve as a home for aging parents (often referred to as 'granny flats'), allowing families to live close while maintaining privacy. They can also be rented out, providing an income source for you and affordable rent for your tenant. This increases your home’s value while making living in the home more affordable.

ADUs can be customized to fit your needs and preferences, offering a level of design flexibility.

California has passed legislation to simplify and encourage the building of ADUs as a source of new housing in suburban areas close to work. This includes easing zoning restrictions, reducing fees, and streamlining approval processes.

In short, the rise in popularity of ADUs is largely driven by their ability to provide affordable housing options, increase property values, offer flexibility, and contribute to meeting the growing housing demand in an environmentally responsible manner. Their appeal is further enhanced by changes in regulations that make them easier and more cost-effective to build.

If you have any questions on ADUs, you are welcome to contact me.


Link: California offer grant program to help defray the cost of constructing an ADU


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