May 23, 2024
    Have you ever asked yourself the question: what are accessory dwelling units? Read our complete guide to learn everything that you need to know on the subject.

    What Are Accessory Dwelling Units: A Complete Guide

    Real estate is one the most efficient ways in which you can boost your net worth. You also have the opportunity to increase the value of the property through renovations. However, many people neglect the fact that you can add an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to your home.

    So, what are accessory dwelling units? The guide below has everything you need to know.

    What Are Accessory Dwelling Units?

    As the name suggests, an accessory dwelling unit is an addition to your property that serves as a residential area. Put simply, it is more or less what most people would consider a guest house.

    These are often used to accommodate friends and family, and they might even be used as a long-term place of residence. For example, it’s not uncommon for someone to live in an ADU while they await the construction of their new home.

    Under most circumstances, these structures can serve as valuable overall additions to a property.

    There Are Different Types Available

    Interestingly, many people are unaware of the fact that there are additional types of ADUs.

    One of the most common is the detached new construction ADU. This is a standalone unit that is typically located a fair distance from the house. This type of structure is ideal for those who prioritize residential privacy.

    Of course, it’s also possible to have an accessory dwelling unit that is attached to the main house. In general, there are three other primary locations that people choose to use as a space for an ADU. These include the garage, the basement, and the space above the garage.

    The one that is ideal for you will depend on your needs. If you don’t have a large amount of property available, one of the latter three options will be your best bet.

    Otherwise, a detached or attached ADU will be able to fulfill your needs.

    You’ll Need to Consider Zoning Laws

    Before you can get started with construction, you’ll need to consider your local zoning laws. These are heavily contingent upon the state you live in, and they can vary widely from state to state.

    More often than not, you will nearly always need a permit in order to construct an ADU. Factors to consider include whether or not the property owner is required to live on the property itself, requirements related to parking, and the maximum number of occupants.

    There may also be a limit on the total number of ADUs you can have on a single property. Breaching these guidelines could come with legal consequences.

    Development Standards Also Come Into Play

    In addition to zoning laws, there are also certain development standards that you will need to keep in mind before you decide to install one.

    For example, some cities declare that this type of structure must not exceed 1000 square feet. Similarly, other regulations dictate that the ADU must be located within a certain distance of the primary home. The standards also extended to the lot on which the residence is built.

    In some circumstances, you may not be able to construct an ADU if the lot is not a certain size. It’s worth noting that some cities may not have regulations associated with accessory dwelling units at all. However, this often doesn’t mean that you have free reign over the type of residence you can build.

    For instance, building an ADU that imposes upon the privacy or quality of life of your neighbors could have complications down the road.

    You Can’t Sell an ADU as a Separate Residence

    This type of structure is considered an accessory to the main property.

    As a result, it can’t be sold as a primary residence. The only time in which an ADU can be sold to a buyer is if they also purchase the property itself. So, it’s worth considering how an accessory dwelling unit will impact the overall value of your property as time goes on.

    This is important information to keep in mind, as complications can easily arise if you construct an ADU with the sole purpose of selling it as its own house. Since there are so many regulations associated with accessory dwelling units, many cities have preapproved floorplans that you can take advantage of.

    These allow you to get started with construction as quickly as possible while also ensuring that you comply with regulations.

    Consider Getting in Touch With a Professional

    It’s in your best interest to contact an ADU Builder to help you during the process. Not only will they work with you to accommodate your needs, but they will also help determine which type of unit is ideal for you.

    More often than not, they will present you with an accessory dwelling unit guide that will easily allow you to streamline your potential options. It’s worth taking this into consideration, as hiring the right professional can often be the difference between whether or not you get the results you intend to.

    You can check out this resource to learn more:

    Accessory Dwelling Units Could Be a Great Investment

    Not only do they provide a place for friends and family to stay, but they can also add a significant amount of value to your home. So, keep this information about “what are accessory dwelling units” in mind so that you can maximize the opportunities available to you.

    Looking for more tips that can help you out later on? Check out the rest of our blog for plenty of more useful information.


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