An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a single-family home.  These units can be:

  • Detached
  • A garage conversion
  • Above a garage or workshop
  • A basement conversion
  • Internal, where part of the primary house besides the basement has been converted
  • A “bump-out” build on to the primary residence

If you’re thinking about building an ADU on your property, there are a few things you should know:

ADUs Cannot Be Bought Or Sold SeparatelyADU

Since ADUs are legally on the same property as the main home, they cannot be bought or sold as a separate home.  The owner of the primary house is the owner of the ADU.

ADUs Are Used As Guesthouses Or For Income

One of the most popular uses of ADUs is as dwellings for guests and for gaining income via rent.  Homeowners with an ADU often find that having one for guests makes overnight gatherings easier—especially if the guest, like a grown child, will be there long-term.

For income, owners can either rent out the ADU and live in their main home, or live in the ADU and rent out the house.  This can be a great option for those who want to invest in real estate in areas where it’s cost-prohibitive.

You Will Need A Permit To Construct An ADU

Before you begin construction of that ADU on your property, you will need a permit from your local jurisdiction—especially if the unit is meant to be habitable.  It must also have a kitchen and in some places, you cannot simply build it in your backyard.  Check with your local zoning code to determine what is and is not permissible.

ADUs Can Be A Great Selling Point

If you’re selling your property in the future, ADUs can be a great selling point for some buyers.  Especially if the property is on hunting land.  An ADU can also add value to your property when done right.  Always have an appraiser come out to inspect the property and provide you with an estimation of value before you put the property on the market.

At Merchant of Homes, our agents have experience selling properties of all types, including those with accessory dwelling units.  Whether you’re buying or selling a property with an ADU, choose the experts at Merchant of Homes.

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