So, what is an accessory dwelling unit?

Accessory dwelling units refer to a catch-all category for any type of supplemental housing that can be added on to the main property. It covers things like guest houses, carriage houses, in-law suites, basement apartments, and tiny homes.

Though an accessory dwelling unit can refer to just about any type of additional housing, there is one key feature that sets it apart from other multi-unit housing situations.

With an ADU, the additional unit cannot be sold independently of the main property. In this case, the owner of the main housing structure must keep the additional unit in his or her name, either for personal use or rental income.

Why these units are popular

These days, accessory dwelling units are becoming steadily more popular than they have been in quite some time. Due to recent years of economic uncertainty, more and more people are falling back into a multi-generational housing model.

Whether adult children are moving back home after completing their education, or elderly parents are in need of some extra support, an ADU offers the benefit of communal living where everyone also is afforded some much-needed privacy.

For others, the benefit of an accessory dwelling unit is mainly financial.

If space is available, and you’re looking for ways to bring in some extra income each month, renting out the extra unit is a great way to do so. As an added bonus, since the ADU is typically a separate structure unto itself, this type of living situation often affords much more privacy than, say, simply renting out a room in your home.

How to get an ADU of your own

If you think adding an accessory dwelling unit might be a good move for you and you don’t already have one of these units on your property, putting one up can be a bit of a process.

Here’s what you’ll need to consider before starting construction:

Check local zoning laws
Since you’re looking to build an entirely new structure on your property, you’re definitely going to need to make sure that you’re following local zoning laws and permitting the project properly.

Often, regulations can vary widely depending on your location, and the penalty for not following the rules can be steep. You could be asked to pay a fine or to take the structure down entirely, so in this case, it’s much better to know exactly what’s expected of you before construction begins.

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Get Help When You Are Buying Property,


There are millions of people dipping into the real estate market, yet we still see those who are afraid to push a dime in that direction. Real estate is hard to predict and the market is currently not healthy. It is natural to be concerned and to proceed carefully. There is still money to be made in real estate, and this article will help you to identify the best investment opportunities.


A realtor should keep in contact during the holiday season with those people that they have worked with in the past. If you call them again, they will know how much help you were when they were buying their home. Remind them that all of your work comes from referrals, so you would appreciate their help.


When house hunting, you should take into account what may happen in your future. While you might not have children yet, you may want some in the future. So you should still look at schools in the surrounding area to make sure that is satisfactory.


Ask your Realtor for a checklist. Checklists cover each step of purchasing your home. They help you through the process of finding the home, making sure you can afford it and securing a mortgage. Such a document is a great way to ensure that all details of the transaction are addressed.


When purchasing real estate, it is important to have additional funds set aside because there might be unexpected costs. Buyers usually consider the down payment, pro-rated property taxes and points when calculating closing costs. Closing costs might consist of extra fees such as taxes, bonds, or fees based on the local area.


When you're ready to buy a home, you're aware of the asking price. However, figuring out your offer is most important. Taking into account information on the house's condition, you can arrive at a final amount that seems fair to both you and the seller.


You can request that the seller help out with closing costs or sweeten the deal with other financial incentives when you make your offer on the house you have in mind. For example, you might request that the seller buy down the rate of interest for a couple of years. Some sellers may not want to give you a price break on the home if you ask for financial perks.


Go online and check out if there are any sex offenders registered in the area of houses you want to buy. Although sex offender registries are available to the public, real estate agents are under no obligation to disclose information to potential buyers about registered sex offenders in the neighborhood. Do your own research!


Avoid buying a house with more than one fireplace, unless you think you are going to need more than one. It can be aggravating to clean a bunch of fireplaces, especially if they're rarely used.


You should be able to locate information and resources that pertain to purchasing real estate, both online and off. You should also understand what steps are involved in the process as well as the legalities. So read over these tips and use them well. Keep learning, and you can jump into the market with confidence.

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