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What's an ADU?

Let’s start with the basics.

What is an ADU and what does the new legislation mean for homeowners?

 

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a legal and regulatory term for a secondary house or apartment that shares the building lot of a larger, primary house. The new law effective January 1, 2020, has paved the way for homeowners to adjust to the unexpected changes of the 2020 lifestyle.

 

Homeowners are adding an ADU for many different reasons that would complement their lifestyle. An ADU can be used as a home office, gym, mother-in-law's quarters, guest house, or just an additional income producer for the homeowners to mitigate the increasing cost of living. 

 

Owner-occupancy will not be required for the new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADUs) (conversion and new construction) built between 2020 and 2025. ~ According To SB13

 

Tell me a little bit more about the specifications required.

 

As of January 1st, 2020 single-family and multi-family Lots will be allowed to build up to 850 sq. ft. for a one-bedroom ADU or up to 1,000 sq. ft. for a two-bedroom ADU, regardless of the underlying zoning standards of the property.

 

A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit up to 500 sq. ft. is allowed. The minimum size of any living unit (including Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADUs and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units) is 150 sq. ft. according to California Residential Code. ~ AB68

In terms of cost and return-on-investment, what should a homeowner expect?

 

Starting “from scratch” provides the opportunity to design a building that suits your circumstances. 
 

  • The cost will vary depending on size, location, and construction choices.
    The estimated cost for a new, 800 square foot structure with two bedrooms is currently estimated to be from $275,000 to $380,000, depending on labor costs, finish materials and location within the County.

 

  • Accessory dwelling units offer a variety of benefits to communities.
    They help increase a community’s housing supply, and since they cost less than new single-family homes on a separate lot, they are an affordable housing option for many low- and moderate-income residents. Elderly and/or disabled persons who may want to live close to family members or caregivers, empty nesters, and young adults just entering the workforce find ADU's convenient and affordable. In addition to increasing the supply of affordable housing, ADU's benefit homeowners by providing extra income that can assist in mitigating increases in the cost of living. Accessory dwelling units have other advantages as well.

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