Building an ADU in California | 8 Reasons to Consider

Building an ADU in California | 8 Reasons to Consider


8 Reasons to Consider Building an ADU in California

If you’re thinking of ways to keep your family and friends closer to you without going the billionaire route and buying each of them a house in your neighborhood, then you should consider an ADU. We’ve had many people ask us, “Why would I consider building an ADU in California?” Well, in our humble opinion, the question should be — why not?

The benefits of ADUs strongly and decisively outweigh the cons. Not to mention, an accessory dwelling unit offers excellent ROI. However, when it comes to exact reasons to actually start building a so-called granny flat in your backyard, we offer you the following eight.

buiding an adu in your californian backyard

Why would you consider building an ADU in California?

It’s no secret that renting a house in California is a pricy and often nightmarish adventure. Affordable housing is a reality in many states. Sadly, California isn’t one of them. Renting has such a high cost that leaves people struggling to make ends meet that the state had to offer a $5.2 billion rent relief program amid pandemic. 

Now, you may be wondering what that has to do with ADUs. Well, we’ll get to that, but, as we mentioned many times before, ADUs are the perfect solution to California’s previous and newly evolved housing crisis. For that reason, the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles are doing all they can to speed up the process of building affordable rentals and solving the housing crisis.

And that’s exactly what leads us to reason #1 of why would you consider building an ADU in California.

1. California Is ADU-Friendly

Although ADUs weren’t always welcome in California, today, things are different. The state figured out that these buildings can help them solve the problem which has plagued the state for decades — the lack of affordable housing. 

That’s why having an ADU on your property isn’t an unattainable dream anymore. Now, the ADU laws have changed significantly (and they lean in favor of the builder), and ADU rules make it easier to get a permit and start your ADU project. New ADU ordinances that came in effect late last year allow potential builders to:

  • obtain a permit in 60 days or less
  • pay only the necessary impact fees
  • bypass the outdated building codes

For example, you are no longer restricted by lot size. You don’t have to abide by the “must be more than 10 feet away from the primary single-family home” and other nonsense rules in order to start your ADU construction.

But, there’s more to it than that. California isn’t only ADU-friendly because it changed its laws. The people have also adopted a new, receptive attitude towards ADUs. They are more likely to accept having them in their neighborhoods and even rent one.

signing a contract for adu building in california

2. ADUs Increase the Value of Your Property

Overall, ADUs will add value to your property. Of course, not every ADU will add value in the same manner (or volume) since there are many factors that contribute to this (both positively and negatively).

However, on average, an ADU will increase the value of your property by anywhere between 25 and 34%

3. They Offer You a Chance to Tackle the Housing Crisis

As mentioned, California has been struggling to provide housing for all its residents. This housing crisis has been an ongoing one for decades. To tackle it, the Californian government did all it could to speed up the process of approving ADU plans.

So, the government did its part. Now, we could get into the fact that there were other ways to resolve the housing crisis. However, that’s a waste of breath and (internet) ink. 

The housing crisis can only be solved by communal effort. Like any other issue, we need teamwork to solve the lack of affordable housing. 

Building an ADU in your backyard and renting it out (at reasonable prices) can be your little way of contributing to this issue. 

Not to mention, it would be an excellent way to make some extra income.

4. They Are Affordable and Sustainable

The main features of any ADU are that it is affordable (both to build and rent out) and sustainable. ADUs are significant;y more eco-friendly than traditional single-family homes. They have a smaller carbon footprint and are a fantastic tool that can help us redesign the unsustainable urban and suburban landscape

If you’re wondering how that’s possible, consider the following. ADUs allow people to live in job-rich areas. So, they stop the urban sprawl. Cities won’t spread out as much if we start building affordable housing in their cores. 

And, if people stay in areas where they work, they’ll have shorter commute times, thus lowering their own carbon footprint. Not to mention, they’ll be more likely to use public transport (since it’s available), so they’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ADUs can also lower the costs of building new infrastructure and preserve nature.

Not bad for a tiny house, right?

5. They Can Help Build a Community

It takes a village to raise kids and keep a family afloat. However, in reality, that village needs space. Not to mention, the villagers would probably also like some privacy.

That’s why ADUs are the perfect solution. They offer both communal living and privacy to everyone involved. Not to mention, they can help you build a little community of your own. 

Even if you rent out your ADU to a stranger, you can still build a community. An ADU will be right next to your primary home. That means that you’ll have to see, talk to, and accept other people in your space. However, it can also mean you have someone to turn to for assistance or lend a helping hand.

6. ADUs Make for Perfect Staycation Destinations

If this pandemic taught us anything is that we have to make the best of any situation. Due to travel restrictions, a lot of us couldn’t go anywhere. But, because humankind is nothing if not innovative, we made do with “staycations.”

There’s no doubt that COVID changed the way we travel. We’re no longer that willing to hop on a plane and stay somewhere. We’re more conscious about safety and health (not just ours but those of others, as well). That’s why we adapted and started visiting friends and family instead of visiting other destinations and staying in hotels and apartments with strangers.

Having an ADU in your backyard means that you can invite someone who wants a bit of change of scenery without compromising your or theirs privacy. And, if necessary, you can also organize your own little staycation in it.

adu keeps your family close

7. An ADU Can Help You Keep Your Family Close

There’s a reason why ADUs are called granny flats and in-laws suites. Their primary function is to keep family close. They are perfect solutions for those looking to:

  • move their elderly family in
  • age in place
  • house their boomerang kids
  • live in a multigenerational household

ADUs allow you to keep your family close, but not too close. With a detached ADU, everyone involved will have enough privacy and still be close. Just because our parents are aging doesn’t mean they don’t like to live their lives independently. With an ADU, you can ensure their safety and quality of living without compromising their autonomy.

And, speaking of autonomy, ADUs are also a perfect way to allow your family members with special needs to have some independence while also being close enough to offer support. 

More often than not, ADUs house boomerang kids that had to return home for various reasons. With the housing market as abysmal as it is, it’s really no wonder that many Millennials are finding temporary housing in their parents’ homes. These are grown people moving back in with their parents who probably grew accustomed to not having them around. Making that sort of situation harmonious is difficult if everyone involved has to share space.

Well, with an ADU, they wouldn’t have to. 

8. ADUs Are Perfect For Guests

If you have a boomerang kid, you’re probably hoping they’ll move out sooner or later. So, why build an ADU for them then? 

Well, the beauty of ADUs is that they are versatile. So, when your child manages to tackle the financial obstacles that make it practically impossible for them to buy a home, and they move out, you’ll be left with an empty ADU that you can turn into a home office, pool house, or a guest house.

backyard home in california

Even if you love entertaining guests, you have to admit that sharing space can sometimes be overwhelming. Because of the current global events, many of us haven’t seen many of our family and friends for months.

So, it’s safe to say that we can all expect an influx of visitors as soon as the situation allows it. An ADU will enable you to simultaneously accommodate them and have your own peace and quiet you’ve grown accustomed to.

Building an ADU in California with Cedar

Here at Cedar, we’re devoted to building not only affordable but also efficient and gorgeous ADUs that will help communities and individuals thrive. Our ADUs are the perfect love-children of Scandinavian design and Californian spirit. 

If you’re looking to make an impact on your community in a meaningful way, give us a call and schedule your consultation with the Cedar team. Our turn-key solutions will show you that we’re the best one-stop-shop for stunning ADUs!