How ADUs Can Benefit Your Growing Family
Although we’ve talked about the benefits of ADUs extensively before, today, we’re touching upon the fact that they can be a game-changer for growing or changing families.
The state of nuclear families is in constant flux. We, as a society, evolve and change with time, and so do our micro-social circles. California has always been a pioneer of cultural changes. For decades, it has been at the forefront of modification of concepts such as marriage and family. So, it’s quite surprising to some that it’s actually a state with an above average number of stable, married families.
65% of kids in California live with their married parents. Around 67% of Californian families have intact marriages. Compared to the United States’ 63%, that’s an excellent number! It seems that the Sunshine State values traditional family and manages to keep it intact, even with emphasizing individualism, diversity, and tolerance (which are often seen as nemesis of traditionalism).
So, young people who are just now starting their families in California have a greater chance of keeping them whole throughout the following decades.
Expanding Beyond the Primary Home
As a general rule, growing families need more space. If you’re expecting a new bundle of joy soon, then you’ve probably (or you’re planning on adding one soon) already started thinking about how your house might not have enough room for your family anymore.
So, what are your options? You could upgrade, of course. But, with the housing market as abysmal as it is, that’s easier said than done.
California should be building 180,000 homes per year to keep up with the ever-growing demand on the housing market. Currently, it’s building just a little over 93,000. So the shortage of housing is a real issue.
Not to mention, upgrading is expensive. But that’s why an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) can change your life completely.
Maybe you’re thinking about turning the home office into a nursery, even though that would leave you without a working space. That isn’t ideal, but you simply need the room, right? Well, with an ADU, you wouldn’t have to choose.
ADUs are an excellent solution for anyone:
- looking to expand beyond their primary residence
- who needs more space than their single-family home can offer
- with kids that are a part of the boomerang generation
- considering multigenerational living
- wanting to give their young adult children more freedom and independence
- who needs extra income to offset new expenses (that usually come with having kids)
Overall, ADUs are an excellent way to accommodate your growing or changing family — no matter what that growth or change looks like.
Of course, they are also a fantastic way to rent a house that’s big enough for a growing family without having to spend a fortune on rent.
One of the most common misconceptions about ADUs is that they can’t solve the housing crisis because they are only built for one person. Even if they were (which isn’t the case), they’d still help the growing crisis by creating invisible density in urban areas (not to mention stopping the urban crawl).
Aside from that, people also believe that ADUs don’t make for good long-term rentals due to their size and lack of space.
The reality is quite far from that. Although dubbed granny flats or even carriage houses are actually fully functional houses that can house multiple adults. With plenty of pros going their way, ADUs can accommodate your growing family in many ways.
For Growing Families
If you’re expecting a baby and wondering where you’ll find the space to accommodate all the ways a baby will change your life and home, an ADU might be the perfect solution. While you won’t be able to use it in the traditional sense (it will be a long while before your baby is capable of moving into it, you know), you can still benefit from the extra space that a backyard cottage offers.
As mentioned before, if you’re thinking of giving up your home office to build a nursery, you can build an ADU home office instead. That will still clear enough space for the baby while also giving you the option of keeping your work and life separate.
Furthermore, many people opt to completely renovate their homes before they have a baby. It gives them the opportunity to make their single-family house work for them and all potential future kids. However, while renovating a house gives you a fresh start, it’s also a massive project. Where will you stay while you’re waiting for the construction to be finished?
In an ADU, of course! These dwellings work both as temporary and primary residences.
For Nannies and Au-Pairs
If you’re starting a family, you’ve probably already thought about future childcare. According to the Census Bureau, working moms make up nearly a third of the workforce.
And, with both parents working full-time, child care is a massive problem in modern family life. Juggling work and family life isn’t a picnic. It’s hard work. So, thinking ahead and figuring out childcare is always a good idea.
In case that you have the means and opportunity to get a nanny or even an au-pair that will take care of your young ones, it’s a good idea to have a space for them.
An ADU will come in handy here. Even if you call on family help and get your parents or in-laws (or any other family members) to come and help you adjust to this massive change in your family life, having some extra space that will give all of you the privacy you need (and deserve), while still keeping you all close in a tight-knit community is an excellent solution.
As Extra Income to Offset the Cost of Growing a Family
If you’re thinking to yourself, “A nanny? I can barely afford to have this child, let alone pay someone to look after it full time!” you’re not alone. Considering that California is the sixth most expensive state to raise a child in, you’re also entirely right.
Raising a child costs around $24,000 (on average) each year. That’s $24,000 on top of all the expenses that pile up every month anyway. It’s a glorious thing to have a child and watch it grow into a beautiful person, but it’s also expensive.
That’s why it’s wise to try to offset all those new expenses with an extra income. A passive income, such as the one that would come from renting an ADU in your backyard, would definitely make your life a little bit easier.
For Multigenerational Living
With the number of multi-family homes skyrocketing in the past few years, multigenerational living is no longer as stigmatized as it was made to be after World War II.
Living with your parents or in-laws has plenty of benefits, especially for someone who’s thinking of having children. After all, it takes a village to raise a kid, so why not make yours in your (or your parent’s) backyard?
Family ADUs For Boomerang Kids
Pre-COVID, the Boomerang generation was somewhat of a laughing stock. Kids returning home or just living at home in their 20s and 30s were considered as “unsuccessful”.
Now, with the state of the economy as it is, we see more and more adult kids move back home with their parents. Out of sheer necessity, adults ages 18 to 35 are cutting their costs and moving back in with mom and dad. Family ADUs are a great idea.
According to the Pew Research Center, this is the first time since the Great Depression that the majority of young adults are living with their parents (over 52% of them). And, although many of them were quick to move out again as soon a possible, there’s still plenty of them who had to stay put and readjust to living with mom and dad.
That adjustment (that’s hard on everybody) is a bit easier when there’s enough room for everybody and when everybody has enough privacy. A detached or even an attached ADU can provide that.
People who thought ahead and built in-law units in their backyard that would house their young adult kids were fortunate during the pandemic. However, even if you’re not one of them, it’s not too late to build one now.
The beauty of family ADUs is that they are so versatile. You can use them to:
- house relatives or friends who need a place to stay or have just come to visit
- kids who are on their way to becoming independent
- and even caregivers (in the far, far future)
One family ADU can have multiple purposes throughout the following decades.
Let Your Family Grow With Cedar ADUs
Is your family growing? Do you find that you need more space than your single-family home allows? Then now might be the time to consider building an ADU. Winter is the best time to do it, after all!
As a family-oriented business, Cedar strives to create the perfect, functional ADUs that will cater to your every need. Our comfortable, impeccably designed dwellings are built to last and accommodate families no matter their size. Cedar detached ADUs are value efficient and community-oriented.
So, are you looking to add an ADU to your backyard? Is your family growing and in need of more space (or that extra rental income)? Then give us a call! Our turn-key solutions will change your life!