Accessory Dwelling Units: The FAQs of ADUs

Earlier this year, new laws were passed in California to promote the development of accessory dwelling units, or ADUs. But even without this new legislation, many homeowners and landowners have already explored the possibilities of adding a second living unit on their property.

Many of these would be classified as manufactured homes, and Ma Williams can help you find one with the right size and amenities to fit your needs.

Let’s take a closer look at this subject.

Q: What are ADUs?

A: They go by many names: backyard homes, granny flats, secondary units – but all of them refer to the same thing: a smaller home located on the same property as a larger residential structure.

Q: They’re smaller? How smaller?

A: Most ADUs are approximately 1,200-1,500 square feet. But the local building department will be the agency who determines the exact size allowed on your lot.

Q: Why are they so popular?

A: They provide a way for larger families to live close together, without tripping over each other in one home. An accessory dwelling unit may be built for parents, grandparents, in-laws, or young adults returning from college who can’t afford a place of their own.

Q: Can ADUs be rented out?

A: Absolutely! Many people supplement their income with an ADU on their property that collects rent from tenants every month. However, they cannot be bought or sold separately.

Q: What are the benefits of building an ADU over buying/moving into a separate home?

A: The key benefit is value: a manufactured or modular home used as an ADU can be built at a far lower cost, plus you already own the land so that investment is avoided as well. However, lower cost doesn’t mean cheap: an array of design, siding and roofing options are available, and the models offered by Ma Williams feature the same upscale cabinet, countertop and floor covering options as our larger manufactured home models.

Q: Are ADUs the same as “tiny houses”?

A: Some ADUs are tiny houses, but some are much larger. Also, keep in mind that not all Tiny Homes (as seen on home improvement channels) are built to Federal, State or Local codes which can be a problem when trying to obtain permitting to place an ADU on your property long term.

Q: What new laws were passed in 2018 concerning ADUs?

A: The new laws now allow ADUs to be built in all zoning districts that allow single-family uses, and allow these dwellings to be built concurrently with a single-family home. However, city or county ordinances may still vary.

Still have questions? We can help. Talk to a Ma Williams representative today