If you haven’t heard yet, additional homes/dwelling units can be built on single family zoned lots. And with recent legislative changes in California, your ability to add more units to your lot has become less restrictive! Some of the major restrictions include smaller setbacks, no minimum lot size, no impact fees for units less than 750 sqft, no HOAs disallowing additional units, and many more. These additional homes are referred to as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs). Single Family zoned lots are eligible to have the main residence, 1 JADU, and 1 ADU. See our previous article about the legislative changes that came into effect January 1, 2020 here.
What is an ADU?
An ADU is an additional home placed on the same parcel of land as an existing home. Dependent on several criteria, these additional homes can be as large as 1200 square feet. An ADU can be attached or detached from the primary home. ADUs can be completely new construction, or can be made from converted garages (attached or detached) or basements, or can be made from splitting the existing residence.
What is a JADU?
A JADU is similar to an ADU, however has a few key differences.
- The JADU must be attached to the primary residence.
- If the primary residence is an existing home, the existing home cannot be expanded more than 150 sqft.
- The JADU cannot exceed 500 sqft
- The JADU may share a bathroom with the primary residence.
Why would a home owner want an ADU/JADU?
There are many reasons why a homeowner may consider adding an ADU to their property. Some of these reasons may include:
- The ability to provide extended family members nearby, yet private, living spaces. This may include the homeowner’s aging parents or adult children.
- The ability to use the second unit as a source of rental income (either through long term or short term rental strategies)
- The ability to downsize, yet remain on the same property. The primary home could then be used for any of the above purposes.
- Or the addition of an ADU and or JADU can provide the ability to add additional rental units to an existing rental property.
What’s your next step?
If you are considering building an ADU and/or JADU, we recommend you consult with your team of advisors and your local building/planning department to get the clearest understanding of the pros and cons to your decision. Depending on your situation, this team may consist of the following (in no particular order):
- Contractor- what are the construction costs associated with building?
- Realtor- how will this affect the value of your home?
- CPA or other tax advisor- how will this affect your taxes?
- Attorney- what is your exposure and what contracts should you have in place?
- Insurance Agent- how does this affect your current policy and what additional policies may you need? If you are in a flood or wildland fire zone, talking with your agent will be instrumental to a successful project.
- Property Manager- What are the projected rental incomes and expenses?
- Lender- Will you be self-financing this project, or will you be borrowing money to do so?
- Financial Advisor- How does this project fit with your overall goals?
- Engineer/Architect- What will fit on your property and what does the design include?
How We Can Help You
As part of your team, we will help you throughout the entire planning and design process. Some key aspects that we are directly involved in include:
- • Determining the space available to build;
- Helping you determine if the structure should be attached or detached;
- Completing designs of the unit(s), whether it’s a detached or attached unit or separating out existing living space from the primary residence; and
- Providing recommendations for other professionals and when to involve them.
If you are ready to start this process, please don’t hesitate to contact us and begin!