What Are Accessory Dwelling Units and How Can They Benefit You?

Liz Kroft  |  November 1, 2023

 What Are Accessory Dwelling Units and How Can They Benefit You?

Are you searching for your dream home but struggling to find one that aligns with your budget? Maybe you're already a homeowner looking for extra income or a place to accommodate your loved ones. Whether you're a potential homebuyer or a homeowner with changing needs, accessory dwelling units, or ADUs for short, might be the key to unlocking new opportunities for you in Santa Cruz County.

Exploring ADUs: What Are They?

As defined by AARP, an ADU is a compact dwelling located on a single-family lot, sharing space with a primary residence. It's a self-contained living space that typically includes a kitchen or kitchenette, a bathroom, and a sleeping area. The versatility of ADUs is impressive; they can be located within, attached to, or detached from the main residence. You can either convert an existing structure, such as a garage, into an ADU or construct a new one from scratch. Keep in mind that ADU regulations may vary depending on your location, so consulting a local real estate professional in Santa Cruz County is a wise step for more tailored information.

Embracing the Benefits of ADUs in Santa Cruz County

Freddie Mac and the AARP have highlighted the numerous advantages that ADUs offer to both potential homebuyers and existing homeowners. Let's delve into some of these benefits while keeping in mind the unique appeal of Santa Cruz County:

1. Living Close by, Yet Separate: ADUs allow family members to reside close to one another while enjoying separate living spaces. This means you can share quality time, assist each other with various needs, such as childcare, while still having the privacy you desire. If this concept resonates with you, exploring homes with existing ADUs in Santa Cruz, Capitola, Scotts Valley, or building an ADU onto your property becomes an appealing option. As Freddie Mac notes, it's increasingly popular for homeowners to create independent living spaces for their family members.

2. Aging in Place: ADUs offer a unique solution for older individuals who want to remain close to their loved ones. It provides them with a perfect balance between independence and the support they need as they age. In Santa Cruz County, this means your aging parents can stay nearby while you keep a watchful eye over them, all the while respecting their independence. Buying a home with an ADU or adding one to your current property aligns perfectly with this vision.

3. Affordable Construction: ADUs are known for their cost-efficiency. Their smaller size typically results in lower construction costs compared to building larger standalone homes. Moreover, constructing an ADU can enhance your property's overall value. Given the housing landscape in Santa Cruz County, where affordability is a common concern, ADUs can provide an excellent solution.

4. Generating Additional Income: Santa Cruz County's real estate market offers unique income opportunities. If you own a property with an ADU or decide to build one on your land, you can leverage it to generate rental income, which can be directed towards your mortgage payments. It's essential to note that ADUs are usually considered secondary dwellings and cannot be sold separately from the primary residence. However, changes in regulations are altering this landscape in some states. Therefore, working with a real estate professional with a deep understanding of Santa Cruz County's specifics is crucial to explore your options fully.

Key Takeaway

ADUs are emerging as a significant part of Santa Cruz County's housing market. Whether you're a potential buyer or a homeowner with evolving needs, reaching out to a local real estate expert is your best step. They can guide you through the local codes and regulations related to ADUs and help you explore the offerings available in your specific area. The real estate landscape in Santa Cruz County is full of potential, and ADUs could be your key to unlocking new possibilities.

Don't miss out on this housing trend that's reshaping Santa Cruz County; reach out to a Santa Cruz real estate professional today to explore your ADU options!

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