Let’s talk specifics. We know the concept of a ‘granny flat’ comes from the dated idea that granny gets a separate but accessible living space near the original house – but what are the technical definitions?
Granny flat’s are more formerly known as ADUs – accessory dwelling units. You need the proper permits to build this add on to your property flip. Once you surpass 120 square feet and add electricity, you are technically building an ADU. Otherwise, those requirements just count as a shed.
When considering adding an additional unit to your building flip, here are some things to look out for on your initial scout of the property:
- A detached garage – it’s easy to convert the footprint of a garage on the property.
- Flat but deep lot – flat lots (over steep/irregular lots) are more accessible for builds and with more space, you can develop the unit a spacious distance from the main house.
- Driveways and parking – along with the housing crisis, there’s a parking crisis to be wary of. There’s also parking regulations that we’ll touch on next.
- Close to public transit and busy neighborhood – renters that will be attracted to a small accessory unit are most likely the type to want easy access to a community.
In our last blog post and email, we discussed retrospective building inspection. If your ADU build meets the requirements, you can get the proper building permits to bring it into compliance. In Southern California, the government is willing to work with you because of the housing shortages.
The vast majority of the time when you’re looking into adding an accessory dwelling unit you need to make sure the lot is zoned for a single-family home. That’s the safest way to make sure the property will be a sure match for your intentions.
Every neighborhood you build in, you’ll be dealing with different zoning aspects for ADUs. Make sure to review exactly which permits you need for each zone. Depending on the school zone or transportation fees, you’ll need to be prepared for the cost.
Speaking of cost, it’s helpful to think of adding an ADU like adding a small house. Just because it’s small that does not mean any fewer steps. You are most likely adding on plumbing, sewage, and electrical. The smaller the unit, the higher your cost per square foot will be. Even though you will be taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in building costs, the investment in your property will be worth it.
Are you curious whether adding an ADU is right for you? Reply and let us know!