With surging housing demand in California, maximizing living spaces is critical in your house flips. Tacking on a ‘granny flat’ is a relatively easy way for upgrading property value, but staying compliant hasn’t always been so simple.
With California’s new 2019 laws your grand plans may be saved. Here’s the breakdown of what you need to know this year:
Granny Flats are known by a myriad of names. Technically, they are Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and other nicknames include in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units, etc. ADUs are exceptionally desirable in California due to our statewide housing needs.
With the new law, homeowners who created ADUs without the proper building permits can now bring their granny flats into compliance – we can’t have Granny staying somewhere illegal on the property, obviously.
For ADUs constructed without permits, local building officials can inspect the unit and apply the building standards that were in effect during the time the unit was constructed. You can retrospectively get a building permit for the unit with an application of the appropriate building codes and the 2019 bill: SB 1226 (Bates), Section 17958.12 of the California Health and Safety Code.
Starting in 2018, California started encouraging the development of ADUs, simplifying laws around the builds. They modified utility fees and reduced parking requirements. Now you can build that backyard cottage in any zoning district that allows single-family uses and homes. Here is the PDF for all your information.
Why consider adding a secondary unit to your flip job? Consider the following:
- Bonus: it can be a source of income for future homeowners.
- Large families can live together with maximum privacy.
- They are easy to build with simple wooden framing.
- Units are affordable for you to construct, where you do not have to pay for the land, major infrastructure, structured parking, etc.
- With so many companies shifting to remote working, the unit can be marketed as a home office or art studio for the creative types.
- In the traditional sense of being a granny flat, it’s a lovely option for families to take care of their seniors in a spacious, loving way.
There are many reasons to consider building a secondary unit, and the design inspirations are endless! We look forward to seeing your creativity with this investment.
Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.