Seattle’s City Bldr Tackling the Housing Crisis, One ADU at a Time

In West Coast cities like Seattle and Portland, those coming for the new jobs created by the tech industry are faced with sky-high rents and cutthroat competition for housing, driving prices ever higher. Consequently, Portland is also relaxing previously stiff ADU regulations, allowing more homeowners to place ADUs on their property than before.

ADU Appraisals: What You Need to Know

Appraisals can be intimidating in and of themselves. However, when it’s for an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU it’s a completely new learning curve. Because ADUs are still a relatively new trend, the regulatory bodies are still catching up and creating new market standards for this process. There are, however, some key points that most appraisers would agree upon, so we’ll go over those with you.

Granny Pods: The Solution for Independent Elder Care

Think tiny house, but adapted to meet the unique needs of the elderly, including the necessary medical accessories, a video camera system that can be linked to their caretaker’s phone, and a virtual companion, which can help play reminders for medication, sugar checks, etc. MED Cottages have some very unique safety features as well, including floor cameras in the event of a fall, pill dispensers, and an intercom to allow the resident to call for help if needed without having to get to a phone.

Just, what, exactly, is House Hacking?

House hacking is a phrase for the strategy of generating income from your residence capable of offsetting your monthly housing expenses. This is turning the creepy basement into an apartment and renting it. House hacking, done well, turns the nightmare of housing expenses into a vacation daydream- Taos, Puerto Rico, Disneyland?

Brilliantly Affordable

ADU solutions deliver affordability, flexibility, sustainability, expanded economic opportunity and housing stability to households across the state. High rent and home prices make it difficult for many individuals and families. “Adding modest, affordable homes to existing neighborhoods is an important tool to protect communities where all kinds of families, of all incomes, can afford to live.” says the Siteline Institute

Managing Tenants

Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge in renting is finding and managing the right tenants. Too many property owners side step this issue and are only too eager to occupy the property without proper screening or vetting. When possible a homeowner may want to consider hiring a professional property management company to take care of the tenant headache. If this is a homeowners first rental property, they may not want to go that expense. They may choose to self manage the ADU.

Utility Connections

Some may think that any building could serve as an ADU. However, there is a big difference between an ADU and a shed, garage, or outbuilding. The difference is connecting your ADU and home. An ADU is a full time dwelling unit and therefore it requires the complete connectivity to utilities that any home would need; Power, Water/Sewer and often time’s Natural Gas for heating.

Granny Flats Make a Comeback

Families are going back to the good old days of multi-generational living situations, and they aren’t just putting granny (or junior) in the extra bedroom. They are building elegant super cool in-law units. Another name for these types of rental areas is an Accessory Dwelling Unit or ADU. These ADUs can be over a garage, in a basement, or even in a totally separate building on a homeowner’s property. The ADU must be owned by the homeowner, but it can be rented out just like a rental. Here are some scenarios of the trending ADU growth…

The Truth About ADU Building

For many years, backyard cottages — also known as granny flats, mother-in-law suites, or accessory dwelling units (ADUs) — were treated as nuisance uses, outlawed in urban and suburban zoning codes around the country. But as affordable housing becomes ever more scarce, cities are beginning to look at liberalizing rules for building ADUs, as a way of adding cheaper, more diffuse housing supply in tight markets.

Ready to Get Started

According to Accessory Dwellings website, the following are the some steps for planning, designing and permitting an ADU.