Using Your Garage as an ADU

As more and more people spend more time in their homes as compared to just three years ago many homeowners are looking for creative ways to make their homework for them. One of these has become finding possibilities for accessory dwelling units.

An accessory dwelling unit is a secondary living space that can be considered its own closed-off livable area separate from the main portion of the home, or separate from it altogether in the form of a second building on the property.

Some owners sought out the ability to have an accessory dwelling unit to help their college-age children when they were not able to attend school in person. Others looked into the possibility of a space for aging parents to live closer while still retaining privacy and some semblance of their normal daily life routine. While yet other homeowners looked to ways to create some passive income to be able to have more cash flow for emergency situations.

Related: What to Know About the First Year of Homeownership

What about turning your garage into an ADU?

Construction and renovation often require permits and being within the zoning laws for where your property stands. When you apply for permits this will often require inspections to ensure that all work is being done legally and within the local zoning and construction codes.

This applies to all kinds of ADU’s from converting your garage which is attached to your home already into an actual living space or building a separate structure in your backyard. The determination of what type of ADU is legal for your specific property stands with local zoning. The first step in determining if you can turn your garage into an ADU legally is to ask the officials in your local zoning office.

Even if it is legal to turn your garage into an ADU should you?

The impact that converting your garage from a place of storage for your car and other items into livable space that can be considered its own separate unit on your property value should be taken into careful consideration.

Is it worth it to take away garage space from your home and exchange it for extra living space? What will be the possibility of impacting the ability to sell the home later? These are great questions for real estate agents that work locally in your area. They know what buyers are looking for in homes in your area and can tell you if it really would be a good idea to go ahead and make this change.

In some areas where affordable housing is hard to find and many people are searching for livable space to rent it could be a benefit and more easily sell your home. On the other hand, in areas where this is not in high demand, it could mean a step back for trying to sell the property as buyers would rather have garage space.

ADUs are becoming more popular and there are more zoning laws that allow for them, but it is always smart to consult a real estate professional before taking a garage out of your home.