By 2030, when the baby boomers will have all reached retirement age, and there will be over 72 million Americans aged 65 or older, according to the Census Bureau.
But what can you do when grandma refuses to live in an assisted living facility and doesn't want to give up her own home? The solution is a granny pod.
Read on to learn about granny pods, what they are, how they help you and your loved ones and how they are a financial investment.
What is a Granny Pod?
Granny pod? Weird name for a house right? Well, a granny pod is just a nickname for accessory dwelling units that can fit in your backyard.
They’re self-contained mini-homes, not to be confused with tiny houses and come equipped with full amenities for a comfortable, independent living space. That means: sleeping area, bathroom, kitchen, and storage.
Granny Pod Features
Granny pods provide independent living for seniors and provide being close to loved ones. The difference between a granny pod and an in-law suite is that granny pods are designed with the safety of an elderly person in mind, specifically.
Wheelchair accessible bathrooms, lighted baseboards, soft flooring to minimize injuries and so on. You can even have cameras and other security tools installed in the granny pod to ensure that your loved one is safe.
But, from the outside, a granny pod is aesthetically nothing like the science fiction tube you might be imagining. No, real granny pods are, real, whole attractive homes that any senior would be proud to call home.
How Much Do Granny Pods Cost?
The price of granny pods can range depending on a number of factors: specific conditions of the site, neighborhood requirements, local rules in your jurisdiction, geology and soils, engineering, energy compliance rules, residential design and interior design choices, quality, and size.
Keep in mind that each project will have a totally unique cost depending on factors such as access to existing power, water, and sewer lines, as well.
When you consider that the average cost of assisted living care is $48,00 a year ($67,000 in Northern California, and that’s just assisted living in semi-private apartment homes). So,you can see how adding a granny pod to your backyard can save you a substantial amount of money in just a few year--money that is invested in your property, as opposed to out of pocket entirely.
Benefits of a Granny Pod
There are so many benefits to having a granny pod.
The main benefit of a granny pod is that seniors get to keep their independence. Yet, they and your family will enjoy peace of mind due to the proximity of the main residence, and most importantly of the family.
Many seniors themselves see that granny pods are a great way to downsize after retirement. Especially for those who do not want to live in retirement communities or nursing homes, and don’t care to manage bigger homes. We get calls about that fact alone everyday.
But just because you’ve nicknamed your backyard home a granny pod, doesn’t mean that’s the only use case. On the contrary, accessory dwellings are immensely flexible housing investments.
Like with any renovations, adding more living space to your home is a great way to maximize the value of your property if you ever sell.
In some cities, you can rent out your granny pod and make a profit, or provide a home to your adult children graduating or just getting up on their feet financially. W
And when homeowners, reach retirement age, you may opt to move into the granny pod and rent our your home and start collecting money from your “new”M income property. This allows you to continue to live in the neighborhood you love and stay connected to neighbors and friends. In many cases, homeowners swap homes with their children, who in turn take over the main home and grow their own families. We’ve heard it all, but the one thing that connects every homeowner that builds a granny pod, is that they all have long term housing plans for their families.
Bringing Families Together
Keeping family close, mom or dad, grandparents, or kids, is a huge benefit. Having two separate roofs keeps comfortable, private boundaries for everyone, without separating the connectivity of the family as a whole.
Adding a granny pod to your property gives you and your family a sense of security. Aging parents can enjoy the richness of being in the everyday lives of their grandkids while still maintaining their separate space.
Lower Cost of Living for Mom or Dad
Having a granny flat on your property is a huge financial help to your aging parents.
Instead of the high costs of assisted living, they can live close to you and stretch their retirement funds for many years to come.
As a result, mom or dad can enjoy a more comfortable, enjoyable retirement.
Benefit to Grandkids
Research shows that children who grow up with constant access to their grandparents deal better with the road bumps of life.
A University of Oxford study found that children who are close to their grandparents have fewer emotional and behavioral problems, and are better able to cope with traumatic life events.
And don't forget the benefit of free babysitting when you need a date night!
As you can see, granny pods are an excellent solution for helping aging loved ones enjoy their golden years with peace of mind. But building an accessory home like a granny pod isn’t for everyone. Sure, there are financial benefits asa well, but these projects can be complex and definitely require that you ask the right questions before you get started.