We all want our friends and family to have a roof over their heads at all times, but affordable housing continues to be an issue in the U.S.

In San Jose, finding shelter for its 1 million residents is certainly a tall order. Auxiliary dwelling units can be part of the solution.

Built as either connected to a house or as a separate entity, West Coast residents are investing in ADUs to provide affordable living spaces for their friends and loved ones.

In this guide, we'll be outlining how to find the best San Jose auxiliary dwelling unit for you.

What Are Auxiliary Dwelling Units?

Auxiliary dwelling units is an old yet simple idea. It's usually a second small building or dwelling on the same grounds, or even attached to, your single-family home.

These dwelling units were popular in the early 20th century, particularly in old alley apartments in Washington D.C., but fell out of the public's eye for a few decades. In recent years, it's become popular once again in places like San Jose.

They're referred to by different names, such as granny flats, in-law units, secondary dwelling units, ADUs, and laneway houses. We'll explain why they've gotten some of those names in later sections.

What's important to remember is that auxiliary dwelling units in San Jose and other parts of the country provide a lot of environmental and financial flexibility for your home.

Why Are Auxiliary Dwelling Units Popular?

You might still be asking - why are auxiliary dwelling units becoming popular again?

In the United States, particularly on the West Coast, the housing crisis and other economic factors have drastically increased the cost of homeownership. In San Jose, the median list price of homes was around $998,000.

Residents look at auxiliary dwelling units as solutions to this problem. Homeowners maximize the value of their property to provide shelter for more people.

More importantly, it provides more space for people to live in without having to purchase another home or rent an apartment. It's an innovative way of providing affordable housing in a tough market.

But who exactly benefits from auxiliary dwelling units and the extra space they provide?

Who Are Auxiliary Dwelling Units For?

We've talked about how auxiliary dwelling units are used to provide shelter to those who might not be able to afford houses of their own.

Auxiliary dwelling units provide affordable housing for friends and family. San Jose granny flats can also shelter older members of your family who can't afford nursing homes.

If you or your family have adult children that are looking for a job in the area but need a place to stay, ADUs are perfect for them. You might also use the space as a home office given the amount of remote work these days.

ADUs can also house senior family members who want to be near their family but want to live alone. Nursing homes are becoming increasingly expensive, with semi-private rooms costing over $90,000 a year on average.

Different Types of Auxiliary Dwelling Units

Like we mentioned earlier, auxiliary dwelling units can either be attached to your main home or be its own entity.

Attached ADUs can be additions to your house, garage, or basement. Detached ADUs are usually located in backyards, and are basically an extra building within your property.

Auxiliary dwelling units in San Jose can be attached to any side of your house, and detached units are also allowed. However, there are certain rules and regulations for building ADUs on your property in San Jose that you should know before embarking on any projects.

Regulations for Auxiliary Dwelling Units

Different cities have different regulations and laws for auxiliary dwelling units, and San Jose is no different. Zoning regulations apply for ADUs in San Jose, so it's important to know what is and isn't allowed before you start planning.

In San Jose, you can build an attached ADU on any side of the house, but setback rules do apply. Detached ADUs in San Jose can only be built in your backyard,

Read up on your municipal zoning regulations to see what those setback requirements are. The San Jose government site gives you a comprehensive checklist so you don't miss any important information.

You'll also have to get a building permit for ADUs, which need to be approved by the City of San Jose. They highly recommend hiring a professional builder to submit the permit on your behalf.

Who Can Build Auxiliary Dwelling Units

Building an auxiliary dwelling unit typically isn't a "do-it-yourself" type of job. You'll want to find a team of professionals to handle the project from start to finish.

You'll likely be able to find contractors in your area with expertise in building ADUs. These businesses will handle all the complicated architecture and engineering work, while also collaborating with you to design the optimal unit.

Like we mentioned earlier, contractors can also help you with regulatory documents and make sure you're building your ADU completely by the books.

It goes without saying that choosing the right team to build your ADU is very important. You'll want to find people that are not only experienced with the work but also have your best interests in mind.

How Much Does It Cost to Build an Auxiliary Dwelling Unit?

This is probably the most important question for those interested in an ADU, as it's understandably a big commitment for most homeowners.

Finding out exactly how much you'll pay for an ADU will depend from house to house.

The design of each structure, plumbing, electricity, and other logistical factors play a key role in the cost of building an ADU. Labor costs and fees are also important to consider when building a San Jose ADU.

San Jose Auxiliary Dwelling Unit for You

ADUs help your friends and family live comfortably even as the cost of housing continues to rise. Leverage this article to have all the information you need on how to find your San Jose auxiliary dwelling unit.

For more information on auxiliary dwelling units, check out our other articles on our blog!