backyard apartment

What Type of Backyard Apartment Works Best in California?

In California, over 12,00 backyard apartments were built in 2019 alone. That’s because ADUs are a great investment for homeowners. You can have a guest space for friends and family. You can use it as an investment property to earn passive income.

However you want to use your backyard apartment, building an accessory dwelling unit is the way to go. An ADU offers versatile space and the chance to personalize to your needs.

So, what’s the best type of backyard apartment for California? Here’s a guide to help you decide.

Different Types of Backyard Appartments

When you build an ADU, you have a lot of options for how to use it. A backyard apartment can be an investment opportunity that helps generate another stream of income. It can also be a place where your family or friends can stay short-term and long-term. And in both instances it creates a lot of value for your property.

Here are the three main ways that homeowners in California like to use their ADUs.

Granny Flat

Many homeowners like to use their backyard apartment as a separate home that allows aging family members to live nearby. For many aging adults, giving up their privacy is a concern. But their adult children worry about their health and safety.

Instead of older adults living alone or in a senior facility, they’re right in their family’s backyard. A granny flat can give older adults their privacy while being close to a support system when need be.

These ACUs are tiny homes that have all the comfort of the main home. Granny flats have a bedroom, a bathroom, a living space, and a kitchen. They can also have outdoor space like a porch or patio.

Granny flats can also be personalized to the resident. If there needs to be wheelchair access or handicap accessibility, you can add these specifications during the designing and building process.

Guest House

If you like to entertain or often have out-of-town visitors, using your backyard apartment as a guest house might be the best idea. A guest house could function like a granny flat but for guests who wouldn’t stay there permanently.

A backyard guest house would provide your visitors privacy. They’ll be able to feel at home and feel fully relaxed while they stay on your property. You’ll also be able to maintain your privacy in your own home.

A guest house would be great for short-term and long-term visitors. But for long-term visitors, a guest house is ideal for maintaining privacy. It allows visitors to go about their daily routine without disrupting yours.

Include a living space, dining space, and kitchenette in the guest house. One or two bedrooms are ideal for any out-of-town visitors. You can even create a second floor to add more space if needed.

Investment Property

An ADU also presents a great opportunity to have a passive income stream.

Many homeowners choose to allow other people to stay in their backyard apartments for both the short-term and long-term. In California, most accessory dwelling units are used as investment property. About 51% of California ADUs are income generating.

Short-term tenants can stay for as little as a weekend to as long as a few months. There are many websites and companies that help facilitate homeowners to find people to stay in their backyard units.

For the long term, tenants can live in backyard apartments under a formal lease agreement. Many students, young people, and couples opt to live in ADUs.

Leases typically last six or twelve months. But as the homeowner, you can set the conditions you’re comfortable with to lease out your backyard apartment.

However, this option is not for every homeowner. The ADU would have to meet regulations laid out by the state and locality to be a legal income unit.

Best Land for a Backyard Apartment

What you first must consider when building a backyard apartment ADU is what you have to build it on. The best places to build are outside of city limits, where there is more land to work with.

In California, an ADU must have a minimum of 150 square feet of living space and a maximum of 850 square feet. If your ADU has more than one bedroom, the maximum size unit is 1,200 square feet.

Because of this, you’ll want to have land that would allow you to build a structure of that size. Keep in mind that you’ll also have your primary home on the same property.

What to Know Before You Build a Backyard Apartment ADU

Before building an ADU, you should first research the zoning laws and regulations. California has ordinances that all ADUs must follow to be legal structures.

These ordinances can tell you where you can build and how large your accessory dwelling unit can be.

You should also research ADU building companies. Full-service companies that can handle the legal side of accessory dwelling units are favorable for homeowners. These builders will ensure that your ADU follows all necessary laws and ordinances to be a legal home.

The last thing you want to think about is how you plan to use the ADU, as that will influence the design and floor plan of the structure. ADUs that act as second homes will have different requirements than those that are offices or studio spaces.

Create Your New Backyard Apartment in California

No matter how you use your accessory dwelling unit, it’s a good investment for your home. An ADU adds value over time by increasing the livable square footage on your property. It also creates an investment opportunity for homeowners.

ADUs are highly personalized, so you can create a backyard apartment that meets your lifestyle, needs, and specifications. A backyard apartment opens up a world of possibilities for California homeowners.Acton ADU would love to help you build the perfect backyard apartment that would fit your lifestyle. Contact our specialists to start the process today!

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