Building an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) in San Diego, sometimes known as a granny flat or casita, has become much easier due to the new legislation the State of California has passed in recent years. Even so, we talk to many people each month who’ve heard of ADU’s but don’t really know what the hoopla is about.

So, Why Build an ADU in San Diego?

Reason 1 – Family

There’s a reason ADUs were traditionally referred to as “Granny flats”.  They were a place for us to help house our aging elders while still giving them some independence.  In today’s California, though, given the high cost of real estate, elevated rents, and low availability of affordable housing, it’s not just our grannies who need a place to live.  People statewide in California are looking for ways to consolidate and reduce their living expenses and costs.  Those who already own a home with enough property to build an ADU are now able to be housing heroes to everyone from their teenage and college-age kids to brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and even in-laws.

In the old days, partially due to severe regulations against building ADU’s, you might find families all jamming into the main home, sharing bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces.  Of course, while we love our families, that type of crowding can lead to tension after a while. ADUs provide an independent living space, complete with kitchen, bathroom, living areas, and storage so that families can spread out a bit and retain some privacy and independence, all of which leads to being a happier family long term.

Reason 2 – Income/Investment

Whether you build for family or general rental, ADUs are great for generating income and value.  Historically, one of the main objections that municipalities had to approve ADUs has been that they didn’t want to turn residential neighborhoods into rental complexes.  With our current housing crises, however, the State of California has mandated that municipalities not only allow the building of ADUs but also that they allow them to be rented as well.

Over the past few years that Specialty Home Improvement has been building ADUs in San Diego under the new laws, we’ve also found that most ADUs are worth more than they cost to build immediately upon final inspection.  Factor in the potential rental income in such a high rent area as San Diego and, even if you’ve refinanced your home or taken out an equity line of credit to build the ADU, the income usually far exceeds the monthly payment on the loan.  The long-term value of the ADU will also continue to increase in keeping with real estate the real estate value of the main dwelling. In fact, we have a Value Calculator on our website to help you predict how much return you can expect on your investment.

Reason 3 – Space

Anyone who’s lived in Southern California, especially San Diego, for any length of time knows that extra space is more of a convenience than an expectation.  While it may be a little less costly to add some outdoor living area or room addition to your home, those projects now take much longer to permit these days due to the accelerated programs the municipalities are using to approve ADUs.

As a result, many of our clients are electing to build an ADU instead of considering the alternatives.  We’ve designed and built ADUs that our clients are currently using as gyms, offices, craft rooms, play areas, pool houses, and game rooms.  Along with the significant additional value that an ADU brings to the property, a well-designed multi-use ADU has the added bonus that they are built to be a completely independent, income-generating living space should that need ever arise.

Specialty Home Improvement is a family-operated design-build residential contractor, specializing in creating homes and spaces designed to suit the specific needs of our clients since 1993.  If you’re ready to start the process of building your personally designed ADU, give us a call now at 760-738-6270 or reach out through our website