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Nursing homes have never really been seen as the epitome of elderly care and comfort, but they’re under a lot more scrutiny thanks to COVID. As concerned family members figure out where they can make space in their homes for their elderly loved ones, many realtors who participated in HomeLight’s year-end report state that accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are in high demand. This is particularly the case in the Pacific region (64%) and the Mountain region (47%).

Places like California and Oregon recognize the demand for these structures and have since created legislation that makes it easier for ADUs to be built without jumping through permit and construction hoops!

What can an ADU be used for?

An ADU will almost always be used in one of two ways: for elderly parents or for adult children. 61% of respondents report that the majority of homeowners in their area with ADUs are using them to house their elderly parents and 35% say clients are letting their adult children live with them temporarily for financial reasons.

Family isn’t the only reason people are building ADUs though. 32% of realtors say they’re building ADUs on their property so they can generate income with it (renting it out on a site like Airbnb or VRBO, for example), using it as a home office (41%), or even a home gym (16%).

What are common ADU structures?

Of the surveyed agents, 1/3rd of respondents say that homeowners are building a detached ADU on their property. This means that the ADU is its own structure and doesn’t share any walls with the primary dwelling.

After that, 24% of respondents say the ADUs in their area is attached to the main structure and share at least one wall with the main dwelling. The next common is a complete apartment conversion somewhere in the home (usually an attic or basement). Then you have 16% of respondents who say their clients have converted the garage into a living space for a loved one.

Can ADUs add value to your property?

If you want to have an ADU on your property to care for loved ones but you know you’ll be selling the house in the future, of course, you’re going to wonder how much value it’ll add. For the time being, ADUs are in high demand and they can add 38% of value to your property (from $47,597 to $65,908). That figure is even higher if you’re in the Pacific region, which increases to $116,931!

Unfortunately, if you’re looking at the average cost to build an ADU on your property (which is roughly $77,239. In some instances, you could actually lose -15% ROI depending on your area.

ADUs keep families together

When it comes to the safety of our loved ones, nothing less than the best will do. Nursing homes have received a lot of scrutiny in the past and they continue to be looked at with suspicion, thanks to COVID. That’s why it’s becoming so common to find homes with living space for their loved ones, regardless of their age.

Accessory dwelling units aren’t just useful for aging families or adult children who are struggling financially, they can be used as home offices, gyms, and short-term rentals. There’s no end to the ways you can use the additional living space and while building one may seem like a huge investment (which it is!), it can give you peace of mind in knowing your loved ones are a few steps away.

Visit for more articles: forbesblog.org

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