Unlocking Space and Income: A Guide to Buying ADUs in San Francisco

Jan 9, 2024

Welcome to the world of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – the trendy, versatile spaces that are changing the game for San Francisco homeowners. Whether you're aiming for extra living space or eyeing a new income stream, ADUs, also known as granny flats or secondary dwellings, are your ticket to property enhancement. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essentials of ADUs, from what they are to key decisions and top-notch companies ready to bring your ADU dreams to life.



Title: Unlocking Space and Income: A Guide to Buying ADUs in San Francisco

Subtitle: Your Comprehensive Handbook on Accessory Dwelling Units and Making the Right Choices

Introduction:

Welcome to the world of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – the trendy, versatile spaces that are changing the game for San Francisco homeowners. Whether you're aiming for extra living space or eyeing a new income stream, ADUs, also known as granny flats or secondary dwellings, are your ticket to property enhancement. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essentials of ADUs, from what they are to key decisions and top-notch companies ready to bring your ADU dreams to life.

What is an ADU?

ADUs are secondary dwelling units located on the same property as your primary residence. Whether attached or standalone, these units provide additional living space. However, it's important to note that ADUs cannot be sold separately from the primary residence, and each municipality may have specific rules. For example, in San Francisco, ADUs must be on the lot of a single-family home, within the buildable envelope, and limited to 600 square feet if detached from the primary residence.

Why Might You Want an ADU?

  1. Add Additional Living Space: ADUs are a simple solution for increasing livable space on your property.

  2. Another Stream of Income: Renting out the ADU is a popular way to boost secondary income, providing an independent rental space.

Key Decisions in Buying an ADU:

  1. Size: California State regulations limit ADUs to 1,200 square feet or half the size of the primary residence, whichever is smaller. City regulations may further limit size, with some towns restricting ADUs to just 600 square feet.

  2. Standard vs. Custom: Prefab manufacturers offer pre-designed models suitable for ADUs. Consider your design preferences and lot conditions when choosing between standard and custom options.

Common Questions About ADUs:

  1. How long does it take to build an ADU? ADUs can have quicker start-to-install times, with some companies completing the process in as little as 6 weeks from the deposit.

  2. How much does an ADU cost? Costs vary based on location, designer/manufacturer, and lot conditions. On average, ADUs range from $250 to $500 per square foot.

  3. Is financing available? Personal loans are a viable financing option for ADUs, offering advantages such as no down payment and faster approval times.

For a comprehensive list, check out our guide on the Best Prefab ADUs for Sale in the Bay Area.

Investing in an ADU is more than just expanding your living space; it's a strategic move to enhance your property's value and versatility. Whether you're eyeing a modern tiny-home or a repurposed shipping container, the ADU market in San Francisco offers exciting possibilities. Take the plunge into ADU ownership, and unlock the full potential of your property.