Author Topic: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?  (Read 1227 times)

onemorebike

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Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« on: August 15, 2018, 06:13:42 AM »
Playing with the idea of building an accessory dwelling where my garage currently sits so there is an apartment above it. Long term my wife and I could live in it after the kids move and rent the main home and short term could do the reverse. Has anyone else done this? Do you know of any quality resources on the topic or pitfalls I should consider? How about all of the reasons it is an amazing idea?

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Riptoast

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2018, 09:24:31 AM »
I've definitely considered the idea, could work out great! Is your property zoned to allow an ADU though? There are companies that specialize in building ADU's, but the prices I saw made me inclined to DIY a project like that. Would you be able to remodel your existing garage instead of starting from scratch?

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 10:48:04 AM »
I'd love to build a detached ADU (backyard cottage) once our local NIMBYs exhaust all avenues for appeal of the zoning change proposal that would make it legal for me to build one.

Jon Bon

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2018, 11:42:25 AM »
Yes I have done this.

So I built a garage and insisted on real stairs and room in attic trusses. It made the project more expensive, more difficult and more complicated. However it is there if I ever want to do it.

Things you will want to do.
Mechanical - make sure you it plumbed for water and sewer below the frost grade.
Electrical - I did a big 100 amp sub-panel, so I could run a minisplit, electric car AND welder if I wanted
Insulated garage door
Suck up a whole lot to your local inspector
Oh and make it 10% larger then you think you will need!


Now that I have it,  it is pretty great. Its my own personal play space where the rest of the family knows belongs to me, and I can do whatever I want.


But yes currently its illegal for me to have it as an ADU until the NIMBYs  change their minds.

mm1970

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 12:10:49 PM »
blech

I live in California

There goes the neighborhood.

(My main issue is lack of parking.)

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 01:07:48 PM »
blech

I live in California

There goes the neighborhood.

(My main issue is lack of parking.)

"People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." When I hear complaints about new neighbors deciding to use the public parking instead of building their own garage, rarely do those complaints come from people who have sufficient off-street parking of their own.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 01:09:55 PM by seattlecyclone »

driftwood

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2018, 06:50:26 PM »
Playing with the idea of building an accessory dwelling where my garage currently sits so there is an apartment above it. Long term my wife and I could live in it after the kids move and rent the main home and short term could do the reverse. Has anyone else done this? Do you know of any quality resources on the topic or pitfalls I should consider? How about all of the reasons it is an amazing idea?

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Does your lot layout make it easy for the hypothetical garage dwelling and your main house to be separate areas? Can you split the two with a fence easily and still have parking and easy access to the house?

ixtap

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2018, 08:44:55 PM »
blech

I live in California

There goes the neighborhood.

(My main issue is lack of parking.)

"People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." When I hear complaints about new neighbors deciding to use the public parking instead of building their own garage, rarely do those complaints come from people who have sufficient off-street parking of their own.

I park in the garage, but I would like my friends to be able to come by after 5pm. I would also prefer if people didn't block my driveway when pulling over for a delivery.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 02:42:42 AM »
blech

I live in California

There goes the neighborhood.

(My main issue is lack of parking.)

"People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." When I hear complaints about new neighbors deciding to use the public parking instead of building their own garage, rarely do those complaints come from people who have sufficient off-street parking of their own.

I park in the garage, but I would like my friends to be able to come by after 5pm. I would also prefer if people didn't block my driveway when pulling over for a delivery.

Is there no public transit, taxi/Uber/Lyft service, or paid off-street parking in your neighborhood? Seems like a place with enough density to fill up the curb parking would have enough of these other things that your friends should be able to find a way to visit if they want.

Requiring people to build parking into their homes is not the answer. We've done that for over half a century and look where it's got us. This period has seen us design our built environment around the automobile first and foremost. This has been terrible for our natural environment, for our health, and for our wallets. The supply of parking is so far in excess of demand in most areas of our country, that the market price for it has been pushed down to zero. Why should this be? Parking costs money to build and maintain. Someone's paying for it, but it's not the drivers! Instead the cost of all this parking is baked into the price we pay for our housing, whether we park there or not, whether we own a car or not. It's baked into the price of the goods and services we buy from nearby businesses, whether we use the parking lot there or not. It's baked into the taxes we pay to maintain streets wider than they would need to be if they were only used for vehicle movement and not for vehicle storage.

In a time when a lot of people are having trouble affording rent in our cities, this seems exactly backwards. By hiding the cost of parking in other things, we make car transportation seem cheaper than it really is, all while we force housing to be more expensive to construct near city centers. This perverse incentive structure encourages overuse of automobiles, sprawling commutes, and various other anti-Mustachian behaviors. Let's stop doing that.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 02:47:47 AM by seattlecyclone »

iris lily

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 07:42:17 AM »
I have a story about parking.

Here in my urban neighborhood of Victorian houses, a gentrified one, there was one dwelling that was not renovated for decades. 98% of the housing stock here went through major modernization to make this a toney and desireable neighborhood, but no one developed this structure (built as a 2 family home in 1900) because it was landlocked. There is NO place to park as it sits on a major street with no parking, and alley and side streets are not tenable. It sat, crumbling and delapidated for the 30 years I have lived here. Previous owners tried to buy a parking space from our friends who live next door, but friends said no to that.

So finally someone came along to renovate this property, turning it into a 4 unit rental. We oldtimers shook our heads and said “who is going to rent these places?  There is no parking! Where will they park a car!!!?? And now, 4 of them to find parking!”

And here’s what happened: these 4 units rented out right away. Swiftly!........ Who knew???!!!

I think what is going on nere is that young people who work downtown are not car dependent, woth Uber and bikes and buses and etc. To me, this building seems to signal a turning point in our worship of The Car. It is cool because my neighborhood was built before The Car and perhaps we will be returning to that state in my lifetime.

ixtap

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 10:00:14 AM »
blech

I live in California

There goes the neighborhood.

(My main issue is lack of parking.)

"People who live in glass houses should not throw stones." When I hear complaints about new neighbors deciding to use the public parking instead of building their own garage, rarely do those complaints come from people who have sufficient off-street parking of their own.

I park in the garage, but I would like my friends to be able to come by after 5pm. I would also prefer if people didn't block my driveway when pulling over for a delivery.

Is there no public transit, taxi/Uber/Lyft service, or paid off-street parking in your neighborhood? Seems like a place with enough density to fill up the curb parking would have enough of these other things that your friends should be able to find a way to visit if they want.

Requiring people to build parking into their homes is not the answer. We've done that for over half a century and look where it's got us. This period has seen us design our built environment around the automobile first and foremost. This has been terrible for our natural environment, for our health, and for our wallets. The supply of parking is so far in excess of demand in most areas of our country, that the market price for it has been pushed down to zero. Why should this be? Parking costs money to build and maintain. Someone's paying for it, but it's not the drivers! Instead the cost of all this parking is baked into the price we pay for our housing, whether we park there or not, whether we own a car or not. It's baked into the price of the goods and services we buy from nearby businesses, whether we use the parking lot there or not. It's baked into the taxes we pay to maintain streets wider than they would need to be if they were only used for vehicle movement and not for vehicle storage.

In a time when a lot of people are having trouble affording rent in our cities, this seems exactly backwards. By hiding the cost of parking in other things, we make car transportation seem cheaper than it really is, all while we force housing to be more expensive to construct near city centers. This perverse incentive structure encourages overuse of automobiles, sprawling commutes, and various other anti-Mustachian behaviors. Let's stop doing that.

Around here we are short on parking because people use their garages as storage units, How is that mustachian??

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 11:02:49 AM »
Around here we are short on parking because people use their garages as storage units, How is that mustachian??

It's not. Since your problem isn't actually a lack of parking, but a decision for people not to use the parking they already have, I might suggest that the solution to crowded street parking is to charge more than $0 for residents to park there. Raise the price just high enough to convince a few of your neighbors that cleaning out their garage or parking in their driveway is better than hogging the public street space, and the problem is solved.

Pennycounter

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2018, 11:47:04 AM »
I live in California and when the new law passed, loosening the regulations, I seriously considered it.  We wanted extra space for guests and to rent it  via Airbnb or short term furnished targeting nurses or similar.

We decided not to move forward for a few reasons, the primary being cost. It seemed like such a no brainer to use this opportunity to create an income generating unit on our property but the cost of construction is insane here. For us, the construction would've needed to be mostly contracted out, your situation may differ. We would have had to rent it out A LOT for it to make sense financially. I researched market rates for both long term nursing rentals and Airbnb nightly rates. 

Our lot and house layout is such that the entrances would be near to each other which also made a long term tenant undesirable. I don't want to feel like I live in an apartment community with a door near my tenant.

I went the route of the spreadsheet tracking potential gains of the initial investment and it didn't pencil out long term. 

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2018, 11:57:18 AM »
Construction costs are giving me pause as well. Seattle's contractors are all booked up and can basically name their price for work to be done anytime soon. I could try DIY for a good portion of it, but it would take a lot longer, and I'm not particularly excited about doing that work. There have been signs that the real estate market is slowing down, and a construction slowdown could happen with it. Would be nice to have an opportunity to get some work done cheaper when contractors are less busy.

Pennycounter

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Re: Anyone build an accessory dwelling for income?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2018, 08:11:25 AM »
There have been signs that the real estate market is slowing down, and a construction slowdown could happen with it. Would be nice to have an opportunity to get some work done cheaper when contractors are less busy.

I am so with you in this, and all of us, but I just keep waiting for it to happen! It'll be at least another year because they've got to work though current backlog, it it happens.