An accessory dwelling unit, aka an ADU, may be the perfect solution to all of your 2020 problems. The idea of a back house is nothing new to the Austin real estate market. They’ve been becoming more and more popular over the past decade as property values have increased throughout central Texas. They are great for buy and hold investors looking to capitalize on their investment by creating more opportunities for rental revenue. Similarly, more and more developers are building two units on one lot and then selling both units separately as detached condos. However, this year, more than ever, the benefits of an ADU as more than just an investment strategy are clearer than ever before.
Our houses have become places for much more than resting our heads at night and gathering for family dinners. Our homes now are someplace we spend the majority of our time. We work from home, workout from home and so much more. With all of the time you are now spending at home, you may have started to feel a bit confined by the four walls and space available. If you’re feeling a bit claustrophobic in your current home, an ADU could help. This accessory dwelling unit could be used as a home office, a class room, a home gym and so much more.
If you’re thinking about building an ADU on your property, you will first want to do your due diligence on if your zoning allows for a secondary dwelling unit. The rules will vary from one municipality to the next. In the City of Austin, they have very clear rules on building an accessory dwelling unit. The rules are based on lot size ( in order to build an ADU you must have a lot size of at least 5,750 sqft ), the property’s zoning, and impervious cover requirements. You can view the complete requirements in the City of Austin’s Land Development Code.
If you determine that you can physically build an accessory dwelling unit on your property, the next step would be to speak to a builder to determine what the costs would be. At this point, it would also be wise to speak with a trusted real estate professional to see if the costs to build an ADU would be recouped when you eventually sell your home. You may determine that building an ADU is not the best economic move, or that the construction timeline is too long to stay sane while doing everything in your current home.
If you still have your dreams set on the idea of a secondary dwelling unit, you could purchase a new home with an existing ADU on the property. There are some properties with secondary dwelling units for sale in the Austin market. There are also other properties, that have a secondary structure that could be remodeled to serve your unique needs.
Here’s a list of Austin area homes with ADU potential currently for sale:
If you’re looking for a home with an accessory dwelling unit in Austin or have questions about building an ADU at your Austin home, feel free to contact me today.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.