Accessory dwelling units are getting increasingly popular in America, and California is in the lead.

Accessory dwelling units solve a myriad of problems Californians often face, from creating extra housing to finding an appropriate workspace for work-from-homers. Plus, building an accessory dwelling unit in California is a surefire way to raise your property value.

Why are ADUs value-adds for California property owners? If you’re wondering how and why this works, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more about how and why an accessory dwelling unit in California will boost your property value and how you can ensure a solid ROI.

What Is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

An accessory dwelling unit (often shortened to “ADU”) is a small and functional space that is considered in some way separate from your primary property. Oftentimes, ADUs are literally separate¬†from the main property, in that they’re stand-alone structures that are almost completely self-sufficient. However, some ADUs are constructed in pre-existing spaces like basements, attics, and garages.

Typically, you’ll find all the amenities you need to live in an accessory dwelling unit. This includes a bathroom, kitchen, WiFi, and electricity. Most utilities can be sourced from the primary residence with the help of additional plumbing and wiring.

Not all ADUs are built with housing in mind. However, even ADUs that are used as office spaces typically contain some variation of these amenities.

Generally, ADUs range from 600 to 1200 square feet. That means that you’ll have to get creative with storage and furnishing solutions, but this is all part of the ADU experience.

Why Are Accessory Dwelling Units So Popular?

As we mentioned earlier, ADUs are becoming increasingly popular across the country, especially in California. What makes an ADU the perfect solution for so many homeowners?

It’s no secret that California is an expensive place to live. Depending on your region, you may even be looking at a shortage of affordable housing. Many families build ADUs as a safe housing solution for friends or relatives in need of nearby, affordable housing.

California is also a hub for new businesses and remote work. By building office space on your own property, you can avoid a long commute, avoid paying rent and maintain a better sense of work-life balance.

ADUs also represent money-making opportunities. Keep reading to find out how ADUs can not only increase your property value but can also supplement your income long before you’re looking to sell.

Why Are Accessory Dwelling Units in California a Guaranteed Property Booster?

First, let’s take a look at some of the key reasons that accessory dwelling units in California increase your property value. At the end of the day, adding an accessory dwelling unit to your California property increases both its use and its desirability.

Increasing Usable Square Footage

When we talk about square footage, we’re looking at two things. The first is the overall square footage of the property, including yard space and parking. The second is usable square footage, which typically refers exclusively to the house.

When you add an accessory dwelling unit to your property, you increase the usable square footage of the property. Although it may only be an addition of about 600 to 1,200 square footage, the price per square footage in California is high. This additional square footage, alone, can add over $10,000 to your property value.

In fact, this small addition has the added benefit of not taking over too much of the actual yard space. If a buyer wants to maximize the yard with landscaping, a pool, or a home vegetable garden, they’ll still be able to do so.

Solving Housing or Workspace Problems

As discussed, ADUs solve one of two problems many Californians face: acquiring affordable housing or office space. When your property boasts not only an additional bedroom or office, plus an additional bathroom and bedroom–all with a separate entrance–you’re giving many Californians exactly what they need.

Checking Off a “Must Have” for California Home Buyers

ADUs are becoming enormously popular, which means that more California buyers are looking for properties that are suitable for an ADU. When you can offer a property that already has an ADU that is built and ready for use, you can attract more competitive buyers. If an ADU is already on a buyer’s mind, sparing them the burden of having one built is going to create a lot of appeals.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Accessory Dwelling Unit

Building an ADU doesn’t guarantee that you’ll make money off of your investment. How can you ensure that your ADU has a solid ROI?

For starters, don’t go DIY on this project. Californians want a strong, functional ADU–not one that needs a ton of renovations. Work with an experienced company like Acton ADU to get your ADU right the first time.

In addition, you can start making money off of your ADU before you sell your property, assuming you don’t intend to use it for a relative or your business. Depending on your local property laws, you may be able to rent your ADU to a long-term renter. Alternatively, you can set it up as a short-term rental space for travelers, a business that is booming thanks to start-ups like Air BNB.

Get Started Planning Your Own Accessory Dwelling Unit

Accessory dwelling units are creating housing and workspace solutions for homeowners across the country. Accessory dwelling units in California are particularly popular and can increase your property value significantly. Work with a contractor and get started planning and building your own accessory dwelling unit in California to make the most of your property.

Looking for a great place to list your property once it’s ready for sale? Take a look at our services and find out more about how we can help you sell your home.

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Mashum Mollah
Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder, and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drives visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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