What Is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU)?

Are you building a new home or renovating an existing one? Are you wondering about the advantages of a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU?)

JADU’s are becoming increasingly popular due to their functionality and attractiveness. But you may be wondering if adding one to your property will add any value.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit?

A JADU is an additional residential property that occupies the same lot as your property. It could be a guest house or a detached garage with its own apartment. JADUS are also known as in-law units or granny flats.

Zoning laws have recently been changed in many areas around the country to allow for the addition of JADU’s. The same regulations usually limit the size and style of dwelling units in a particular area.

What Uses Are There for a JADU?

One of the most popular uses for a JADU is a separate apartment for older parents, who can maintain their privacy while having relatives living close by. They can also accommodate a live-in caregiver. Many JADUS have separate living, bathing, and kitchenette areas that make them quite functional for everyday living.

Some growing families create JADU’s for college students visiting on their holidays, with the intent of eventually accomodating their in-laws. Or you may have an extended family member who needs a place to stay for a while.

Yet JADU’s don’t always have to be apartments. Many creative types have their own mini dance or art studios. Still, others may wish to use it as office space where they can work in peace.

In this day of “man-caves” and “she-sheds,” many people like to use their JADU’s as an escape from their every day lives. They may keep a place to nap, their favorite books and movies, or collector’s items in their own sacred space.

What Are the Advantages of a JADU?

One of the main advantages of extra dwelling units is that they provide an inexpensive place for your relatives to live. They’re sharing sanitation, utilities, and property with your main home, so you won’t have extra costs. This is also kinder to the environment.

In areas where it’s permitted, a JADU can also create great passive income opportunities. You can rent them out to tenants every month at a low cost to you. Or you can get some short-term cash by renting it for a week here and there on vacation rental websites.

An in-law unit can also add value to your home. When you’re ready to sell, buyers may be willing to pay more knowing that part of their home could be used as a rental property or to house relatives in their own private space.

How Can You Build a JADU?

To ensure that a quality job gets done, most people hire professional ADU builders. Local companies will be familiar with the regulations in your area and know which permits you’ll require. They’re also experts at hooking utilities up to your new extra pad.

Ask friends and family for recommendations of reputable companies. You can read online reviews and ask for references so you’re making sure you’re making the right decision. The right builders for you will be professional, friendly, and open to any ideas or suggestions you have for your dream unit.

Building a JADU yourself is generally not recommended if you don’t have any home-building experience. If, however, you have handy friends or family members willing to pitch in, you may be able to create something great. Just make sure you check with your county to obtain the proper permits.

How Can You Afford a JADU?

An accessory dwelling unit can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $200,000 to build. The price range is as wide as the possibilities.

Many factors will affect the actual cost of building a JADU on your property. The materials you use, the size of the unit, and your geographical location will all come to bear on your final costs.

Before you choose a company to build your unit, make sure you get estimates from at least three local professionals. Be certain the estimates are comparable in terms of the type of work planned as well as the quality. Remember that the cheapest company isn’t always the best deal.

The easiest way to pay for a dwelling unit is out of pocket. If, however, you don’t have the cash on hand, there are a few ways you can finance the project.

If you have equity in your home, you can get a home equity line of credit (HELOC.) These can provide lower interest loans than you would get from a credit card or a personal loan.

You can also look into renovation refinancing, which allows you to borrow money for renovations at a relatively low-interest rate. The costs of your renovations then get rolled into your new mortgage payment.

Similarly, a cash-out refinance will replace your existing mortgage with a new, higher loan so you can make renovations. Before you start planning your JADU, make sure you can secure a loan in one of these ways if you don’t have the funds immediately available.

The Advantage of a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit

A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit can provide an adorable space that your friends and family will love. It can add value, comfort, and functionality to your home. With the right builders, you could be on your way to creating the perfect extra space in no time.

Don’t stop getting smart about your home now. For more great advice, read our blog today.

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