Considering an In-Law Unit on Your Home? Some Questions to ask!
What exactly is an in-law unit? That’s an excellent question! It’s the name for an accessory structure attached to or separate from a single-family dwelling. This may be of use to you if you already have an extra space attached to your home or property. If not, perhaps you’re considering building on for an income property or a space for family members. These units provide a modem of privacy that’s perfect for tenants or a family member who may want a bit of their own space.
These could be a small cottage or tiny home on the same property. It could be a converted garage attached to the home. It has to at least have a bedroom and bath. It could have a kitchen or living area as well, but doesn’t necessarily have to.
1. What purpose will this suite serve?
These suites have an array of possibilities. It could be for a mother or mother-in-law. It could be for another aging family member or someone who needs a place of their own while they get on their feet. It could be just a space if you have a lot of guests. Or perhaps you need an office space or studio that feels a bit separate from the mayhem of home life.
It could also be a rental property. You could use it for short-term rentals like with Airbnb. Or a long-term, income property. You have a lot of options.
2. How will this suite affect resale value?
An in-law suite can also add to the resale value of a home as buyers may be looking for something with a separate space or for a potential income property. Even if your home just has the potential for an in-law suite with an unfinished cottage, basement or other enclosed area, it can be a huge selling factor to advertise it as “possible in-law suite”.
3. What kind of zoning laws are there?
You’ll certainly want to check into the zoning laws and requirements in your area before you begin any kind of serious investing into an in-law suite. Some zoning offices have stipulations about what kind of structure you can build or the uses of such a structure. You may only be able to have guests and not an income from it. Or there may be size stipulations or restrictions on kitchen features allowed. Bottom line? Do the necessary legwork to determine what all is legal and available to you.
If considering an in-law unit on your home, read through these initial questions to get you started. Then continue to do the research to decide if this is a good investment and next step for you and your property.