Tour showcases the benefits of having an ADU, revised laws that make it easier to build
By Susan Payne
Accessory Dwelling Units — more commonly known as guesthouses, granny flats or cottages — are more accessible than ever in California thanks to revised laws designed to actively promote construction.
On Saturday, Maxable, a team of ADU experts, are opening up guest units in Los Angeles for a self-guided tour, complete with the homeowners who are benefitting from the extra income, the contractors who built the ADU and lenders who helped financed the construction.
ADUs exist on a residentially zoned property and have a kitchen, bathroom, living space and its own entrance, and could be a standalone unit, a garage conversion, an above-garage unit or attached to the main property.
Since any residentially zoned property in California can now have an ADU, this is an opportunity for homeowners to start construction on their property, have additional rental income or welcome friends or family as guests in their own separate dwelling.
“Rental vacancies are about 4% in Los Angeles, which means that 4% of rentals are vacant at any given time. That signals there’s so much demand in the state that isn’t being filled by existing properties,” said Caitlin Bigelow, CEO at Maxable.
The tour starts at 9 a.m. with a virtual educational seminar on ADU that details cost and regulation tips for getting started, and how to find and hire the right team. Then at 11 a.m., ticketholders can travel around to the sites and visit the properties using a digital map. The units are open for viewing until 3 p.m.
“For a lot of people, building an ADU is a six figure decision, and a lot of people want to know how concretely it’s going to work out, so we’re excited to host this tour.”
Ticketholders can start the tour at any location, but the route includes eight units north of the LAX airport to Santa Monica, into Beverly Hills, down to Inglewood and then to Marina Del Ray and Culver City.
“Maxable helps homeowners with pre-project planning and contractor sourcing for the projects — so all sorts of different companies are showing off units in the tour,” Bigelow said.
If you’ve been thinking about adding an ADU on your property, this is a fantastic way to learn the important information, see firsthand how amazing these units can be, and talk to people who were in your exact same position one year ago, she said.
One of Maxable’s clients converted her garage in Los Angeles and rents specifically to travel nurses. Some nurses have a hard time finding medium-term furnished apartments, so this allows the unit to be occupied on as needed basis in case the homeowner doesn’t want the property rented year round.
“Because it’s a brand new unit with modern appliances, homeowners can charge a price that makes the cash flow opportunity very attractive. In a typical 600 square foot space, the going rent is about $3,000 per month,” Bigelow said.
Another client houses a family member who is getting older and didn’t want to live alone in Florida. She moved into the new unit and is able to see and be around family, but also have the privacy of living in her own space.
“ADUs enhance the benefit of multigenerational living; having family members so close, but also giving them their own private space,” Bigelow said. “We want to show people the cost of different projects during the tour. What does a $150,000 project look like versus a $250,000 project? We want to educate homeowners on all the benefits an ADU investment could bring to their lives.”
To purchase tour tickets, visit ADUtour.net.