ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (ADUs)

As residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, we are acutely aware of the housing shortage in our region, leading to skyrocketing housing costs and rents.  At The Kastrop Group we promote and participate in the design of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to help provide more local housing options.   

 

Building an ADU/backyard cottage/granny unit/casita, or whatever you like to call them, provides multiple benefits for homeowners.  The rental income from the ADU can help to offset mortgage and property tax expenses.  It improves security to have someone else on the property when the homeowner is away.  It facilitates aging-in-place for elderly homeowners.  It increases property value.  From our experience, our ADU clients had various motivations for wanting to build an ADU.  Many see it purely as an opportunity for rental income.  Some have grown kids with their own families that need relief from the expensive Bay Area housing market while they save up to get their own home. Others have kids moving back home after college that need help with housing while gaining some independence by living in a separate unit.  Some clients want their parents to live nearby as they age.  We have worked with retirees who plan to live in their smaller ADU and live off rental income from their larger main house.  One couple built an ADU to live in while their main house was demolished, and their dream house gets built. 

Renters of ADUs gain important benefits as well.  The rents are often more affordable than other options.  ADUs provide rental options in single-family neighborhoods, for those who don’t want to live in an apartment complex.  Some ADUs allow pets and provide yard space for them.  ADUs can allow grandparents to live close to their grandchildren, and perhaps share childcare responsibilities.  Some renters trade services in exchange for rent reduction, such as yard work or repairs.

 

In California, the ADU boom began in 2016 with the passage of SB 1069, which eased parking restrictions, fire sprinkler requirements and utility connection fees.  The law also requires “ministerial approval” for many ADUs, removing certain City or County permitting difficulties.

Click on a sample project below to explore