Families in the United States are experiencing a housing market squeeze
caused by historically low inventory and high prices. Many families are navigating this changing market by considering multi family living situations that might not have been on the radar just a few years ago. Whether it is family members moving in to provide
financial relief and support, or families creating rental income by adding or renovating spaces to host separate families, the trend of multi-family living is gaining ground in the mainstream consciousness like never before. Before you jump in and convert
that garage to an in-law suite there is much to consider.
An important first step is to consider whether you are creating an accessory
dwelling unit or a two-family property. In most municipalities an accessory dwelling unit is permitted for the purpose of providing housing for an additional family member. In some municipalities, renting this space in any way would be prohibited, while other
areas have more lax regulations. It's important to thoroughly research your area's regulations before moving forward with construction plans to avoid any expensive surprises. Often your local planning and zoning office can provide specific guidance in this
area. An accessory dwelling unit is more likely to have the following attributes according to a McKissock’s 2022
Alternately a two-family property is often created for the purpose of providing
additional income to the primary resident. There can be very specific regulations regarding two-family properties and whether they are permitted at all, whether short term rentals are allowed, how many occupants are permitted and how the utilities for the
property must be planned and monitored. According the same 2022 article
a property is likely to be considered a two-family property if:
It is correct to assume that adding additional living space to your property
will certainly raise the value of the property no matter what type of additional dwelling is created. However, the creation of a two-family property where it is legally permitted has much greater potential to both add value to the property and create revenue
for the primary property residents.