What Does an In-Law Suite Mean in Real Estate?
What Does an In-Law Suite Mean in Real Estate?
An in-law suite is a small dwelling on the same property as (and perhaps attached to) a single-family home, where an aging family member (or others) can live with some modicum of privacy and independence.
It’s often a separate space with its own bathroom, sometimes in a basement or over a garage. In-law suites are also referred to as accessory dwelling units, multigenerational units, secondary suites, or granny flats.
The term “in-law suite” comes from the idea that it is a space where an in-law, such as a parent or grandparent, can live independently while still being close to family members.
However, in modern real estate, in-law suites can also be used for other purposes, such as a guest suite, rental unit, or home office.
In Hawaii, they’re known as ohana units. In the Southwest, they’re frequently called casitas. An in-law suite is a private living space for parents, in-laws, or other relatives that are either attached or located on the same property.
An in-law suite is the most common name for a small apartment-like space on the same property as, or even attached to, a single-family home. You might also hear it referred to as a mother-in-law suite, guest house, granny pod, Ohana suite, or secondary suite.
An in-law suite is gaining popularity as a way to boost rental income through short-term vacation rental or as an apartment.
How To Build An In-Law Suite?
An in-law suite is a private living area within a house that should have a private full bathroom and a door that separates it from the rest of the home. If possible, it should also have a separate entrance and kitchen.
There are several ways to create an in-law suite. One way is to assess your home to determine the best possible space for the in-law suite. By repurposing existing rooms or rearranging a floorplan, you can fit a suite into your home’s current square footage.
Another way is to convert unused spaces such as attics, lofts, basements, sheds, or garages into an in-law suite. The ideal in-law suite should have a bedroom, sitting room, bathroom, and kitchen area so whoever’s living there can maintain their independence.
When creating an in-law suite, it’s important to define priorities. Assess your needs before deciding where you’re going to create an in-law suite. Discuss the remodel with your parents or adult children to find out what they need and want.
Determine what can be included within the space chosen. A separate bathroom and adequate storage in the bedroom sitting area are essential. Separate washer-dryers (stackables are a good option here) might be included in the bathroom closet area.
Approximately 500 to 700 square feet is a good size for an in-law apartment or addition. Think of a studio apartment and plan accordingly–at the very least, you’ll need room for a bed, some living space, a bathroom, and a kitchenette with a small dining area.
Building an in-law suite is not cheap; however, it can save families thousands of dollars in the long run if done correctly upfront.
The cost varies by type of space and how much work is needed to make that space livable. It’s important to check local building codes before starting any construction project because they will determine what features you can add to an in-law suite.
How To Get Permits For An In-Law Suite
Before building an in-law suite, you need to determine your local zoning laws and whether you plan to convert or create a unit.
You also need to check with your local ordinances and obtain permits before any construction occurs. Many communities are stringent on what’s allowed and what isn’t for mother-in-law suites.
Therefore, it’s better to learn about the zoning regulations beforehand to avoid fines or remove the structure.
Your local building codes will determine what features you can add to an in-law suite. If you’re thinking of building an addition, you will usually be limited to a bedroom, bathroom, small kitchen and sitting area.
Adding a full kitchen or separating the unit from the main home will require separate permits or may even be banned by local zoning rules that prohibit residential areas from building rentable properties.
In legal terms, an in-law apartment must have its entrance, living space, kitchen, and bathroom. This does not include a communal space like … dispute your construction aims.
In addition, some homeowners’ associations may require you to attend a board meeting and submit plans before they approve of the structure.
Gaining a permit for an in-law apartment can be a lengthy and often intimidating process. Yet with proper planning and guidance from professionals such as MySitePlan who aid with drafting processes, one can design an in-law suite that meets all legal requirements while fulfilling their vision.
Mother-in-law suites can increase property values up to 60% depending on the kind of addition. They give homeowners the opportunity to celebrate their moms and dads beyond a single holiday by providing them with independent living spaces equipped with all amenities they may need.
Mother-in-law suites can be whatever homeowners need them to be: bed and bath additions to homes; converted rooms; free-standing apartments (this is what is most often meant by “granny pod”); or in-home suites. What they all have in common is their preferred locations on the ground level for accessibility.
In-Law Suite Design Ideas
Designing an in-law suite can be a fun and exciting process. When designing an in-law suite, it is essential to keep the color palette in mind. If creating an in-law suite in a smaller space, it can be helpful to choose a more subdued color palette.
Incorporating a sofa and table into the design of the in-law suite is also important. An experienced tiny home designer can help you make creative choices to maximize space without sacrificing comfort.
When designing an in-law suite, it is crucial to keep design in mind. A smaller space means being cleverer with your design choices so that the home feels cozy but not tight or restricting.
You can get creative with storage by having built-in shelves or use stylish room dividers to establish separate rooms without walls. The layout and size of the bedroom are arguably the most important aspects of the in-law suite.
There are many ideas for designing an in-law suite. Houzz.com has over 11,000 results for “In Law Suite” under Home Design Ideas. Browse through their collection of home design ideas for every room in your home with millions of inspiring photos from design professionals.