Does a Mother-in-Law Suite Add Value to a Home? | 2-10 Blog

mother-in-law suite

Tips for Adding an Mother-In-Law Suite to Your House

Are you considering adding a mother-in-law suite or coach house to your home? These extra spaces are great for aging parents and can even offer rental income potential, but are they a worthwhile investment?

Space for aging parents is particularly popular now, but consider these points before you move forward with your construction plans.

In-law Suites are an In-Demand Home Amenity

If you’re concerned about adding value to your home for future selling plans, adding an in-law suite could be a smart move. According to the Wall Street Journal, it’s among the hottest home amenities available. The WSJ reports that 32% of respondents to a 2012 survey of 550 homeowners expect to have an aging relative live with them in the future.

If you decide to build an in-law suite, there’s a strong chance your home will see an increase in value. This is particularly true if short-terms rentals are in-demand and also legal, according to brokers from around the country.

Review Zoning Laws Before Building

Zoning may be the biggest hurdle you face when attempting a construction project like this. Some municipalities ban these types of additions, though groups like the AARP have been lobbying to loosen restrictions throughout the U.S.

You also have septic permits to consider, because some areas only allow a certain number of bathroom connections per septic tank.

Check the zoning ordinances that exist where you live before you contact a single contractor. It will save you a lot of potential headache and heartache.

Building a Mother-In-Law Suite

In-law suites can range from simple to extravagant, with costs that span from $5,000 to $100,00 or more depending on the size and scope of the project.

The features of the space are also an important consideration:

  • Do you need wheelchair accessible space?
  • Is a full kitchen necessary, or will be a kitchenette suffice (installing a kitchenette can also help you circumnavigate zoning restrictions)?
  • How much space do you need?
  • Will it be attached to the existing home, or in a separate area of the lot?

Lee Constantine, an architect out of Indianapolis, offers some useful advice if your goal is to build a space for aging relatives:

“I always try to recommend to people that we do it in such a way that it accommodates their need right now, the assisted living need, but then after that’s done, we want to be sure we’ve created an amenity to the house and not something that’s going to be a negative on the resale side.”

Once you’re ready to build, review these tips for choosing the right contractor for your project.

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