This article is devoted to the consideration of several new laws recently adopted in the state of California that may change the approach of homeowners to the construction of additional housing spaces on the house territory.
The housing crisis in California
Unfortunately, it has been getting more and more difficult to find good and affordable housing in the state of California for quite a long time. If you are planning to move to California or already live here, then you will probably be familiar with the extremely high prices for buying and renting any type of housing.
It does not matter if you are going to rent a small apartment or buy a house with a large plot; the price will be high compared to other states. Due to the high average price, sellers often unjustifiably raise the price of poor and old housing, or there is no decent real estate offers on the market at all. Thus, a solution to the housing problem in California has long been needed.
What is ADU?
ADU is an abbreviation that means accessory dwelling units. This is a certain kind of residence that can be built to expand the space of your primary home. These are small detached houses, converted garages, or extensions to the house, the area of which by law should not exceed thousands of square meters. Usually, ADU is a full-fledged place to live, which is located on the same plot as your first house. ADU often has a bathroom, a kitchen, one or more bedrooms.
Thus, you can use your accessory dwelling unit for short-term or long-term rent or use it as a guest house for friends or parents who sometimes come to stay. An increase in the number of ADUs would solve the problem of housing inaccessibility in California, as more people would be able to rent affordable housing.
What amendments have been recently made to the laws on ADU?
What innovations have been adopted by the local government recently that should change the order of construction of ADUs in California? Five new bills have been passed that make the government’s attitude towards ADUs and mandatory requirements much more loyal:
- Now people will be able to have two accessory dwelling units at once on one plot owned by one family: an ordinary and a junior ADU;
- In addition, it is allowed to have two converted garages on a plot shared by two families;
- Now, in California, there is no longer a requirement for a minimum lot size in order to obtain a permit for the construction of ADU;
- What is more, now the mandatory accommodation of the owners of ADUs is not required, which allows you to rent it out or use it for any other purposes.
Bob Wieckowski, a state senator, often supports laws that could facilitate the procedure for building ADUs in California, as he believes that increasing the number of ADUs will benefit the state.
People have already started building houses in San Diego and Los Angeles more often. If this trend to increase the number of ADU continues, then there will be a lot of new affordable housing in the state of California. This will solve the housing shortage problem and will be good news for all residents of California.
Positive effects of the new laws
What consequences will the new laws have? Will, all residents of California start building ADUs on their land plots, which will lead to a boom in the construction of accessory dwelling units? In fact, the answer is yes. But the construction boom will be a logical continuation of the increase in the number of ADU, which can be observed in other states.
Do not worry, ADUs will still not be able to completely replace apartments and houses; they will also remain on the real estate market. However, people who value a low price will finally be able to afford to find a good home.
Moreover, the problem of insufficient housing capacity will be solved. You can find offers for both the sale and rental of small houses that can accommodate only one family. Often people would like to accommodate their elderly parents with them, but they do not have enough money for a larger deal. In this case, the construction of one or two ADUs will allow all family members to settle on one plot of land.
Building ADUs in the USA through the years
It is worth looking at the statistics of the construction of ADU to understand that the residents of California themselves consider it to be an excellent housing solution. In just one year (from 2017 to 2018), the number of ADUs in California jumped by 50 percent. The advantage of ADUs is that they do not require a new plot of land to build, so their number can grow and grow. There are millions of sites in the state of California suitable for the construction of an ADU. Therefore, this trend has great potential.
Similar laws that make it possible to build more ADUs on one plot have already been adopted in the United States. For example, in Los Angeles, the relaxation of the requirements for ADUs was adopted in 2018, and in Oregon back in 2001. The leader in the number of ADUs is Vancouver. Thanks to the loyal attitude of the local authorities and several adopted laws that provoked an increase in interest in the construction of accessory dwelling units, now this type of housing is the main one in the city.
Construction companies in California
Fortunately, there are now many construction companies that are ready to offer their services for the planning and construction of ADU in the state of California, so homeowners who have thought about it can transfer responsible decisions to professionals. In addition, more and more senators realize the need to build more ADUs in their state, so they are softening the requirements for parking, size, and type of plot.
What stops the development of the construction of ADUs in California?
However, there is one difficulty because of which you should not expect a sharp increase in the popularity of ADUs in California. This is a problem related to financing. Unfortunately, people who want to take out a loan and spend money on building an ADU in their yard cannot do it.
Despite the motivation to earn money by renting out the ADU in the future, some people simply cannot afford to take on the costs of construction and interior decoration. Banks are not yet ready to offer homeowners a loan, as employees do not have an understanding of what an ADU is and what type of housing a loan is required for.
Thus, the new laws on building ADUs recently adopted in California abolish some restrictions. Thanks to this, residents of California finally have the opportunity to find good affordable housing in prestigious areas. This should generally increase the standard of living in the state and benefit all its residents.