Pool house converted to ADU

The Benefits Of Having An ADU

ADU = Accessory Dwelling Unit – a secondary housing unit located on the same premises as an existing single-family residence

They’re often referred to as mother-in-law suites, granny flats, ADU housing, or laneway housing. In this day and age, the most common reason for having one of these units is extra income or flexible living space for multigenerational households. People have been laid off or jobs have been put on hold because of Covid19 and a little extra dough would be a huge stress relief to help with home payments.

West Hollywood ADU
Attached to 9020 Dicks St in West Hollywood

But…Don’t start your new construction right away because you need a permit to build a habitable living space on your property. If the space is non-habitable and is under 200 sq ft, then sometimes you do not need a permit. But, in the case of building habitable living space, you’re always required to obtain a building permit and in Los Angeles, it could be a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong wait.

But what is considered an ADU?

Many different dwellings can be considered an ADU. For instance:

  • Garage conversion
  • ADUs above a garage or workshop
  • ADU additions (attached or detached)
  • Basement conversions

They all must have their own bathroom, bedroom (sleeping area), and kitchens. Most include a private, separate entrance from the primary residence.

ADU Los Angeles
One bedroom open concept ADU at 2406 Harwood in Frogtown

Another benefit of an ADU, an inlaw suite/guest house does add value to a property. The next logical question is, “How much value does an ADU add?”. Unfortunately, the contributory value of additions such as adding an ADU, guest house, or inlaw suite, are difficult to measure. But, professional appraisers will look for sales comparisons on which to base their appraisals-which are their opinion of value of the property based on the sales comparison data that is available to them at the time of their appraisal. 

Silverlake ADU
Behind 4108 Normal Ave in Silverlake
Modern ADU remodel

It’s a win for everybody!

Other benefits are in the big picture. In Los Angeles, affordable housing is an ongoing issue. Knocking down smaller homes and putting up monster houses that take up the whole lot is a discussion that has been making the rounds a lot the past few years. ADU’s add living space without taking up as much space as new construction and they have less of an environmental impact than other housing options. A win/win in a lot of neighborhoods that want to keep their integrity. These smaller residences allow neighborhoods to grow without dramatically changing their overall character.

Gargae converted to ADU
Garage converted to ADU – 11101 Blix Street in Toluca Lake

So to answer the question of what are the benefits of an ADU… ADU’s are a great way to keep the family together or a fabulous option if times have gotten tough and you want a little help with the mortgage. Or, as this COVID lingers on for the unforeseeable future, they also make a great office to meet with clients if you don’t want to open up your whole family to your work guests.

All of the photos here are of current homes for sale. If you would like more information or a tour of any of these example homes I have shown that are being sold with an ADU, please contact Us at 310-913-9477 or SEND AN EMAIL!

829 North Orange Dr. Los Angeles CA 90038 – Listed at $3,695,000
9020 Dicks St. West Hollywood CA 90069 – Listed at $2,295,000
2406 Harwood St. Los Angeles CA 90031 – Listed at $1,650,000
4108 Normal Ave Los Angeles CA 90029 – Listed at $1,195,000
11101 Blix St. Toluca Lake CA 91602 – Listed at $1,650,000


Whitney Powell Agent Shelhamer Group

Whitney is a residential real estate specialist at The Shelhamer Group with offices in Los Angeles, CA. She has years of experience in buying and selling with a multigenerational family real estate business by her side. During her downtime, she can be found cooking up a vegan feast for all her friends or playing with her two fur babies in the park next to her condo.

Shelhamer real estate group

Based on information from the / Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the /MLS) as of [date the AOR/MLS data was obtained]. All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *