More Home Owners Add Second Units to Existing Homes

August 24, 2011

Household sizes are growing: More home owners are renovating homes to add second units so they can take in roommates to bring in extra cash or have a space for aging parents or adult children who want to move back home. 

Michael Litchfield, author of In-Laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats, says many of these second units are either converted garages, attics, unused rooms or basements, or actual additions or detached cottages.

More cities are passing laws to make it easier to build second units too. These are usually called accessory dwelling units or ADUs. For example, Denver recently changed its housing code to allow second units, USA Today reports. And in Hudson, Wis., housing codes now allow garage apartments.  

Mostly driven out of economic worries and tighter budgets, more "people are doubling up, even tripling up," says Arthur Nelson, director of the University of Utah’s Metropolitan Research Center.

Source: “A House Divided Helps Pay the Bills,” USA Today (Aug. 17, 2011)

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