California’s Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – An Overview

California’s Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – An Overview

In recent years, California has been working to promote more affordable housing options throughout the state. One way to accomplish this goal is by encouraging the construction of additional dwelling units (ADUs). ADUs are small, self-contained living spaces that can be built on the same property as a single-family home. Thanks to a series of new laws and regulations, it has become easier to build ADUs in California. As a result, the number of ADUs statewide has increased since the early 2000s. The increased availability of ADUs provides Californians with more affordable housing options and helps to ease the state's housing crisis.

California's ADUs

What is an ADU?


An ADU is a secondary dwelling that is attached or detached from a single-family dwelling. ADUs are often used as income units, rental units, or in-law units. They can range in size from a small efficiency unit to a large two-bedroom unit. Due to their smaller size, ADUs generally have lower rent rates than larger apartments or houses. Additionally, because they are located on the same property as a single-family dwelling, they offer tenants the convenience of having nearby amenities such as laundry facilities and yard space. ADUs can be an attractive housing option for tenants who are looking for affordable and convenient housing.

5 Main benefits to ADUs in California


In California, ADUs have become increasingly popular in recent years due in part to state laws that have made it easier to build them. Here are five main benefits of ADUs:

  1. ADUs can provide extra income. By renting out an ADU, homeowners can generate additional income to help offset the costs of mortgage payments and other expenses.
  2. ADUs can provide extra living space. An ADU can be used as a guest room, home office, or even a rental unit. This can be especially beneficial for families who are looking for more space but don’t want to move to a larger home.
  3. ADUs can be built relatively quickly and affordably. Unlike building an entirely new home, construction of an ADU often does not require rezoning or other approvals from local authorities. This can save time and money.
  4. ADUs can increase the value of a property. In addition to providing extra income and living space, an ADU can also add value to a property when it is time to sell.
  5. ADUs can help to reduce traffic and parking congestion. By providing extra living space close to where people work and shop, ADUs can help to reduce traffic and parking congestion in California’s cities and towns.

How do Additional Dwelling Units Work in California?


Certain conditions must be met for an ADU to be constructed on a property. First, you must obtain a building permit from your local jurisdiction. The permit process will vary depending on your location, but you can expect to submit plan drawings and pay a fee. Once the permit is obtained, you can begin construction of the ADU.

There are two main types of ADUs in California: attached and detached. Attached ADUs are built as an addition to an existing home, often in the form of a garage conversion or basement apartment. Detached ADUs are stand-alone structures, such as a guest house or granny flat.

Once the ADU is completed, you must obtain a certificate of occupancy from your local jurisdiction. This certificate verifies that the ADU meets all building code requirements and can be occupied.

Once you have obtained a certificate of occupancy, you can begin using the ADU as you see fit. You can choose to live in the ADU yourself, rent it out to tenants, or use it as a guest house or home office.

To learn more about ADUs and California Laws surrounding ADUs, visit

ADUs Are a Great Solution to California’s Housing Crisis


The state of California is currently facing a housing crisis. The combination of high housing costs and low availability of housing has made it difficult for many Californians to find affordable places to live. As a result, many people are forced to live in overcrowded and substandard conditions. ADUs can help to address this housing crisis by providing additional housing units that are affordable and convenient.

Building an ADU on your property is a great way to help solve the state’s housing crisis if you are a homeowner in California. Not only will you be providing extra housing, but you will also be helping to create jobs and boost the economy.

Do you need help with real estate in Santa Ana, CA? Alvarez Realty Group sells property in various locations around California, including Santa Ana. Pedro and Noel are experienced real estate agents who can help you with every aspect of buying or selling a home in the Santa Ana California area. Contact us today!


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