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What is an accessory dwelling unit? How ADU’s can help your finances, future, and your family success for years to come

Photo: I Live in a Bank

This article about what an accessory dwelling unit is is sponsored by I Live In A Bank.Accessory Dwelling Unit


Accessory dwelling units are becoming increasingly easier to build in Utah. Since the state is dealing with a housing shortage, lawmakers have been pushing to make accessory dwelling units more accessible. It’s a win-win because it both adds money to your pocket and gives you peace of mind. So what is an accessory dwelling unit? And how can it benefit your finances, future, and your family? 

What is an accessory dwelling unit?

Accessory dwelling units, or ADU’s, are small secondary living spaces on the same property as your regular single-family house. ADU’s are building-code approved and are designed to be on a property zoned for a single-family residence. You might have heard the term ‘mother-in-law apartments’ before. But these units are so much more. 

An ADU is recognized by city and state ordinance as an additional, or accessory, dwelling for additional person(s) not of the immediate family in the residence. By law, they also usually have to be smaller than your main residence. Sometimes substantially. Of course, city codes or HOA regulations will dictate how and what you are able to place on your property. But the good news for you is that 65% of cities along the Wasatch Front have already adopted ADU ordinances.

Apartments over the garage, tiny houses in the backyard, or even basement apartments might not be considered ADU’s. That’s because a lot of these exist illegally in Utah. They weren’t designed to be multi-family homes. 

If you haven’t noticed, Utah is experiencing a tech boom

Accessory Dwelling Unit

Photo: Adobe Stock

With Utah experiencing a boom in tech company appeal, there won’t likely be a slow down in growth anytime soon. The growth of Silicon Slopes alone has led to more tech-oriented high-rise buildings across Salt Lake and Utah counties over just a 5 year period of time. This is going to continue to drive up the price of housing and rent for years to come. 

Massive growth like this is an incredible opportunity for homeowners in Utah, just like it has for other west coast cities. With incredible growth means there is much more demand for housing in the state. And unfortunately, demand hasn’t been able to keep up. Utah’s own housing crisis. But the housing shortage is one of the reasons ADU’s have exploded along the West Coast. They’re creating affordable housing options. And new land doesn’t need to be developed. That means they can do the same here in Utah.

Why would you want an accessory dwelling unit? (these aren’t just mother-in-law apartments)

Mother-In-Law Apartment - Accessory Dwelling Unit

Photo: Adobe Stock

Simply put, an ADU is a tool you can use to accomplish your financial goals. Your property can generate a monthly income with an ADU. That’s going to offset your monthly expenses and create a positive cash flow you can put towards your savings, retirement, reinvestment, and even dreams you thought were out of reach. And in the long term, an ADU adds more value to your property. So you can generate income right now AND profit more when you choose to sell. To look at some of the options available to you check out I Live In A Bank. They manufacture and install some incredible options at all different price ranges. 

It’s not an investment to take lightly, and there can be downsides to adding an accessory dwelling unit to your property (you will have neighbors living closer than ever after all). But it might just be an investment that helps you in your financial future.

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