Homes For Sale In Warner Robins GA With Mother In Law Suites
Homes for sale in Warner Robins GA with mother in law suites are becoming more popular as many seniors are transitioning or have already moved in with their grown children. Many boomerang kids are also coming home and cohabitating with their parents.
Why are they joining forces under the same roof? Some are pooling their finances, some due to health concerns, and others because they want to be close to family. Still more are joining this trend for specific reasons that make sense for their family and situation.
Whatever their rationale is, it has become trendy in the past few years in all the communities in Houston County GA. It has been trending upwards nationally as well. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, across the U.S. over 64 million Americans are living in a multigenerational household (more than 2 generations living under the same roof). That represents 20% of the U.S. population and is up from a low of 12% in 1980.
Clearly, living under one roof, with parents nestled into a mother in law suite is important and embraced by a vast number of families in the U.S. Below are several tips, key advice, and important in-law suite information to help you determine if this is the right option for your family.
For those in middle Georgia, if homes for sale in Warner Robins GA with mother in law suites are what you are seeking, I stand ready to assist with your real estate needs. Happy reading and home searching!
What is a Mother In Law Suite?
Often also referred to as in law quarters, mother in law apartment, and even a guest house, these spaces are typically attached to a main home. They also exist as garage apartments, detached properties, granny flats, casitas, attic spaces, secondary suites, ohana units, and even basement dwellings.
They often consist of a bedroom, bathroom, living space, kitchen, and usually have their own entrance (even when attached to a main home). They range in size from 300 square feet to well over 1,000. Because of their functionality and additional living space, they can help increase the overall property value of the main home too.
They are also called accessory dwelling units (ADU), multigenerational units, or cottages because they are sometimes detached from the main home and have a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, common living space, and their own egress. In addition, they provide several benefits as identified below.
Benefits of Multigenerational Units
The obvious benefit is getting to spend quality time with loved ones on a regular basis, including taking care of any special medical needs, assuming older family members live in the suite.
While family time heads the list, there are plenty of other uses or benefits of having a mother in law suite. While not all-inclusive, here are many of the additional benefits of a mother in-law suite:
- Higher property value
- Live-in babysitter/nanny
- Increased home security
- More property storage
- A hideaway/tiny house
- Short-term guest house
- Potential rental income
- Added square footage
- Venue for hosting events
- Space for older children
- Workspace/home office
- She shed or man cave
- Future space versatility
The list of uses for your multigenerational unit is limited only by your imagination.
Use it as a bone-fide granny flat or find something completely different to do with the space.
The best part is…you get to decide what the space becomes and how it is utilized!
Did you know…the Federal Administration on Aging predicts people aged 65+ in the U.S. will grow to over 72 million by 2030.
Drawbacks of Secondary Suites
Unfortunately, having a secondary suite does come with a few drawbacks that need to be navigated through before you fully commit. They include the understanding you could see increased utility bill costs, have a requirement for additional insurance (home, liability, and/or renters), and will definitely experience more home maintenance.
Other considerations include the initial costs to build (if not already present), zoning concerns (covered in more detail below), parking congestion, and the potential for an exponential rise of in-home care for senior loved ones.
It is important to understand having a mother in law suite is not ideal for every family. If you believe it is not right for your situation, you should not feel guilt or angst about the decision. Instead, come up with an alternative plan that fits everyone’s needs and helps keep family harmony and peace.
This is subjective because costs can vary widely between different areas based on a number of factors such as time of you build, materials used, size of the structure, demolition/renovation needs, special permits, etc.
However, here is a rough order of magnitude of the potential costs you may incur depending on the option you choose.
New in law suite – You can expect to spend between $20K and $120K depending on the size and amenities you choose to utilize in the new space. Your costs could be lower if you do much of the work yourself or even higher if you go high-end with the addition. Your budget and needs will dictate the amount you allocate towards this project.
In-house remodel – If you are tearing down walls, adding a new room, or changing a space’s functionality, your costs can be mitigated by your ability to do the DIY work yourself. If you have to pay out for the renovation, a good guestimate is anywhere between $5K and $25K depending on the complexity of the remodel. As always, hire a licensed contractor to perform any work you are unable to handle yourself.
Renovate a detached space – Converting sheds into mother in law suites has become trendy and is fairly inexpensive, depending on how much of a remodel you perform and the condition of the structure to begin with. A conservative estimate is $10k to $40K to create something safe and well suited for senior living.
While your budget may dictate the size, location, and amenities of the mother in law suite, there is the potential you will see a large portion (perhaps as high as 65%) of your initial costs recouped when you sell the home. Adding livable square footage (especially if the remodel is in your main residence) will be something future buyers will appreciate and potentially pay more for. Consumers want more space…an in-law suite gives them that and more.
You can not put a price tag on the emotional and physical support provided by having an elderly family member living literally feet away. Stay within budget and the experience will be a positive one!
When in doubt, always check with your local zoning commission and understand applicable city and municipal zoning ordinances and required permits before embarking on any home renovation or new build project.
Knowing your options upfront will save you a lot of frustration, headaches, and limit your liability. Some of the concerns that need to be addressed include:
ADU use – Is it legal to have a separate ADU on the same plot of land as your main home in a residential subdivision? Are you breaking any property setback rules by building a structure? You need to find these details out before you start building the structure!
Rental property – Again, what are the rules with using a stand-alone structure (not your main dwelling) as a rental property in a non-commercial neighborhood? Is it considered an apartment? Are there additional tax implications?
HOA rules – Does your HOA have specific rules outlining what types of structures you can build? Are the rules enforced? Does the structure need to mimic the style/coloring of your main dwelling? Your HOA committee can provide pertinent details.
Home additions – Adding a few rooms to your main home could change its status from a residential home to a duplex or multi-family housing which could put you in violation of zoning ordinances. If allowed, it could raise your property taxes. Find out the specific zoning laws in your area as they pertain to home additions, well in advance of breaking ground, to make sure you are not getting in over your head.
You may be able to obtain a special use permit by gaining the approval of your neighbors or via a petition directly to your local zoning board.
You have options so do not be discouraged if your first attempt fails to make it through zoning scrutiny. Sometimes just a simple change in style or scope is all that is required to get approval from the zoning board.
While going through the planning phase, it is important to jot down anything that may become an issue, needs an immediate resolution, or can provide a future benefit.
Here are a few special considerations you should take into account when planning for your Warner Robins GA mother in law suite or a granny flat anywhere in the U.S.
Separate power – Having separate utilities provides the opportunity to break out bill payments if warranted. It is certainly beneficial if you decide to rent out the space as you will definitely want your renters to pay for their own utility use. It also provides you with the capability to turn off utilities when the space is not in use.
Handicap access – Older residents may require expanded access to their new home. That could include widening doorways and building ramps to accommodate wheelchair access. It could also mean adding in special hand rails, no slip flooring, horizontal handles, or even a sit in bath. Access to sinks and appliances should also be taken into account, based on mobility of those who will be living in the suite.
Septic system – If your main home and/or mother in law suite uses a septic system, you need to know the capacity of your current system and whether or not additional bathroom/kitchen connections will break any rules. You may find you need a larger septic system to account for the additional requirements which could be an exponential and unexpected additional cost.
Location – While physical location of the ADU is important for aesthetics and practicality, it is also wise to consider utilizing a space that does not require senior adults to navigate many stairs. Ideally, a first-floor space will often work best. The last thing you want is for parents to fall because they are unsteady, have limited mobility, or other medical conditions that make using stairs an unpredictable and unsafe proposition.
Obviously, there are plenty of other considerations that will require special attention. This list should be used as a primer to put your critical thinking skills to the test.
Mother In-Law Suite Final Thoughts
For many homeowners, the advantages of having a mother in law suite far outweigh the disadvantages. They afford you the ability to have senior parents or grown children move in and contribute to the overall household. There is also the potential for increased revenue when you eventually sell the property.
According to a recent National Association of Realtors study, having an in-law suite was one of the most desired home aspects buyers would be willing to pay more for. That makes sense.
No surprise here…According to AARP, 24% of baby boomers anticipate their parents or in-laws will move in with them.
I know in my local Houston County GA markets, many buyers are looking for these properties for many of the reasons identified above. They are popular, can make good monetary sense, and bring positive benefits for the entire family.
If you are interested in homes for sale in Warner Robins GA with mother in law suites, I am a seasoned Houston County real estate market professional, and can definitely assist with your real estate needs. As always, your satisfaction is my #1 priority. I look forward to working with you. ~ Anita ~