ADU’s are the next revolution in California housing

ADUS? The next housing boom?

There is no denying it, the ADU revolution has well and truly hit California. Annual applications for Accessory dwelling unit have exploded from 70 to over 2000 between 2015 and 2017 in Los Angeles alone. This is only the beginning as it is estimated that more than 500,000 homes in California qualify for an ADU. But what is driving this revolution and how can you take advantage of it?

What is an ADU?

Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADU, are secondary homes, today’s mother-n-law house if you will located on the same parcel of land as an existing home. These are permanent homes are self-contained with a private entrance, a full kitchen, and a full bath and have floor plans of up to 1200 sqft.

What is driving this revolution?

Supply & Demand

Demand for new housing is much greater than the growth of the California housing stock. For every 100 new residents to the state, there is less than 25 housing permits filed compared to over 43 permits per 100 new residents nationwide.

What does this mean? There more prospective tenants than there are houses so homeowners are confident that they will be able to rent out their ADU at a rate that is more attractive than almost any other secure investment.


More than 1 million residents of California left the state between 2006 and 2016. Why? The cost of housing ranks as the number 1 reason. In comparison to the rest of America, California’s median sale price is more than twice. Not only do Californians have the most expensive houses, they also have the biggest mortgage payments to make. When more than 40% of your net income disappears every month in mortgage payments every month, it does not leave a lot for holidays, luxuries or more importantly saving for retirement.

The additional income that an ADU brings can easily pay off a mortgage years faster or provide a healthy stream of income for holidays and those special thing we could not otherwise afford.

What would you do with an extra $20,000 a year?

Increasing Property Values

With some careful planning, the cost of adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit to your home, increases the value of the property by more than what it costs to build the unit. For example an installed Sonderpod costs around $120,000 but depending on where you live, doing this can easily add more than $250,000 to the value of the home.

Can you think of a better way to make an instant $100,000?

Experts are warning us that by 2025, the state of California will be short as many as three million homes if things aren’t changed soon. Realizing there is housing issues that could be easily resolved, more and more local governments are passing measures which have made it easier for a homeowner to build an ADU.

In 2016, law was passed at a California level (SB1069) that significantly simplified the process of getting an ADU approved for your home. The law states that if your property meets certain criteria then your application will be approved at a local level and within 90 days.

Criteria For Approval Includes:

  • You have enough space on your property for the unit.
  • The unit is on a solid foundation and includes and kitchen and bathroom.
  • Has parking for the occupants or public transport is close by.

Want to learn more or see if you home qualifies for an ADU? SonderPods can help pre-approve your home within 48 hours.

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