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The perfect solution for your aging parent

By the time you finish reading this article, approximately seven baby boomers will have reached retirement age. As the U.S.’s largest generation exits the workforce, new retirees should be allowed the freedom to be near family, and live life to its fullest.

In California today, however, housing prices are high and growing higher. 39-percent of Bay Area residents are now considered “cost-burdened”–meaning over 30% of their income is dedicated to housing costs alone–and the problem is far more dire for those no longer in the workforce. With an estimated 8%+ rise in California housing prices over the coming calendar year, grandparents are being left out in the cold, forced to move far away from their children and grandchildren simply in order to afford the costs of living. A dollar today simply doesn’t go as far as it once did, and families are being stretched because of it.


Too often today, getting to see your grandkids requires more than just a short walk down the street or a short drive to the next town over–nowadays it takes hours-long drives or even flights.  But is it really so much to ask, that family get to live near family?

Here, finally, is the solution: SonderPods.

SonderPods are the most cost-effective way for elderly individuals to live comfortably, in close proximity to family. And the concept is deceptively simple.

SonderPods are high-quality modular accessory dwelling units: in other words, they’re luxury guest houses, at less than half the cost. You can have your new SonderPod ready to go in just two weeks’ time—a functioning, prefabricated, fully-furnished home, dropped right into your backyard. That means baby boomers can finally live close to family while maintaining the independence of having their own home.

If you’re still not convinced, consider this: the average cost per square foot of constructing a new building in California today averages at around $400. For higher-end and smaller projects, this number can jump as high as $700 or more. SonderPods are built to the same code and standards as any other home, for just $250 per square foot installed. That often double the rate of return on your dollar.

Are you, or a relative close to you, retiring or planning to retire soon? There is simply no better, more fiscally responsible way to start a new life in the Bay Area, nearest to the ones you love, than with SonderPods.

If you are still saving for your retirement, our blog post on how a SonderPod can help you enjoy a better retirement years earlier is a must read. Click Here!

Not all homes meet the criteria to be approved for an accessory dwelling unit so we have created an ADU Approval Checklist that covers the major requirements for approval.  Your SonderPod team can also pre-qualify your home in just 48 hours. To find out if your home qualifies,  Click Here!

***Certain restrictions may apply, as SonderPods require a predetermined amount of available land, and must qualify under all relevant California law.

Comments (54)

  • Reply mimi amaral - November 15, 2018

    Can these unites be installed in other states as well? I am considering moving out of California and this would be a perfect solution. How does the water and sewage get hooked up? Is it also hooked up to the main house lines? Do we need a permit from city to do this on property? How much are permits?

    • Reply estevenson - November 15, 2018

      Hi There!
      As an approved factory-built housing company in California, we are just servicing this state currently but we will service other states soon.

      Yes, the units are connected to the local utilities.

      Yes, you need a permit but it’s a fairly straightforward process as there is a specific allowance at the California level for the approval of accessory dwelling units (ADU). We can pre-approve you in about 48 hours by confirming that your property meets all of the requirements for approval. All we need for the pre-approval is the address of the property in question.

      Thanks for your interest!


      • Reply Kelly - November 17, 2018

        Can these be used as the only/main dwelling on a propery?

        • Reply estevenson - November 17, 2018

          Yes, they can. The approval process to use these as an accessory dwelling is more simple than it is for a primary dwelling but our units are built to the same code and standards are any custom built home.

      • Reply Will Valle - December 2, 2019

        Are these pods best used for elder parents or grannies or can they also be used for income rental? That is, do you have any other models, specifically a 2 bedroom model? Thank you

        • Reply estevenson - December 2, 2019

          Yes, of course Will! We’ll email you

      • Reply Randy Konigsberg - January 1, 2020

        I’m considering Prescott Az. As Caifornia prices are sending me out of My home state! Please let me know, the possibilities, as I am 70 in years.

        • Reply estevenson - January 14, 2020

          Hi Randy, we’ve sent you an email. Let’s see if we can keep you in California!

        • Reply Susan Johnson - April 22, 2020

          I’m looking at costs.. can you email some info

          • estevenson - April 22, 2020

            Sure thing!

  • Reply Debbie - November 17, 2018

    What is the average cost per living unit? Is it expensive for the utility hook ups?

    • Reply estevenson - November 18, 2018

      Hi There, the SonderTwo which is a two bedroom, 750 square foot mini home complete with kitchen and bathroom has an introductory price of $89,995 plus installation, foundations (I&F). We quote for each home but on a flat lot we suggest you allow $15,000 for I&F and if it’s a hillside lot it’s better to allow $25,000.
      The good news is that part of the new law for these units is that the utilities cannot charge expensive new connection fees. So the cost depends on how far the unit is located from the existing dwelling on the property.

  • Reply Patti - November 17, 2018

    Do you have a one bedroom floor plan?

    • Reply estevenson - November 18, 2018

      Hi Patti, we are developing a one bedroom version that will be released in the new year. I’ll make a note of your request and email on a floor plan as soon as we have it finalized. Thanks!

  • Reply Katrin paulsen - November 18, 2018

    How much ?

    • Reply estevenson - November 18, 2018

      Hi Katrin, the SonderTwo which is a two bedroom, 750 square foot mini home complete with kitchen and bathroom has an introductory price of $89,995 plus installation, foundations (I&F). We quote for each home but on a flat lot we suggest you allow $15,000 for I&F and if it’s a hillside lot it’s better to allow $25,000.

    • Reply Tessie Barrera-Scharaga - December 31, 2019

      I’m interested in a one bedroom unit.

  • Reply Vicki Lo - November 28, 2018

    How do I contact your company for more detail?

    • Reply estevenson - November 28, 2018

      Hi Vicki! We’ll email you now!

  • Reply Ramona - November 28, 2018

    Do you have different sizes?

    • Reply estevenson - November 28, 2018

      Our first unit is the SonderTwo which is a 750 square foot two bedroom pod. But we do have a smaller one bedroom unit in development called the SonderSuite.This will be around 590 square feet.

  • Reply DiAnne Durossette - November 29, 2018

    Hi, Do you pay property taxes on these homes?
    I really like them and it could work for our parents

    • Reply estevenson - November 29, 2018

      Hi DiAnne, it depends on where you are located. We’ll send you an email now to help you further on this.

  • Reply Maria - November 29, 2018

    I’m about to acquire a property with 2 homes. One is manufactured homes that I plan to demolish. Is this modular home a good replacement home. There is already a foundation. How much will this cost

    • Reply estevenson - November 30, 2018

      We would need to see the foundation that you have there but we should be able to use that and save you some money. We’ll email you shortly with more information. Thanks!

  • Reply Jeff - November 30, 2018

    How much clearance and space do u need

    • Reply estevenson - November 30, 2018

      Hi there, generally you need a space which is a minimum of 24 feet x 45 feet. But we’ll confirm that when we qualify your home. We’ll email you now to confirm the requirements for your home. Thanks!

  • Reply Mozzie - November 16, 2019

    Can these pods be delivered to Nevada?

    • Reply estevenson - November 16, 2019

      Hi Mozzie, we are a certified factory built housing company in California only at this point. We can let you know if/when we expand to other states.

  • Reply Maria Barovero - November 16, 2019

    We would like to know about the one bedroom.too. Mariajean59@gmail.com

    • Reply estevenson - November 17, 2019

      Sure thing, Maria. We’ll email you some information

    • Reply Rhonda L Thomas - November 21, 2019

      Oh I love it. It’s perfect for what I need. Curious if you could do 2 story home or bigger. It would be for me in my son’s back yard, with my 3 small dogs. Just wanted a little more room.

      Thank You!

      • Reply estevenson - November 24, 2019

        We just do accessory dwelling units at this time but you can combine 2 or more SonderPods to make a larger home. Here is a video on how two SonderPods can create a 3 bedroom home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri24YTimElI

  • Reply Jamie Michaels - November 16, 2019


    • Reply estevenson - November 17, 2019

      Thanks, Jamie! We’ll email you directly.

  • Reply Ronald Tomlinson - November 17, 2019

    We have a lot located in Washington near Aberdeen. Do you have this for the locations in Washington state?

    • Reply estevenson - November 17, 2019

      Hi Ronald, we are only in California at the moment but we’ll hopefully be expanding later in 2020. We’ll let you know when we do!

  • Reply Kevin Rivard - December 1, 2019

    We are in Richmond. Would have the space but would need to clear cut our back yard of two shed and a walnut tree. Dealing with City of Richmond can be awkward. Does Richmond area qualify.

    • Reply estevenson - December 1, 2019

      It sure does, Kevin. All of California is covered by the new ADU laws. We’ll message you with next steps.

      • Reply Crystal Hedrington - April 29, 2020

        I already own property in Chowchilla. How easy is financing?

        • Reply estevenson - April 30, 2020

          We have three finance partners that we work with who can make it very easy for you. We can handle those introductions for you

  • Reply John Reinhart - December 15, 2019

    How much $

    • Reply estevenson - December 16, 2019

      We just emailed you, John. Thanks!

  • Reply Jamie Michaels - December 16, 2019

    Interested in building an ADU in my yard

    • Reply estevenson - December 16, 2019

      We just emailed you, Jamie.

  • Reply Gary - December 16, 2019

    Can pods be put on pier and post. I have property in a flood zone

    • Reply estevenson - December 17, 2019

      Yes they can, Gary!

  • Reply Patricia Furger - January 3, 2020

    Jim allowed a 880sq ft “granny” unit on my property…very interested…please send info & would love to C U in Rohnert Park

    • Reply estevenson - January 14, 2020

      Sounds great, Patricia! We have emailed you!

  • Reply Tor Anjou - January 3, 2020

    Great idea. Can I see floorpan?

    • Reply estevenson - January 14, 2020

      Sure thing! We have emailed you!

  • Reply Linda Croyle - April 22, 2020

    Hi there. Love the designs. Can the Sonderpod 2 floor plan be flipped/reversed? I would be placing it lengthwise on a narrow lot on my lake property in upstate NY (near Canada). Which makes me ask if the front (narrow end) can have 2 sliders instead of one? And what kind of weatherproofing winterizing does it come with?

    • Reply estevenson - April 22, 2020

      Hi Linda, Yes the 2 bedroom can be flipped to a mirror image but unfortunately We only cover California today. Thanks for getting in touch and good luck with the project!

  • Reply Vincent - August 12, 2020

    Hi, These look great and think they would work in my backyard. Looking at your 540 and 750 sq ft units. What do they cost? And what does that include/exclude? Seems to be a lot of variation in what people include for these units. Thanks!

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