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Accessory Dwelling Units in Anne Arundel County: What You Need to Know

20 Dec, 2023

This past year, Anne Arundle County passed a bill allowing the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on personal residences. This is a big deal because it means there are additional affordable housing options available in a market with high home prices and less inventory.

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

According to the American Planning Association, “An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone (i.e., detached) single-family home. ADUs go by many different names throughout the U.S., including accessory apartments, secondary suites, and granny flats. ADUs can be converted portions of existing homes (i.e., internal ADUs), additions to new or existing homes (i.e., attached ADUs), or new stand-alone accessory structures or converted portions of existing stand-alone accessory structures (i.e., detached ADUs).”

Whether internal, attached or detached—ADUs have the potential to increase housing affordability (both for homeowners and tenants), along with many other potential benefits.

The Benefits of ADUs for Homeowners

Over 35 states have adopted laws that make it easier for homeowners to have ADUs. This is why for Anne Arundle County residents, this new bill is a big deal! Here are some of the benefits to homeowners if they choose to invest in an ADU:

  • An opportunity for additional income: By having an ADU, you potentially are looking at a source for rental income without having to buy an additional piece of land to build on. This can be a great investment.
  • More affordable: Because homeowners aren’t purchasing land to build on, the cost of either building an ADU from scratch, or renovating an existing space, is going to be much less. And if turned into a rental, it’ll be much easier and quicker to offset those up-front investment costs. It also offers potential tenants a more affordable living option.
  • Increasing the value of a home: By having an ADU, in most cases homeowners will be increasing the value of their existing property which makes it a good investment.
  • Aging in Place: There is always an aging population, and whether its current homeowners, or homeowners’ parents, the option to age in place can be a great one. With ADUs, aging in place can be a plan more easily attained.

Investing in an ADU

The bottom-line is ADUs have a lot to offer, and Anne Arundel County residents can now take advantage of this opportunity. If you’re interested in investing in an ADU on your property, ask yourself the following questions before you get started.

  1. What kind of ADU do I want, and what are my long-term goals for this investment?
  2. Who can I hire to build the ADU?
  3. How much will it cost to build the ADU I want, and what is my max budget?
  4. Can I finance an ADU? Speak to your trusted lender to find out more about your options.
  5. Do I have a clear understanding of my return-on-investment goals?

ADUs are not for everyone, but for some this can be a great opportunity. If you’re interested in learning more about ADUs, be sure to reach out to local authorities to ensure you understand the new guidelines.

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