Photo by Burak Tonç on Unsplash
Granny flat, mother-in-law suite, carriage house, casita — the name may change, but in many cases, they’re all referring to an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). These additions, whether attached or detached from the main home on your property, can add much needed living space or hosting quarters. Here, we’ll explore the use of a casita as an ADU: what they are, where the term comes from, and how you can benefit from this extra space.
Those living in or familiar with the Southwest might be more acquainted with the concept of a casita. That’s because casitas typically have their roots in Las Vegas, Phoenix, New Mexico, and other places in the region. Casita means “little house” in Spanish, and the name is fitting – before ADUs became more common, casitas were associated with Spanish-Mediterranean design.
Casitas in the Southwest go back in American design history to the 1920s. They first came onto the scene to house laborers behind a larger property. But since casita is also used as another term for an ADU, make no mistake – the casita comes in many styles well beyond its architectural origins.
A casita is an ADU that exists on the same property as your single-family home. There are a few features that come standard with this layout. For example, a casita or ADU should be a fully functioning home. This means it provides a separate entrance and amenities like an eating space and a bathroom. This way, occupants don’t have to enter the main dwelling for their basic needs. There should also be a living area to accommodate one or two people who spend time in the space.
The square footage of an ADU can vary depending on the location. That said, in California, the average size is 615 square feet. The size range of ADUs in California is 300 to 1,200 square feet.
With the basics out of the way, you can learn about the below long-term real estate benefits of building a casita. Read on to discover why adding a casita to your property is a great investment.
There’s a lot you can do with another living space on your property, and these opportunities are part of a casita’s allure. A casita can offer your visiting relatives a fully functioning detached guest space with built-in privacy. It can be there for long-term or short-term stays, and you change its use over time depending on your needs. There are a ton of perks to having one more kitchen and bathroom space, even if it’s just to give your immediate family extra space.
If you’re comfortable renting out your casita, it can be an excellent source of passive income. You can list it online as a short-term or long-term rental depending on what works best for you. But remember to dot your i’s and cross your t’s — check your local laws to make sure you’re following regulations for renting out property. Some states might have rules that determine the minimum legal length of what classifies a short-term stay, so do your research.
Building a detached ADU is the perfect time to create your dream home office. If you work remotely, this can be especially helpful since it creates an office space completely separate from your home life. Plus, since your casita must include a kitchen or kitchenette and a bathroom, it can be a private workspace like no office – whether in-home or in a corporate park – can provide.
Maybe you do go in for work every day and you want a space you can escape to after a long day. Or perhaps you have a pool in your backyard and want a pool house where friends and family can hang out. Your casita can be that special place where you or other family members go to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
The casita is often referred to as a “granny flat” or “mother-in-law suite” because it can be great for housing aging parents or family members. If anything, casitas are becoming more popular as multi-generation homes become more common. It’s a great way to save money on housing your aging family members, and it can keep your relatives close by for the best care.
A casita can increase your property value, making it more desirable to future buyers and help you secure a larger price. How much value your casita adds depends on the housing market when you sell, as well as the perspective of potential buyers. Some buyers might see the ADU as simply another property to maintain, while others will recognize its limitless capabilities.
As a result of recent changes to California ADU legislation, it takes less time to build your casita than it has in years past. Given the continued housing shortage in the state, new policies are helping to lower the price point, relax zoning laws, and get ADUs approved faster. Plus, if you partner with a modular ADU construction company like Spacial, these prefab models can take months from start to finish, not years.
A standalone unit is a standard detached ADU, which creates the maximum convenience for all the above perks. These units are easier to install on your property since they provide the option for offsite construction, unlike new attachments to your house. An offsite construction process eliminates the usual noise and hassle of expanding your property, and there are experts who can help.
Regardless of your reasons for adding a casita to your property, you’ll need expert help. There are bureaucratic hurdles to jump through and all kinds of physical labor you might not know how to do. That’s where a turnkey ADU provider like Spacial comes in.
At Spacial, we work with you at every step of the way to ensure you have the “little home” of your dreams. Your Spacial consultant will be your go-to person for all your needs from the moment you contact us up to when you get the keys. We treat every property as our own and take great care in expanding your space as efficiently as possible. Contact Spacial to discover how you can get started on your casita and build the backyard of your dreams.