If you have a friend or family member in need of a place to live and they just can’t seem to find the right fit due to low inventory or price, maybe you can help out – and add equity at the same time.

More homeowners are starting to add secondary dwelling units to their properties. If you don’t know what a secondary dwelling is, it is essentially a building on your property that is separate from the main home, where your in-laws, or your son or daughter who is in college can live. These units can be built at a relatively low price and come with no additional land costs.

And for Placer County residents, steps have been taken to make constructing such a unit more accessible. The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted in 2017 to make secondary dwelling units easier to build through an ordinance change.

The details of the updated ordinance include, but isn’t limited to:

  • Flexibility for either the primary or secondary dwelling on the property to be available for owner occupancy or long-term rental (31 consecutive calendar days or more).
  • A maximum secondary unit size of 1,200 square feet on any lot size.
  • Secondary dwelling units sizes up to 50 percent of the existing structure’s living area;
  • Requires only one on-site parking space per secondary dwelling, either as tandem parking on an existing driveway or in setback areas;
  • Allows a property owner to voluntarily deed restrict a secondary dwelling unit for affordability in order to be exempt from building permit and other specified fees.

By building a secondary unit, homeowners can help ease some of the pressure that comes with limited inventory of homes to purchase and rent at an affordable price. In addition, a homeowner can produce income by renting out such a property, not to mention the equity that could be built up by the addition.

If you have any questions about building a secondary dwelling unit on your property, please reach out to one of our professionals!

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