building rentals
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah (
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 10:36:04 -0800 (PST)

On Feb 16, 2010, at 3:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

Do people build homes in projects where they anticipate designated
rentals? Like a Granny House or make an apartment out of the
basement? It might not be something people would like to do, but it
makes things possible.

In my experience, a rentable part of one's house is not an overall financial advantage. I have a daylight-basement rental apartment in my house and it works for me, but that's because my dad paid for the building of the house, and I collect the rent. Building a 450 sq ft ADU in the basement, with its own bathroom and kitchen appliances, own entrance door, lighting, heating, soundproofing, windows, and all that, probably added $40,000 to the cost of building the home. I rent it for $360 a month, which covers the additional heat, phone line, water, and electric utilities, and maintenance. The actual "income" above that isn't much, and would take decades to pay back the additional construction cost. So, while it might be possible to reduce overall costs by building in a rental, it's not a given.

For people with kids, it's helpful to think ahead to when the kids move out. I could have planned my daughter's room to be a more suitable housemate rental space, had I kept that in mind. (And it has been rented out, as well.)

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
RoseWind Cohousing
Port Townsend WA

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