A new trend in real estate is Accessory Dwelling Units (or ADU's as they are called). What is an ADU? It is a small second home that is placed on the property that already has a primary residence. 

What types of ADU's are out there? These smaller living spaces can be an apartment added over an existing garage, a basement accessible apartment or even a tiny home. The size, look and location of these dwellings could be dictated by your local planning & zoning office or even the documents governing your existing property. 

Why add one? There are several good reasons:

1) If you have an aging parent you can have one built so that they are on your property...but not necessarily in your home. These types of dwellings are often called "Granny Flats." Another spin on this type of housing would be to keep the aging parent on their existing property and having family move into the main home. This helps keep the parent in the same neighborhood for familiarity. 

2) Rental income is another reason to add a unit to your property. Be sure to check any rules governing your property before attempting this. With the popularity of VRBO and Airbnb..this could generate some extra revenue for you. Whether you occupy the smaller unit and rent the main house or vise versa it can help some afford to live in a more expensive neighborhood than they would have been able to do otherwise.

3) If you have an adult child that wants to move in with you....you might need an ADU! If you enjoyed having an empty nest, this is the way to go to keep your home that way and still have your adult child taken care of. Heck, you might even be able to collect some rent. You may, however, still have to do their laundry. 

Adding this type of living unit can also add some value to your home when it comes time to sell. And we all want that...right?