Have you heard of a granny flat? It’s the same thing as a mother-in-law unit, bonus apartment, in-law suite, casita, or ohana. It’s an extra self-contained living unit on the same property as a single family home.

It’s also known as an accessory apartment. It gets its name from the idea of having an on-site dwelling for an elderly relative to live in. The granny flat can be attached to the home, often, with a separate entrance way, or it can be a small detached unit or even a converted garage.

The extra space will make the home more functional, and it can even help improve real estate prices. Some people consider granny flats as tiny houses. They are also perfect to use as studios, offices, or writing sanctuaries. It’s also a good place for young adult members of the family to dip their toe into independence.

Housekeepers have also been known to stay in these units. These units can also be used as rentals or as temporary vacation rentals. People want detached offices, and most of us have relatives who need a place to stay.
These will become more popular as time goes by. Some of these units have complete kitchens where others will have a mini fridge and microwave. These units can be made with kits such as the Bibo unit or pods that offer high-tech monitoring services.

A contractor can build them or convert from sheds or tiny house units. Your imagination, budget, and zoning laws are the limit. If your property doesn’t already come with one of these, you’ll have to find out what the zoning laws in your area are.

You have permits, zoning codes, building restrictions, and other regulations to be aware of. It’s usually more cost-effective to convert an existing structure, especially when it already has power. You’ll still need running water and plumbing.

New construction can also be a good solution. It will cost more, and you have permits and zoning regulations to deal with. Still, it’s better to do things right than to receive a citation and have to tear everything down and start over.

Other considerations include driveways and parking. This may or may not be an issue, considering your individual circumstance. Modular and prefabricated solutions can help cut down on building costs, the time required, and headaches. Many of them are really cute and look fantastic, too. You can always add your own custom paint colors and accessories like shutters and lighting.
Having an additional unit can be an excellent opportunity to produce extra monthly income. You can also use it as a temporary rental and really get the most out of your new investment. If you’re doing something like this, you need to take into account the privacy and safety for you and your guest.

Also, temporary rentals usually need more amenities. These can be pool access, a barbecue area, or a lovely garden space to relax. A granny flat can be a good investment if you have many years of rentals ahead of you.

Because of the cost and work involved, it’s not a great short-term investment. There are times when having a tenant not only provides extra financial stability, but it can also provide additional security and peace of mind.