The data on 2021 is in, and these days, many people are using their ‘mother-in-law’ suite for actual family members. Intergenerational families under one roof became more common during the height of the pandemic, where families could ‘bubble’ and see each other without spending much if any time out and about. Now, however, people are using those same suites, also called accessory dwelling units or ADUs, to earn a little extra income.
If you live in an area where sites like VRBO and Airbnb are popular and active, you might want to consider remodeling some aspect of your home to get the accessory dwelling unit you want, either for a family member or for short-term rentals. It could even help you to sell your home fast! Here’s how.
If you’e already got a finished or semi-finished basement, you might be only a few steps away from a full additional suite downstairs. Consider whether your downstairs needs its own bathroom, perhaps with a shower, and whether you could close off a portion of the basement so that there’s a living area, bedroom, and a bathroom. For unfinishe basements, this is a bigger project, but the sky is also the limit – you can design the space exactly the way you want it, and can note any features that are highly popular at other local short-term rentals.
If you’ve already got a nice little suite set up, the next level if you’re planning to rent it out is adding a kitchenette. This can be accomplished in some units without any renovation at all: get a micro-fridge (mini-fridge, microwave combination), add a keurig to a sturdy cabinet, and make sure the cabinet has all the coffee and tea items that guests might want. If you want to branch out further, consider turning an alcove into a small sink, counterspace, and even a portable induction stovetop. Many people shop for a short-term rental because hotel rooms don’t have a kitchen to speak of, so this could be a benefit.
If you are handy and enjoy the idea of it, building a tiny home on your property can be a great investment. People enjoy the charm of a separate unit that is on your same property, and you can add a lot of space-saving touches like lofted beds to make full use of the space. While not really a Mother-in-Law suite, this additional living space with a separate entrance can be a great path to a short-term rental.
Finally, if you already have a great space that is a separate area from your main living space, your best remodel may be a fairly simple one: the addition of a separate entrance with keyless entry. Many renters don’t want to have to walk through your own living space to get to their rental, and a separate entrance, even if it is accompanied by a new staircase, is an affordable add to many homes. With this remodel under your belt, you’re ready to start short term renting!