Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have become an affordable option for both homebuyers and owners alike, particularly in West Coast markets with exceptionally tight inventory and high prices.
After the passage of law in 2016 in California that eliminated many local restrictions on ADUs, 4,352 ADUs were built in the state, per Attom Data Solutions, almost as much as the next four states with the most ADUs combined. Senior policy manager for the Bay Area Council advocacy group Rachele Trigueros tells Realtor.com that these structures, while, "not a silver bullet that is going to solve the [supply] problem overnight. But we really see it as a huge puzzle piece," adding, "It's "a gentle way to add infill housing in people’s backyards and garages to help ease the pressure of our severe supply shortage."
In 2010, data engineer Victor Chin knew he couldn’t afford to buy a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the median sales price was $520,958 (it’s since shot up to $930,000). Still, he kept dreaming of a place of his own—and came up with a plan. It took four long years of saving and planning. But finally he was able to purchase land in suburban San Carlos, design a 2,200-square-foot home, and then have it built.