Is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Right for You?


Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are also known as:

  • Ohana Unit (Hawaii)
  • Granny Flat
  • Mother-in-Law Unit
  • In-Law Suite
  • Grand Retreat

Homeowners Build ADUs for Many Reasons:

  • Long-term rental: supplemental rental income
  • Short-term rental: Airbnb and VRBO short-term rentals can generate much higher rent than monthly rentals, but require more time to manage
  • Age in Place: Elderly homeowners that need a home without stairs or with special access can build an ADU to stay in the neighborhood they love
  • Elbow room: More space for elderly parents or kids returning from college to live.  Have your family close, but not too close!

ADUs in Portland

According to

  • Eighty percent of ADUs in Portland are long-term primary residences
  • Over 2000 Portland homeowners signed up for the new “House the Homeless” ADU program
  • Portland currently waives System Development Charge (SDC) Fees—savings from $7,000 to $15,000—for ADUs
  • Roughly thirty-five percent of all residential homes in Vancouver BC have ADUs, compared to one percent in Portland and Seattle
  • Permits for ADUs in Portland continue to increase:
    • 2009 = 24
    • 2010 = 86                       
    • 2011 = 133            
    • 2012 = 164  
    • 2013 = 201
    • 2014 = 263
    • 2015 = 483         
    • 2016 = 615
  • The environmental impact of an ADU is much lower than other single-family residences
  • ADUS require less utility usage for cooling and heating
  • Most ADU residents commute by bike or mass transit because they tend to live closer to work
  • The ADU is a rapidly growing segment of the Portland Housing Market!

If you have questions about ADUs and whether one might be right for you, please give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you.  Eric Dunlap 503-936-2054.

P.S. Be sure to sign up for the Build Small, Live Large ADU tour, September 9 and 10.

©2018 A division of Finance of America Mortgage LLC | Equal Housing Lender   | NMLS 1071 | AZ BK 0910184 | Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act.

Published by Lynnette Fusilier

Kerns neighbor. Lover of coffee, whiskey and curiosity. Maker of digital experiences.

Leave a comment

Leave a ReplyCancel reply