(for the alliteration)
The way home prices are changing in Austin, most investors understand that the best, maybe only, way to add value to an investment property is either to add to the square footage or add an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).
Sierra and I recently attended the tiny home jamboree, mostly because we’re both fascinated with the concept and minimalst living. Our hands-down favorite was Pin Oak Tiny Homes.
While there are actually many ways to invest in tiny homes, it’s not something that Hermit Haus has really looked into. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be talking about a tiny home on a foundation (not on a trailer with wheels, which would technically be considered an RV).
In 2015, the Austin City Council voted to relax the rules governing the construction of tiny homes (aka backyard cottages; aka granny flats).
The new rules are as follows:
- Only one parking space required.
- Can build an ADU on 5750 sq ft of land. (It used to be 7,000 square feet.)
- Reduced setbacks to 10 feet (front to back and side to side) so it’s easier to fit the dwelling unit on a smaller lot.
- The maximum size of an ADU is 1,100 square feet instead of just 850 square feet.
- Only SF-3 is eligible, not SF-2. These are zoning codes that can roughly approximate to urban vs suburban.
- Limit use as short-term rental to a maximum of 30 days per year for ADUs constructed after October 1, 2015.
- Prohibit use as a Type 2 short term rental. Here’s a link to the types.
There are also a few construction requirements to consider:
- A tiny house requires at least one separate bathroom.
- Tiny homes are allowed to have stairs, including ladders, ship ladders, or alternative ways for people to reach the loft.
- Minimum ceiling height
- The habitable space must have a minimum ceiling height of 6 feet 8 inches. Bathrooms and kitchens can be a bit lower, at 6 feet 4 inches.
- A tiny house does not need a minimum number of windows, but has to meet the standard for emergency exits.
So, now you know, so you can go make an ADU for U!
(Look for part 2, in which Russell shares lots more that he’s learned!)