Home > Moving Guides > Real Estate > Buy > All You Need To Know About A Mother-In-Law Apartment

All You Need To Know About A Mother-In-Law Apartment

0.0  0.0/5
views  17 Views

living in in-law apartmentAre you looking to offer a comfortable place in your house for your parents or guests to stay? A mother-in-law apartment would be an excellent choice for you! A mother-in-law apartment is one of the most current trends in real estate and has many names like granny suite, Ohana suite, multigenerational unit, and more.
A mother-in-law apartment is highly popular now among prospective buyers due to the increase in cross-generational living. With this guide, you will be able to easily decide whether you should buy an in-law suite and if it's going to be worth it.

Mother-in-law apartments and their types

An in-law apartment is a personal living space you can buy for your parents, guests, or in-laws. This is a single-family house attached to your property or even located on your property. A granny suite tends to come with a bedroom and a bathroom that can be tailored to the requirements of your guests

Most likely, a multigenerational unit will be used by your relatives. However, it can meet other requirements and be helpful in other ways. For example, building a mother-in-law apartment beforehand will ensure that you are prepared for relatives and other guests who are visiting or moving in.

Here we have prepared a list of a few different types of mother-in-law suites:

In-law suite

  • This is a space you can offer to your parents or in-laws so that you enjoy living close to them.
  • They typically have Walk-In showers, accessibility ramps, and non-slippery floors.
  • Accessibility is a key feature for mother-in-law apartments since your parents or in-laws will likely need help getting to certain places as they age.

Live-in babysitter quarters

  • A live-in babysitter is an easy solution for the parents working away from their home.
  • You can use this extra-living space for a live-in babysitter who will stay and save time commuting to your place. Also, in case of an emergency you will have someone by your side on short notice to help you out.
  • Though you will need to provide a stipend to the babysitter, their charges will be less than normal since you are giving them a place to stay.
  • Make sure you provide facilities like a kitchen, washer, and dryer for their convenience.

Guest house

Having a guest house is the perfect option for relatives or friends who are coming to stay for a while during their visit. This A guest house will provide them with a place to relax with no need fora hotel. A guest house can even provide them with a hotel-like experience if you provide access to a small bar, smart tv, and sufficient towels in the guest house itself.

Airbnb hosting

If you want to be eligible for renting out your rooms, you must adhere to the guidelines of an accessory dwelling unit. Also, you must provide facilities for the guests that are separate from the primary dwelling unit. Everything that is required in a primary dwelling unit is listed below:

  • Sleeping area
  • Entry and exit gate
  • Bathroom facility
  • Kitchen with items like a cabinet, stove, sink as well as running water.

Hosting room

You can also use your mother-in-law apartment for hosting parties which can minimize party planning stress. This will allow you not have to prepare the main house for the party since you will instead hold the celebration in a separate but easily accessible location. You will need to arrange for facilities like additional seating arrangements, dishware, and bright lights in your hosting space.

Dwelling unit for college kids

If you have college-going kids who visit you during their breaks, a mother-in-law suite would be a great place for them to stay. This will help you give them the same privacy and freedom they enjoy during their stay in their college dorms. You will need to ensure the room has a pull-out sofa for their friends, wi-fi for playing games or streaming, as well as a storage space for keeping belongings that they might not want to take with them to their college dorm.


A she-shed will offer you or your wife a convenient place to sit back and relax as well as pursue hobbies. You can include amenities like a yoga station, art studio, and greenhouse among a few others.

Apart from the amazing features of a mother-in-law apartment we have discussed above, we will explore a few drawbacks of having such a space:

Costly to construct

  • It will be costly for you to construct a granny suite in the backyard of your main apartment. Moreover, even if you plan your garage or ready-to-use basement into a mother-in-law suite, the construction will still be expensive.
  • Remodeling will be more costly if you need to create a new plumbing system, gas line, or electrical system for the granny suite.
  • We suggest you connect with a real estate builder in your area and discuss the expenses of creating an in-law suite or buying a home with an in-law suite.

City regulations

You must consider local regulations before you plan to include a granny house in your construction plan. We suggest you go through both the zonal laws as well as the local regulations. Here are a few ones you must follow:

  • Building codes like square footage restrictions
  • Operational protocols like insurance premiums and rental restrictions

Additional maintenance

  • Regardless of whether you have guests or not, you must clean and maintain your in-law suite properly like any other part of your house.
  • In case you are renting away your granny suite on short-term rentals, you must clean and maintain it after each guest leaves the space.


You might face a situation when there aren’t any guests, relatives, or friends staying in your mother-in-law apartment. This means that the suite will be a waste of square footage that could have otherwise been used as a basement living room or backyard room. Only build something like this if you personally need it.

Cost of constructing an in-law suite

Based on requirements and amenities, the costs involved in constructing an in-law apartment might cross your budget. Here’s what you need to know about the cost factor of building a granny suite:

  • Approximately, you may have to pay $180,000 to construct a new and separate mother-in-law apartment.
  • Alternatively, you can construct an attached in-law suite if you want to save money some money. With this option, you may need to pay something around $154,000.
  • If you want to transform your basement into a granny suite, the cost will be even higher. You will have to pay something around $185,000 for such a suite.
  • Another option is to transform your garage into a mother-in-law suite where you may have to pay somewhere around $142,000.

You need to take into consideration numerous factors while calculating the cost of building an in-law suite. Here are a few such factors:

  • Size of the suite
  • State of abandonment
  • Facilities required

However, if you have planned to repurpose an existing space like a garage or an attic, you may have to invest a lesser amount.

How will a mother-in-law suite add value?

Having a mother-in-law apartment will increase the worth of a house for prospective buyers since it is a feature that is highly sought after. Moreover, the worth of an in-law suite tends to increase based on its location.

For example, if you live near a famous tourist spot, you may find numerous people who might be interested in renting your granny suite. Consequently, buying a house with a granny suite in a popular location is attractive for homebuyers since they can expect a steady supply of renters and make some extra money in the future.

It’s best to avoid building a mother-in-law apartment in an area where no other in-law suites are present. Having a granny suite in such an area will make it difficult for you to appraise your property and enhance its value since there wouldn’t be any sold property in the area with which you can compare.

Tips to increase the value of a mother-in-law apartment

  • To improve the value of your house, we suggest you contact a proficient real estate agent.
  • A real estate agent will help you determine if the time you invest and the expenses you bear in constructing a mother-in-law suite will add overall value or not.
  • In short, a real estate agent will help you decide if your home can sell faster or if it would be better to invest in some other market.

This is all you need to know about a mother-in-law apartment and its value. For further information, you can contact an experienced real estate agent who will guide you through the process.

Moreover, if you need to move to a new house with a granny suite, you can hire professional movers to help you with the same. We suggest you request moving quotes from a few moving companies and choose a mover that will meet your requirements as well as your budget.

Staff Writer  Posted by Staff Writer on March 9, 2023

Rate this guide All You Need To Know About A Mother-In-Law Apartment