Sure, you can buy the “bones” for cheap…but there’s a lot you need to consider.

An ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit, is a secondary living unit located on the same property as a primary residence. ADUs, also known as granny flats, in-law suites, or backyard cottages, are self-contained living spaces that are smaller and separate from the main house.

They can be attached to the primary residence, such as a converted garage or basement, or they can be detached, like a standalone structure in the backyard. ADUs offer additional housing options, increase the density of residential areas, and provide potential rental income or living space for family members.

ADUs have gained popularity as a solution for affordable housing, multi-generational living, and maximizing land use in urban and suburban areas.

Home Depot offers modern tiny homes for under $50,000

Home Depot’s website recently gained attention for featuring a $44,000 tiny home frame with a sleek design. However, the reality is that the cost of turning it into a livable space would far exceed that amount.

The product in question is a 540-square-foot “Getaway Pad” by Plus 1 Homes, classified as an “accessory dwelling unit” (ADU) suitable for placement in your backyard, given the necessary permits. The product image showcases a bedroom and a spiral staircase leading to a roof deck.

While the picture displays windows and doors, it’s important to note that these additions come at an additional cost. Home Depot’s website specifies that the $43,832 price covers only the steel structure and the assembly components.

It’s not a “complete” package, however

To complete the home with doors, windows, electrical plumbing, and other essential details, one would need to spend thousands of dollars more. Even the deck shown in the image is considered an “upgrade option” according to the website.

In addition to the financial investment, acquiring permission from local zoning authorities is typically required for constructing an ADU on your property. The actual assembly process may also necessitate assistance from professionals or the involvement of friends and family, as previously reported by Insider.

Plus 1 Homes claims that the steel frame is resistant to termites, mold, rodents, and bugs, as per their product details. They also state that the structure is fire-resistant and capable of withstanding inclement weather conditions, including cyclones and hurricanes.

A trend

Tiny homes and ADUs have become increasingly popular in the past year, particularly among Gen Z and millennial homebuyers seeking affordable alternatives in a competitive housing market marked by limited availability and high mortgage rates.

Nonetheless, it’s essential to consider the additional expenses beyond the advertised price. Kristina Smallhorn, known as the “Real Estate Whisperer” on her YouTube channel, sheds light on these costs associated with modern tiny homes.

Smallhorn outlines various expenses that prospective buyers might encounter if they decide against availing themselves of the company’s offered “upgrades.”

Well, at least according to Smallhorn, these additional expenses include:

Septic tank: $3,600 to $10,000
Drywall: $1,800
Plumbing: $6,000 (or between $1,500 and $17,500)
ADU permit: $450 to $14,000
City water and sewer: $1,500 and up
Concrete slab: $4,100
Pole with meter: $1,200 to $5,600
Electrical wiring for a new house: $5,000 to $15,000
Insulation: Average of $2,492
Wood flooring: $1,791
Paint: $170

Considering these additional expenses, the total cost of the advertised modern tiny home, along with the necessary additions to make it habitable, could amount to $85,000 and beyond.

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