Article: Guest Houses

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The conundrum of a guest home may, at first blush, seem like a very first-world problem. On one hand, having a second, smaller “home” on your property may seem like a wise move. Visitors and their hosts can have extra privacy. It’s often a good place for grown children to live between college and real life, or for a “man cave” or “woman cave” – a personal getaway space.

But there are also very practical reasons to consider a guest home. The trend of Baby Boomers turning up their noses at retirement-community and nursing-home living means they’re going to need their kids’ attention more as time goes on. And as America’s demographics change, a more culturally diverse population means an increase in multiple generations actually choosing to live under one roof.
Zillow offers a couple of resources for people considering what they call an “accessory dwelling unit.” (We prefer “guest home.”) Regardless, there are some very practical things to consider before you even turn a shovel of dirt, namely whether your city or neighborhood have any rules prohibiting it.
A Zillow forum takes a look at whether adding a guest home actually adds value to your property. It’s an interesting conversation that, unsurprisingly, depends on a lot of factors. One way to think about it is to compare it to a pool: It’s an amenity that is going to require a certain buyer, but could very well add value.
So, if you decide to go the “guest home” route, what next? Pinterest to the rescue!
In addition to the obvious option of new construction, this board features a ton of photos of people who turned tiny spaces into guess homes. Lofted areas, Murphy beds and creative staircases are all on display… if you have a shed or any small structure you really can maximize your space with a little ingenuity.
The “tiny living” movement has also made guest homes more of an option. Maybe you don’t want your primary residence to be able to fit on a trailer and hauled around the country, but a guest home could be perfect for that (and then you haul it around when you want to travel). Country Living has a gallery of 52 photos that show off the concept…we love the A-frame!