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Does an In-Law Suite Increase the Value of Your Home?

by Chelsea Lothrop, studioD

The real estate market fluctuates largely according to trends, and by keeping up with current market trends you can maximize your profit when selling your home. In-law suites have risen in popularity due to their functionality and the money-saving opportunities they offer, which make them appealing to buyers who want extra space or roommates, without compromising privacy.

What Are In-Law Suites?

In-law suites are home additions that provide space and accommodations for guests or roommates. An in-law suite usually consists of a bedroom, bathroom and small kitchen, and sometimes also a private entrance. They are named for their common use as a living area for elderly parents who move in with their married children. Despite their name, in-law suites are not limited to providing housing for parents. You can also use them to temporarily or permanently accommodate guests, or in some cases as extra storage.

In-Law Suites in Real Estate

In recent years, the in-law suite has increased in popularity, primarily due to the aging "baby boomer" generation. Retirement homes are expensive, and many people are reluctant to leave the comforts of home. In-law suites have become a great asset to address this concern. A 2013 National Association of Realtors® survey of home buyers shows that 20 percent of buyers would be willing to pay more for a home if it had an in-law suite.

Types of In-Law Suite

There are several different types of in-law suite. Some are completely separate from the original house, while others may be part of the house, such as a repurposed basement, garage or attic. In still other cases, the suite is created from existing rooms in the house. Each type offers different benefits and drawbacks. Separate suites offer the most privacy, but require the most work and money to create. On the opposite end of the spectrum are suites built right into existing rooms, which is a low cost operation but provides the least privacy.

Other Uses for In-Law Suites

Besides their usefulness for guests or relatives, in-law suites offer a great opportunity for you to save money by renting out the extra space. Many people shy away from roommates because of the lack of privacy, but with a secondary suite, you can maintain your privacy. If you are selling your home with an in-law suite, potential buyers will be willing to pay more knowing they can cut their expenses by renting the extra space. Buyers may also be interested in using the suite for extra storage or even an office space, a great option for people with home businesses. With all of the potential that in-law suites offer, they are a sure way to increase property values.

About the Author

Based in Connecticut, Chelsea Lothrop has been writing for publication since 2009. Her primary focuses are real estate, personal health, and literature. Lothrop is a former contributor to the Speedy Tenants Rental Agency blog. She is currently completing her bachelor's degree in literature through Arizona State University.

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