Portland's ADU Fever

Formerly known as a carriage house, granny flat, mother-in-law suite or English basement, today’s Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is alive and thriving in Portland. Not only does it add versatility to the property in its ability to accommodate the needs of friends and family, but ADUs create significant income potential from both long-term and short-term renters.
$11,000 Building Permit Credit
With nearly seven times the number of ADUs built last year compared to 2010, we owe this surge to the City of Portland’s waiver of System Development Charges (worth up to $11,000 in building permit reductions). This waiver continues through July 2016 and has spurred an increasing number of home owners to segregate 200-800 square feet of their floor plan into a separate living space.
Property Owner Does Not Need to Live On-Site
Portland repealed its ADU owner occupancy provision so ADUs have grown in popularity for investment properties. Multiple sets of renters under the same roof can quite easily cause a rental to pencil out as a profitable business opportunity.
Popular Websites Make Booking Short-Term Renters a Snap
Instead of the income generated by a full-time renter, websites like www.airbnb.com connect home owners with travelers seeking bed and breakfast style accommodations. This allows an ADU (or even just an extra room) to function as a fun and profitable hotel alternative.
For more helpful information about creating your own ADU, check out the City of Portland’s Guide.
For more information on the ADU pictured above, check out PATH Architecture, Inc.

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