Real estate rage in Portland! Or, ode on a purple shed
Up for rent in Portland, February 2015: a tiny purple structure in someone’s backyard, apparently a converted garden shed. At 165 square feet, it had the same area of 5 … Continue reading
Summing up ADU research: are accessory dwelling units as great, or as horrible, as people say?
Collected research about accessory dwelling units (AKA granny flats, laneway houses, in-law units, etc) suggests they have many potential benefits, and two common arguments “against” are unsupported.
Accessory dwelling units: what further research should be done?
ADUs are especially promising as environmentally sensitive and affordable housing, and this potential should be investigated in detail.
How do ADUs contribute to the local economy? (Or, will building an ADU raise my property taxes?)
Will building an ADU raise your property taxes? Very likely yes. Is that a good thing for the community?
Do accessory dwelling units serve older persons? (Or, who lives in, and owns, ADUs?)
Older persons are expected to benefit from ADUs. Is this happening now, and will it happen more in the future?
Do ADUs cause neighborhood parking problems?
The single biggest and most specific fear mentioned by ADU opponents is loss of street parking. Is there any evidence on this?
How do ADUs affect property values?
Opponents of ADUs frequently charge they will bring down property values for the whole neighborhood. What is the evidence?
How much do ADUs cost to build?
Some survey results about ADU costs… and some thoughts about why ADU developers aren’t usually real estate “pros.”
Do ADUs actually provide housing?
It may seem odd to ask whether a housing form actually provides housing, but it’s a key premise in civic debates about accessory dwelling units.
Why ADUs are hard to study, and confuse nearly everyone
ADUs are a really unusual form of development. This post goes over their special qualities, and explains why a lot of “debate” about ADUs is so repetitive.
Research and policy about accessory dwelling units: introducing a 13-part series
Which hopes and fears about ADUs are most likely to be true? Explore claims and controversies with new evidence, in this 13-part series, beginning today.
Do lax “granny flat” regulations encourage absentee landlords? Some new evidence from Portland.
Imagine, in the abstract, the absentee landlord. I personally see him as a sort of Dickensian villain, say Sir Mulberry Hawk, coarse in intention despite his fine clothing and mustache, … Continue reading
Multigenerational homes: accessory dwelling units by any other name
In the past year or two, major builders have accomplished an interesting slight of hand. They have recognized the need for houses with ADUs, and started selling them for tidy … Continue reading
Appraisal Journal on ADUs: they could be worth more than you think
Today the Appraisal Journal publishes a research paper about residential properties with accessory dwelling units (ADUs). The paper describes an income-based method for appraising properties with ADUs, and concludes that … Continue reading
Build Small | Live Large Housing – The Beginning of Something Small
On Friday, October 26th, we held an incredible event at Portland State University. It was the first summit of its kind, focusing on space efficient housing. The Build Small | … Continue reading
Little is Large on Portland’s 2012 Build It Green! Home Tour
The City of Portland’s Build It Green! Home Tour and Info Fair (BIG!) turns eleven this year. BIG! is a self-guided tour of 16 green remodels and new homes around … Continue reading
The many and confusing synonyms for ADUs
A quick note about language here. One reason people get so confused, and perhaps heated, about accessory dwellings is that language about them is confused. The different names conjure up … Continue reading
A research and action agenda for Accessory Dwelling Units and their advocates
I spent a lot of 2011 learning about Accessory Dwelling Units (also known as in-law units, granny flats, backyard cottages, etc). Beat that in terms of geekiness! (Okay, I bow … Continue reading
Dwelling in the Urban Alleys of DC
A book review of Alley Life in Washington (Editor note: this is part one one of a two part series. You can read part II here.) Alley Life in Washington … Continue reading
Detached Bedroom as Tiny Home
A few years ago I had the opportunity for my mother-in-law to move in with my family in our NE Portland home. We didn’t have space in our home for … Continue reading
How appraisals and “GSEs” make financing an ADU challenging
(Update January 2013: please note that the research on which the following piece was based has now been published in Appraisal Journal. Please read the full text of that article … Continue reading
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