Should You Build A Mother-In-Law Apartment?

If you are planning to build a new home or remodel your current one and have aging parents, you might want to consider adding a mother-in-law suite. These suites are practical and can add value to your home, but you need to consider the emotional side of it as well. Can you coexist with your parents or in-laws in such close proximity? For some families, constructing these apartments makes excellent sense. 


Research has shown that adding these suites to your home or above your garage can up the resale value of your home considerably. Depending the quality of the addition and the location of the home, you could see an increase of resale value of $60,000 or over. Also, since the United State's baby boomer population is either in retirement or heading that way, the need for this type of housing is real. As experts point out, an apartment on your property is a way to increase your income if your parents choose not to live there. 


Parents and children can love each other deeply, but cohabiting can often be quite difficult. When both families commit to this living arrangement, strict boundaries have to be established. Your parents' section of your home has to be entirely theirs. As long as these apartments have all the basics, such as a small kitchen and full bath, your parents will be able to maintain a level of independence while being nearby. The grandchildren have to learn to respect the boundaries as well. No one gets to run in and out of your parents'  space without permission. In some instances, you may opt to construct a small guesthouse instead of an apartment. That arrangement will allow both parties to live together but still maintain an appropriate degree of separation. 

If your grown children return to live in the apartment, you may have more difficulty respecting boundaries because you raised your child and still may want to "help." If you cannot maintain a "hands off" attitude toward their daily activities, you should probably pass on the arrangement. 

Adding a mother-in-law apartment, suite, or cottage can add resale value to your home, but more importantly, it can help your aging parents or even provide shelter to grown children if circumstances drive them back home. An apartment allows them to maintain some independence while still getting the family support that they need. Discuss the options for including such an apartment in your home with a local contractor