The ADU Experience – The New York Times


Seniors also have everything to gain, she said, noting that her own mother, Donna Wilkinson Nitchun, has enjoyed the rental unit attached to her house in Princeton for more than 20 years.

“She can pay taxes, put food on the table and meet people from all over the place,” Ms. Sacks said. And the tenants, who are often affiliated with Princeton University, “keep an eye on it, take out the trash, help with court business. It’s a great source of connection for her.

For many of the same reasons, AARP is a big supporter of ADU

“We know from our surveys that more than three-quarters of people over 50 want to age at home in their community, but less than half think they will be able to,” said Danielle Arigoni, program director AARP Livable Communities. . “They don’t see viable housing solutions when they look around them. ADUs are a really elegant solution to diversifying the choices people have when it comes to housing.

Of course, the cost of building ADUs is another matter. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is currently evaluating updates to its policies to facilitate financing of ADU construction In a recent listening session hosted by the agency, Mike Hernandez, vice president of the ‘commitment and impact for Fannie Mae, the mortgage finance giant, said he was working with lenders to lower the cost of mortgages for homes with ADU; helped homeowners pay for ADU construction using Home Renovation loans; and tested the use of cash refinancing to repay second mortgages and construction loans used to finance the construction of ADU

As the experience unfolds in Princeton, one of the unknowns is how having an ADU condominium will affect the value of the primary residence, said Judson R. Henderson, the registered broker at Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty, Princeton. Will the added value of the ADU compensate for a possible depreciation of the main residence for the owners who, for example, reconvert a garage and resell it?

With the relentless demand for housing in Princeton, he added, “In four or five years, I don’t think it will matter. There will be a lot of people who have done it, and it will just be part of the market. “

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