When I started grad school, I needed to find a place to live that would be fairly solitary so I could get my studying done and come home to sleep for a bit before heading to work. This ruled out sharing an apartment, renting a room, or couch surfing.
When all was said and done, I found a 10’ by 14’ converted shed in a backyard (basically, a tiny house with insulation but no plumbing) that became my home for the next two years. Now that I’m doing the ‘adult’ thing – paying bills, owning a home, running after the kids – I sometimes miss that shed.
With the housing prices causing a cramp in many wallets, some homebuyers are looking at how the home they buy can help them out in the long run; either by including rooms they can rent out, or lend to family members who find themselves in a bind. Fortunately, these 5 homes come ready with detached living spaces – sometimes called ‘granny units’ – that can fill that need.
Some of these are units are bare-bone studio spaces, and some have all the amenities like plumbing and heat already included. All you’d need is a tenant who pays the rent on time, and you both win;
1031 3rd St, Santa Rosa – $689,000
For a homebuyer who loves history, this Queen Anne home was built in 1890, and with 4 bedrooms, has plenty of room for a family.
For a house that’s over a hundred years old, it’s been well preserved and appears to be a turn key opportunity.
Besides the house being a great find, there’s a 400 square foot granny unit in the backyard.
In addition to being sizable, the unit has electricity, a kitchen, and all the amenities a house should have. For the price, a homebuyer is essentially purchasing two homes.
3217 Franz Valley Rd, Santa Rosa – $669,999
2 beds, 2 baths, 1,000 square feet.
This interesting looking house is tucked away in the hills. Not an easy place to find at first, but worth the drive if you want to be surrounded by wildlife.
Because of the angles of the architecture, the interior takes some interesting turns. The kitchen is one of the least obvious examples, but it’s one of the best-looking rooms in the home and has been recently updated.
While the house can be difficult to find – at first – the included granny unit requires a fairly decent walk down a meandering path. The upside of this is the guaranteed privacy for tenant and homeowner alike.
This granny unit is legitimately a second, small home on the property. This would be another great two-for-one purchase for anyone looking for an investment property.
11196 Barnett Valley Rd, Sebastopol – $899,000
4 beds, 2 baths, 1,812, square feet.
Built in 1930, this rustic cottage is closer to the outskirts of Sebastopol, and a good find for anyone who wants to live ‘away from it all’.
The living room is surprisingly modern, and the skylight is a nice touch.
Here’s the fun part about this quasi-remote locale: there are three separate guest cottages. This is the first one that has all the amenities a renter would need.
The second cottage is described as a ‘Hobbit House’, and will also do well as a rental unit.
I couldn’t get any good pictures of either the interior or more detail of the exterior, but my best guess is that this is the art studio/greenhouse described in the listing.
Though the price of the home skews a bit high for Sebastopol, the intrepid homebuyer could have a tidy rental income if they don’t mind being a landlord.
44 Wilson Lane, Petaluma – $879,000
3 beds, 1 bath, 1,379 square feet.
I like the way this home presents as a gardener’s paradise. Though it’s not that far from downtown Petaluma – about three miles – it feels like it’s somewhere else entirely.
At 1,379 square feet, it’s not a small home, but this dining room with country décor looks cozy.
This delightful tiny home sits in the backyard, and while currently used as a potting shed, it appears as though it’s ready for some interior upgrades.
The cute little cottage even includes its own cute little yard.
833 2nd St E, Sonoma – $1,275,000
3 beds, 2 baths, 1,262 square feet.
Built in 1947, this 3 bedroom 2 bath home is located fairly close to the downtown Sonoma plaza, but still has enough yard space to make it feel distinctly suburban.
The interior has been well maintained and updated. The recessed lighting helps to bring light into the whole interior, making it seem larger than its 1,262 square feet.
A small shed has been converted into a modern, open working space. While it doesn’t seem like a usable full-time living space, there’s room in the yard to add on to it if desired.
An alternate rental use would be to rent it to an entrepreneur who needs an office to meet clients in.