Does a Mother-In-Law Suite Add Home Value?

If you’re thinking about making improvements to your home, you probably want to consider if those improvements will actually add value to your home later on. You’ve probably heard that an updated kitchen or bath is a good idea, but what about adding in a mother-in-law suite?

Certainly, some buyers may see it as a real plus, but does it equate to home value when and if you ever decide to sell your home? The answer is it depends, because there are pros and cons to this type of home improvement.

A true mother-in-law suite typically includes a bedroom, living room, a full bath and a kitchen. In an ideal situation they have their own private entrance too, so the person living in the suite doesn’t have to use the main entrance of the home to come and go. 

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In some housing markets buyers are actually willing to pay more for a home with a mother-in-law suite. A unit like this may stand out to potential buyers.

Some people also use them for other guests or they use them as short-term rentals for extra income. Others use the extra space for storage. If you have aging parents, it may be more cost efficient to build a mother-in-law suite.

The cost isn’t cheap, though. Commonly they start at $5,000, but the cost can reach substantially higher. The true cost depends on local construction costs and your home’s layout. It also depends on what kinds of features and finishes you choose to include.

There are also some freestanding structures that give privacy without being connected to the main home. Still, some people find that converting a garage or an attic is the most cost-effective way to create a mother-in-law suite.

So, do they add value to a home? It depends. In the right market and with the right buyer, it may help your home stand out and sell faster.

Not all mother-in-law suites see a full return on investment. However, it may add more than just monetary value to your home. It may actually be good for your family, and that’s simply not something you can put a price on.

You may also see some savings because you’re not paying for your relatives to live in a retirement home. Or, you may even be able to make some extra money on the side by renting out the space you’ve created on a short-term basis.

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