Concerned about the upfront price tag on your dream ADU? We understand. 

Securing financing for an ADU can be a complex process, but we’re here to help you understand and choose from various viable options. While the upfront costs are intimidating, an ADU is a significant investment in your property and can lead to a strong ROI.

Let’s explore four effective ways to help fund your project and avoid the anxiety of financial strain.

1. Equity-Based Solutions

Tiny model of a white house sitting on desk next to 3 stacks of quarters

What does this mean? → Harness the value of your property by borrowing against your home's equity. This strategy often yields attractive interest rates, turning your real estate investment into a financial springboard.

Three ways to do this:

  • Cash-Out Refinancing: This approach replaces your existing mortgage with a higher-value loan, providing you with the difference in cash. While it requires substantial home equity, it offers potential perks like lower interest rates and longer repayment terms, making the financial burden of your new ADU project more manageable.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): Operates similarly to a credit card, but it's secured by your home, allowing you to draw funds as needed. HELOCs offer flexibility, quick access to capital, and you pay interest only on the amount you borrow. However, be mindful of variable interest rates and the specifics of draw and repayment periods.
  • Home Equity Loan: Often referred to as a second mortgage, this option gives you a lump sum, with interest applied to the full amount. The predictability of a fixed interest rate is a significant pro, but be prepared for potentially higher rates and shorter terms.

2. Creating Equity with Construction Financing

little gray model house under construction

What does this mean? → If you lack sufficient home equity or prefer not to use your property as collateral, construction and renovation loans are viable alternatives. Here are two common loans you can consider.

  • Renovation/Rehabilitation Loan: These personal loans are becoming increasingly common as more homeowners choose to build ADUs. One of the attractive features is that they are not tied to your property but are based on its anticipated future value post-construction. They're quicker to secure and income-centric, but they come with higher interest rates and are generally capped at a certain amount.
  • Construction Loan: A short-term loan that aligns with your ADU's building timeline, offering interest-only payments during the construction phase. It’s an optimal choice when equity is tight or for significant renovations. However, anticipate higher interest rates and close project monitoring.

3. Leveraging Personal Assets 

piggy bank sitting on desk with blurred background of a city

Sometimes, your financing answer lies in assets you already possess. From savings and investments to retirement accounts (be sure to consult with a plan administrator), these resources can be liquidated or borrowed against to finance your ADU. Even credit cards can be a stopgap solution for short-term financial gaps, though caution is advised due to high interest rates.

You can also leverage personal relationships and ask friends or family for a loan to help.

4. Grants and Government Programs

Folder printed with text "Grants" sitting on top of desk with some accessories

Don't overlook the potential of governmental assistance. In regions like California, where affordable housing is in high demand, state and local governments, as well as certain non-profit organizations, offer grants, low-interest loans, or other incentives for ADU construction.

Navigating these options can be complex, so utilizing resources like HPP Cares and CCEDA can provide invaluable guidance, especially when applying for grants like the CalHFA ADU Grant.

Choose the best option for you. 

Financing your ADU doesn't have to be an impossible challenge. And it doesn’t have to be the reason to NOT build your ADU (especially if it’s a big goal of yours).

With these four paths, you're equipped with the knowledge to take the next steps to buying and building a beautiful addition to your home—one just like the LIM Living Studio ADU.

The Studio ADU is built for those wanting a stylish living space while not harming the planet with excess material. Visit the Studio page and learn more about what’s included and how it’s made.

October 13, 2023
Tags: #adu