Multiple Uses for Mother-In-Law Suites

Multiple Uses for Mother-In-Law Suites

Mother-in-law suites are multi-purpose housing units, offering a variety of benefits and usages. The chance to keep your extended family in close proximity, potentially strengthening communication and generational bonds, are just a few reasons why mother-in-law suites work. But, mother-in-law suites aren’t only used to house extended family members.


Opportunities abound with mother-in-law suites

These convenient structural housing additions are used as rental property, independent living spaces for adult children and music and art studios. Mother-in-law suites are also used as business locations. For example, a dentist might use the space to perform non-surgical procedures out of.


Even if it cost more to purchase a house with a mother-in-law suite, the buy could be a good investment. Turn the suite into an apartment and you could generate $500 or more a month from the space. Operate a business in the suite and you could save on commercial rental property fees. Use a mother-in-law suite as a traditional living space for your aging parent and you could be there should your parent need emergency assistance.


Homes that don’t have existing mother-in-law suites could work. For example, an attached garage can be converted into a mother-in-law suite. A large, three-car garage might offer you 350 square feet or more to work with, giving you room to design a bedroom, living room, bathroom and small kitchen.


Existing multi-generational suites may come with a front porch, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a den or living room. Opt for an open floor plan and your parents or in-laws may be able to enjoy outdoor views from several locations in the house. Should you buy or build a mother-in-law suite for an aging relative, consider installing safety support rails in the bathroom and sticking to a one-level floor plan.


Additional considerations

It’s important that relatives enjoy a sense or independence while living in mother-in-law suites. Although your parents are nearby, it’s a good idea to give them a heads up before you drop in.


If you’re taking the business route with your mother-in-law suite, design a waiting area. Make sure that there’s sufficient customer parking, so that customers aren’t forced to park in front of your neighbors’ houses.

Measurable benefits

Once a quarter, total how much you are spending on the mother-in-law suite in utilities and property fees. Add up revenues that you are generating from the property. Make adjustments as needed, if you’re spending more than you’re generating from the property. The exception is if the property is being used as a traditional mother-in-law suite.


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Custom Contracting, Inc. 1267A Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02476 Phone: 781-648-2835 Fax: 781-648-0907 Email:

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