How can I find a house with an in-law suite?

My dad has Alzheimer’s and although he and my mom live alone right now, it looks like the best future solution would be to get a house with an in-law suite. My family could have the main house and my mom & dad could live with us, but still apart. My mom wants her own kitchen but otherwise we are pretty flexible.

I’ve tried searching through the Google but I guess I’m not using the right search terms. I haven’t contacted a realtor yet, as I’m not sure of the timing, but thought if I started looking now I could get an idea of what is available and pricing.

Any ideas? I would think that a lot of families would be interested in a home like that, but maybe not. Our other option would be to build a custom home, but they all seem to be McMansions and we really don’t need a humungous place.


Guest house?

Look for basement apartments. They are very popular sources of income. Buy a house and have rental income too.

They are also great free apartments for relatives.

Or, buy a house with a basement that can be renovated into an apartment. There’s a HGTV show called Income Property that does this every week.

in-law suite, mother-in-law suite, MIL suite

Here’s a Search on in-law suite

I was just going to say that this is what they are called and advertised as in Seattle Portland and then I saw China Guy’s location— So I don’t know how widespread the terms are. Additionally they seem to be common around the PNW due to the conversion of basement (or underhouse) garages into living space.

In AZ, they tend to be called “casita”, guest house or “MIL quarters” is probably a better search.

Around here, they’re often called “granny units”.

Look for a second kitchen. Better yet, let an agent do the work for you. If someone called me about this kind of dwelling, I could suggest a handful even before doing a computer search. I just showed one like that today, in fact.

Two-on-a-lot is what we call them here, or “back house”

I’ve heard them called mother-daughter houses.

Or, search for a place with a large back yard and add a unit. Here are some interesting links:

Not available in all zoning areas. Check with the local authorities before purchase.

For that matter, check with zoning before purchasing an existing house with a 2nd unit. It might not have been constructed legally and the buyer might have to foot the bill to remove it.