Will a Mother in Law Apartment Help Sell My House Faster?

Having a mother in law suite on your property or in your home can be an attractive quality to potential buyers. However, all the upkeep a mother in law suite may require might be a big turnoff for others. If you are considering adding a mother in law apartment to your house, this article is for you.

Keep reading to learn what a mother in law apartment could mean to you, the pros and cons that come with one, and if having one in your house is right for you.

What is a Mother in Law apartment?

What is a Mother in Law apartment?

A mother in law apartment, sometimes called a granny flat or in-law suite, is a private living area, either connected to a home, or on the same property. These apartments are designed to provide comfort and be a separate living area for the occupant. If they are connected to a house they typically have a separate entrance so the occupant doesn’t disturb other members in the house when they come and go throughout the day.

It may have gotten its name from those sometimes tense, week long visits, that can be tiring for either the visiting mother in law, or the family she is visiting. It may be nice to have a separate place for her to go so you can breathe a little bit.

Joking aside, a mother in law apartment can be great for any caregiving needs for aging family members, visiting extended family, or even to rent out.

What does a mother in law suite look like?

A mother in law suite can be made from a finished basement, an add on to your house, or a garage. Some are connected to the house and others are not connected to the house but are still on the property.

A mother in law house can be very basic, the most minimal option being a small bedroom and a bathroom. Or it can be fancier, possibly including things like a kitchen, living room, an office or more.

Why would you want a mother in law apartment?

Mother in law and daughter

The first reason you may want a mother in law apartment is, as its name suggests, a place for your mother in law to live. It can be a nice and easy place where she can live near you but still have her own space.  Even if mom isn’t moving in there are other reasons why you may want a mother in law apartment. They include:

  • Easy caregiving option

You might be a caretaker to a parent or a grandparent, and in that case a mother in law suite can be very helpful. Often it is a hard transition for a parent to go from living by themselves to needing care. With a mother in law apartment, they don’t have to give up their independence entirely, and you are still right there in an emergency.

  • Home office or work room

Even if your mother in law apartment doesn’t house your mother in law, there are still many other ways you can utilie the space. Need storage room? Run an online store and need a place to pack orders? Need an art studio? You can use your mother in law room to fill whatever needs you may have.

  • Adult children moving back in with parents

Often times children will move back in with their parents, whether they are saving up for their own house, or they are going to college and want a bit more freedom, or something else, a mother-in-law apartment can be a great place for them to live or visit.

  • Rent it out

Another great thing about a mother in law apartment is that it can be an extra source of income if you rent it out. Because a mother in law suite has a separate entrance guests, or tenants are able to come and go as they please and live in an enclosed space. What ever needs you have a mother in law may be a great way to fill them.

How much do mother in law suites cost?

How much do mother in law suites cost?

The exact cost of a mother in law apartment will depend on a few factors. How big are you going? Do you want a spacious suite with a full kitchen, walk in closet, living room, office, and more? Are you going for one small bedroom and a half bath? How big you go will change the cost.

Hiring workers to build it will cost money, as well as hooking up utilities and making it livable. The cost all depends but an estimate can cost anywhere from $40,000-$130,000, with $100-$200 per square foot. That estimate is only counting suites actually attached to the home.

The cost of installing a mother in law apartment in your home or on your property is a turnoff for some people. However, it may be a worthy investment for you. You may get the cost back in rent money, an increased home value if you sell, or special memories with your mother in law, or other family members.

To help it cost less you could aim for a smaller mother in law apartment- just a bedroom and bathroom, or have a kitchenette rather than a kitchen. It doesn’t have to look all that fancy. Although, the argument could be made that the fancier you go the higher the value may be if you decide to sell later.

One more thing to keep in mind if you decide that you do want a mother in law suite is that there may be city zoning laws that limit what you can add to your property.

Does a mother in law suite add value to your home?

Does a mother in law suite add value to your home?

That is a loaded question. The short answer is yes. Having an extra addition to the home, especially a more private suite, can be a very attractive quality to a home. In fact a study published in the Appraisal Journal they claimed that houses with a mother in law apartment sell for 7-10% higher (or between $20,000-$30,000 higher) than houses without a mother in law apartment.

It definitely depends on the real estate market at the time you sell, what size or look your mother in law apartment has, and if it pleases the tastes of potential buyers, but generally speaking a mother in law unit in will raise the value in a home.

If you are looking to get a mother in law apartment you can always buy a home with an already built in mother in law suite, or you can build one yourself. If you are looking sell your house to get into a new house with a mother-in-law apartment consider reaching out to Gary to help you sell fast! Gary will give you the best cash offer on your house or property in “as-is” condition. He can even help you stay in your home until you find the perfect house to buy after you sell.


I was a part owner in an electrical contracting firm in the late 1990’s and started to get interested in real estate around 2001. My business partner and I bought our first rental property in 2002. From there we did several real estate transactions until we decided to close the electrical business and part ways. In 2009 I started Gary Buys Houses which is owned by my wife, Eileen, and I. I felt like I could offer one on one personal service to people that wanted to sell their house quickly or not worry about repairs and such. Today, I have built a reputation of being fair and honest with people no matter their situation, so the business continues to help people and be successful. I have been married for 34 years, and have one son, two step sons and 4 grandchildren. I like to travel and spend time in Southern Utah exploring. https://www.garybuyshouses.com/

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