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Does a Mother In Law Suite Add Value to Your Home?

Having a mother in law suite in your home can be an attractive quality for buyers, but how much value does it really add? Real estate market trends are constantly changing, including the features that buyers crave most.

Having a mother in law suite can be appealing for buyers that need one, but the upkeep and potential ongoing costs of it can be turnoffs to others. Let’s explore the pros and cons of a mother in law suite on your property to see if this investment will be profitable in the long run.

What Constitutes a True Mother in Law Suite?

Mother in law suites come in a variety of forms, but what makes it a true suite versus an extra room in your home? There are a few features that set them apart:

First, a MIL suite is roomier than a guest bedroom, offering more space for daily activities. In essence, it’s a scaled-down version of a regular home. MIL suites generally have a full kitchen, full bathroom, living room, and bedroom. Upscale versions may include other amenities, like a fireplace, bar, or laundry hookups.

Ideally, in-law suites will have their own private entrance that’s separate from the main entrance. This gives guests the freedom to come and go without disturbing others in the main house. As long as they have the basic items of any house or apartment, you can consider it a mother-in-law suite.

These Suites Add More Than Monetary Value

One of the biggest questions homeowners ask before building a mother in law suite is how it impacts resale value. In some markets, this feature is highly sought after, especially given the fact that baby boomers are reaching retirement age. In fact, a survey from the National Association of Realtors found that 20% of buyers would be likely to pay more for a home if it had a mother-in-law suite.

But before you consider how much of your investment you can recoup, first consider the additional benefits a MIL suite will bring you. If you have aging parents, you may one day face the choice of placing them in a retirement home or investing in in-home care. Having an in-law suite in your home allows your relatives to enjoy in-home comforts and privacy, plus it can be more cost-effective.

If you don’t have relatives that may need to come live with you, consider investing in a suite for extra income. Though touted as being living spaces for in-laws, these suites can be used for any type of guest. Many people are listing their suites on short-term rental websites like Airbnb for extra cash. Other homeowners may see an in-law suite as office space or extra storage when no one is staying in it. This can help you save on expensive office or expensive storage unit rentals, though the ROI may never be met.

The Cost Can Outweigh the Value, Though

In short, MIL suites offer far more than a chance to boost your home’s resale value. But the staggering cost should make any homeowner think twice. Typical in-law suites can cost anywhere from $5,000 to over $100,000. It depends on your current home’s layout and room availability, construction costs in your area, and the features you want to include. A bathroom alone can easily reach $25,000. The more intense your addition, the harder it will be to see an ROI when you sell your home.

Before you build, consider the value of the overall benefit this extra space will bring to your home. Even if you don’t get your money back on the resale, having your family close by or having an extra revenue stream might be more valuable.

Exact Value Depends on Your Unique Market

There is no hard figure on how much value a mother in law suite adds to your home because every real estate market is different. Buyers are looking for different features at different times, though an extra suite is likely to stand out for many reasons.

If you want to calculate the value of your suite, determine what it’s really worth. If you used it to save money on in-home caregiving or retirement homes, what would you have spent on these things if you didn’t have the suite?

If you made money through short-term rentals, what did that income amount to? Also, think about what it would cost to add an in-law suite in the future. These things can all translate extra value to the right buyer.

Alternatives to Building a Mother in Law Suite

Mother in law suites don’t have to be connected to your home. Garden cabins, like the ones this company makes, are increasingly popular options. They offer an adequate amount of space to make your guests comfortable. Plus, they provide more privacy for you and your in-laws.

Another option is to convert an attic or garage into an in-law suite and create an entrance directly to the outside. This gives your guests a more private experience. In addition, it might make it easier for you to separate the utilities.

In some cases, building a partial suite makes more sense than a stand-alone living space. Not everyone will need their own bathroom or kitchen. Others might value their privacy and require both. Consider what your in-laws or guests would truly need for their own.

Is a Mother in Law Suite the Right Move for Your Home?

Given the cost of building a mother in law suite, it doesn’t always pay for itself during the resale. However, consider the value it will add to your own lives if you’re not planning on selling your home anytime soon. It could help you save on storage or caregiving costs, or provide additional income as a rental property.

In-law suites are highly sought after elements, even if you don’t see a full ROI on the resale. And if you’re trying to sell your home, anything to make your property more desirable can tip the scales in your favor. For more tips and tricks on Florida real estate, check out our blog.


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About the Author

Kaya Wittenburg

Blog Author and CEO

Kaya Wittenburg is the Founder and CEO of Sky Five Properties. Since the age of 10, real estate has been deeply ingrained into his thoughts. With world-class negotiation and deal-making skills, he brings a highly impactful presence into every transaction that he touches.

He is here to help you use real estate as a vehicle to develop your own personal empire and feel deeply satisfied along the way. If you have an interest in buying, selling or renting property in South Florida, contact Kaya today.

Feel free to call me at: (305) 357-0635
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