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What Is a Granny Pod?

What Is a Granny Pod?

Does your aging relative need to live closer to you, but you’d rather not give up your spare bedroom? A granny pod may be the answer. These cute tiny homes are luxury condos that you can place in your backyard. Let’s learn more about so-called “granny pods” and what they truly entail.

These pods may be the new trend for families who need a little extra living space. Let’s see why.

What Is a Granny Pod?

A granny pod is a pre-fabricated separate dwelling on one’s property that can accommodate an aging relative. It’s an ADU — accessory dwelling unit. It allows you to live near a relative and help them with household chores, health care, and other life circumstances. However, at the same time, they can continue to have their own space and independence.

Granny pods are essentially tiny houses that serve as a guest house. And they offer a low-cost living space for someone on a fixed income. However, you need to have enough space on your property to host the pod. And, of course, the pod needs to meet with local codes and ordinances. 

How Do Granny Pods Work? 

Granny pods differ from other tiny houses or guest houses because they’re specially designed with your aging loved ones in mind. As a result, you can customize the layout for a person with limited mobility. For example, you’ll find wide doorways for wheelchairs and walkers as common amenities in these structures.

You’ll also encounter safety features such as slip-resistant and soft floors, rounded countertops, handrails, and more that you can install. 

You can also request high-tech accommodations. For example, you could get a pull cord in the bathroom in case your relative falls. The cord has an emergency alert that tells you they need help. Another example is automated medication dispensers. 

Pro Tip: Skip the granny pod and retire in an RV! Not convinced? Check out these 7 Reasons to Retire in an RV.

Grandma sitting on porch drinking iced tea
Granny pods are built with mobility needs in mind.

How Big Is a Granny Pod?

A granny pod is typically between 250 to 900 square feet. They can include a bedroom, kitchenette, bathroom, living room, and storage space. You can also put in heat and air conditioning for added comfort.

The idea behind a granny pod is to ensure your relative is comfortable. We recommend discussing what size will work best for them as long as it’s within the square footage allotment for your city’s zoning policies.

Are Granny Pods Portable?

Yes, they’re typically portable modular or pre-fabricated ADUs. Depending on what your area permits, mobile may be your only choice. However, you can still likely lay a cement foundation. 

You can add plumbing and electrical accommodations. Just make sure to do everything up to code, so you don’t run into legal issues. As for sewer, you’ll need to determine if you can tap into your existing septic tank or city septic. 

Pro Tip: Looking for a place to camp in your RV? If you’re 55 and up this is Why RV Owners Like Age Restrictive RV Parks.

Do Granny Pods Have Bathrooms? 

Yes, granny pods have bathrooms. You can customize the dwelling to have an accessible bathroom with a walk-in shower and a seat. Even if your relative doesn’t have mobility issues currently, it’s best to prepare for the future. 

You can also install a washer and dryer in the pod. Since the plumbing will be there for the bathroom and kitchen, it might also be helpful to have laundry. It can help your relative continue to have independence rather than having to use the laundry room in your house.

Grandchild and Grandma hugging in granny pod
Keep your loved ones close by having them stay in a granny pod.

How Do You Finance a Granny Pod?

Home loans and personal loans are the most common way to finance a granny pod. However, some banks have special loans for modular dwellings.

We recommend checking with your bank to see if they can provide resources or direction.

A long-term financial benefit for you is that having an additional dwelling on your property can increase your home value. It’s another reason to ensure the pod is correctly installed and up to code.

Which States Allow Granny Pods?

Zoning laws differ from state to state and across counties and townships. Some localities may not allow another dwelling on your property. And those that do may have a maximum square footage allowances. Be sure to check with your zoning commission to learn what your rights are.

If you are allowed to place a granny pod on your property, always follow the rules so that you don’t have to redo something after the fact. Take out the proper permits.

Hire a professional to put in the foundation or place the pod, if necessary.

Is a Granny Pod Worth It?

A granny pod is worth it for the right situation. If your relative can still live somewhat independently, it’s an excellent alternative to a nursing home. Living near a relative versus in a nursing home can prolong an individual’s life.

If your city allows additional dwellings on your property and you want to move your aging relative close to you, a granny pod can be the perfect solution. 

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