Tag Archives: family

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Adding an Independent Living Area to Your Home

suite2Years ago, it wasn’t so uncommon to have multiple generations living in the same home. Sometimes these were aging parents moving back in with their kids, and other times they were college students getting their finances in order after graduation. Many homeowners utilized extra space in their home to create independent apartments or separate living spaces. Though they go by many common names (in-law unit, granny flat, garden cottage, basement apartment), these types of spaces are known as ADUs, or Accessory Dwelling Units.

If you have extra space such as an above-garage loft, or extra land where you could build a freestanding structure, you might be interested in adding an ADU to your home. Even if you don’t have a family member in need of the space, they can be great for hosting out-of-town visitors or earning extra income from short or long-term rental agreements.

While communities have different rules regarding ADUs and their permitted uses, there’s a high likelihood that you can find a pathway to adding one to your property if the idea appeals to you. According to AccessoryDwellings.org:

Flexibility in housing makes sense for environmental, lifestyle, and financial reasons. Though many people buy houses and live in them for decades, their actual needs change over time. But the way that houses are currently built doesn’t reflect those changes, especially the way households may spend decades with just 1 or 2 members. Many American houses are too big for 1- or 2-person households, which is too bad, because size is probably the biggest single factor in the environmental impact of a house.

If you have a reasonably sized house, and an even more reasonably sized ADU, you’ve likely got a pretty green combination with some social benefits as well. You could have your best friend, your mother, or your grown kid, live with you. This kind of flexibility and informal support could really help as the nation’s population ages. Most people want to stay in their homes as they age, but finances and design can be problematic. An ADU could help aging people meet their needs without moving.”

(Source: https://accessorydwellings.org/what-adus-are-and-why-people-build-them/)

If you’re interested in exploring ADUs, be sure to check out AccessoryDwellings.org for an extensive library of resources on the topic.

If you’re looking for a home with an existing ADU, or want to find one with land or enough space to create an ADU, I’d be happy to help you find one ASAP. Just reach out to on of us today:  Barbara & Gregg, The Nicholas Team of RE/MAX Village Square  realestate@thenicholasteam.com  973-509-2222

One Simple Exercise for a Great Day- Every Day in 2017…and beyond! 

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” -Aldous Huxley, (1894 – 1963) English writer

gratitudeDo you have a practice for dealing with daily stress? I thought I’d share a simple and surprisingly effective exercise you can do each day that will not only boost your spirits, but lighten the perceived burden of “the daily grind.” No running shoes required! You can do it without breaking a sweat, right from the comfort of your car, your desk, or even the line at Starbucks.

It sounds simple, but it’s quite powerful: Each day, think of five things you’re grateful for. They don’t have to be big things.  In fact, it’s great to start with the little things. It helps get you in the flow.

Start with one or two basic things you take for granted, for example: “I’m grateful for a hot shower in the morning.” Or: “I’m grateful to be able to watch my nephew play with his new trucks.” austin

Come up with five new things each time you practice. You might find this challenging at first. There should be a little struggle, but push through it. “I’m grateful for the smile of the guy at the bagel shop.” Or: “I’m grateful for family dinner with my nieces and nephews on Sundays.”

It might seem silly at first, but you’ll notice that the more you express your gratitude, the more you’ll connect to a general feeling of benevolence for others and well-being. Really take a moment for each simple gratitude to sink in. Visualize what you’re grateful for and recall experiencing it.

This gratitude exercise connects you to the world in a positive way. It makes the trivial annoyances in life sting less, and reminds you to note what it is in the world you truly appreciate. When your focus shifts to gratitude, your attitude improves. Image result for cubs win the pennant

Give it a try this week and see what you think. Waiting in line, stuck in traffic, killing time between appointments… they’re all great windows to practice a little gratitude.

Sometimes my clients ask us how we keep my cool when dealing with a difficult real estate deal. Well, this is one of our tricks to keep everything in perspective. If you’re looking for a stress-free home buying or selling experience, we can help: Barbara & Gregg, The Nicholas Team of RE/MAX Village Square  realestate@tehnicholasteam.com   973-509-2222