Study Shows What Americans Really Think About Tiny Homes and ADUs

Interest in ADUs and Tiny Homes have skyrocketed over the past few years. HomeAdvisor surveyed 1,800 Americans to find out what makes these dwellings both attractive and concerning.
Though similar, accessory dwelling units must be installed on a permanent foundation, while tiny homes do not.

Though similar, accessory dwelling units must be installed on a permanent foundation, while tiny homes do not. Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels

Since the beginning of their popularity during the 2008 recession, searches for tiny homes have increased by over 680%. Material shortages and increasing mortgage rates have not only hindered the homebuying process, but have deterred some people from looking for traditional homes altogether.

HomeAdvisor and its parent company, Angi, are committed to helping people love where they live, no matter the size, layout, or location of their home. The goal of this survey was to gauge Americans' attitudes towards small homes—including whether they’d live in them or buy them, what attracts them to the idea of ADU/tiny home living, and the concerns they have.

ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS: THE KEY FINDINGS

If you had a penchant for building with backyard space to spare, would you make an accessory dwelling unit (ADU)?

If you’re like half of Americans—54% to be exact—you would. Seventy-eight percent of survey respondents would even give up other spaces, such as the garage or basement, to build an ADU on their property.

Though a majority of respondents (84%) said that ADU’s should be allowed in their neighborhood, one in three say they should be limited to 720 square feet or less in high-density areas.

Why the fuss over ADU’s, you ask? According to surveyed Americans, the top concerns over having them in the neighborhood include: overcrowding, undesirable residents and noise, lower property values, and the change in appearance of the neighborhood.

Interestingly, of those who said they would put an ADU on their property, nearly 80% said they would install it as a rental.


HomeAdvisor survey why would you want an adu on your property
HomeSphere/Angi survey results: "Why would you want an ADU on your property?"

“One benefit of ADU’s is that they can be a great opportunity to make some extra income, depending on your circumstances,” says Mischa Fisher, chief economist at Angi.

“While this could be a great way to add an income stream for you or your family, it’s important to weigh the installation and maintenance costs with the rental rate you’re likely to get in your local market.”

TINY HOMES: THE KEY FINDINGS

Given the increase in housing prices and shortage of starter homes, some homebuyers are thinking of starting small—no, tiny.

Sixty-eight percent of Americans would consider buying a tiny home as their first home. The same percentage (68%) would live there year-round.

Almost eight in ten (79%) of Americans would build a tiny home on their property, though 87% believe residents should be required to get approval before building.


HomeAdvisor survey if you rented a tiny home, where would you want it
HomeSphere/Angi survey results: "If you rented a tiny home, where would you want it?"

When it comes to budget, how much are people willing to pay for a home so small? Four in ten would pay between $50,000–$99,999 for a tiny home. If they weren’t affordable, they wouldn’t be appealing, after all.

In addition to being able to live in an affordable home, two other appealing aspects of tiny living include its efficiency and eco-friendliness.

To read more about how Americans view ADU's and tiny homes, you can visit the study page here.

For more on affordability and survey research, read it here on Utopia.

About The Author

Quinn Purcell, UTOPIA Associate Editor

Quinn Purcell

Quinn Purcell is a graduate of Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, and an emphasis in Multiplatform Journalism. He specializes in video, photography, copywriting, graphic design, and even music production. He currently serves as Associate Editor for Utopia. When he's not working you can usually find Quinn at a local brewery, or watching true crime shows with his cat.

Connect with Quinn on LinkedIn