In the wake of the recession, small backyard homes are proving to be a useful option.
Backyard cottages are making a comeback in some areas of America. Seattle is one city which is encouraging people to build cottages, and has changed zoning rules to allow for the small houses in single-family neighborhoods. By doing this, it hopes to expand affordable housing, create more options for families who would like to live near their grown up children or aging parents and reduce pollution and traffic jams in the city. Backyard cottages also create a rental income for home owners to help them pay their mortgage payments. Other cities like Denver and Faribault are also catching up and creating zoning rules to allow for such structures.
However, backyard cottages have their share of criticism with some people citing privacy concerns from neighbors, creating parking shortages and attracting irresponsible renters. But Seattle city officials say that the design standards of cottages have already addressed these issues. A backyard cottage can only be built on lots of 4,000 or more square feet, will have limited height and entrances must face away from neighbors.
Urban Planning experts expect around 40 backyard cottages to be built each year in Seattle.
Here’s a video of homeowners talking about building and living in their backyard cottages