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In-Law Suites

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 by Sophie Haba


In-Law Suites

In-Law Suites: What price would you pay to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of an aging loved one? 

According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, it costs an average of $74,820/year for a semi-private room and $83,580 for a private room to house an aging loved one in a nursing home.

A one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility costs $39,519/year on average, but in Maryland the cost is significantly higher than the national average.  These types of facilities are often far from family, may not have religious facilities close, lack a sense of community found outside the gates, and are often financially draining for the relatives.  

Traditionally people look to retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes for the solution. If you have parents, grandparents, or loved ones that you are concerned about, you may want to begin discussing where they see themselves living as they age and what options they have.  Although it may be a tough discussion for some, it could open a meaningful, pleasant dialogue for others. Elderly adults want their independence while still maintaining a sense of stability.  Their families want the peace of mind in knowing their loved one is being taken care of and that someone is watching over them.  Perhaps there is a compromise that can be agreeable for all parties involved. 

Is there an alternative?

The best alternative might be In-Law Suite.  In-Law Suites have in the past been called Mother In-law Suites, guest houses, secondary suites, and accessory suites.  An In-Law suite is an addition to a house. These additions come in a variety of configurations large and small, dependent on the individual's need.   An In-Law Suite can be a ground floor Master Bedroom with attached bath, Two-Story Addition, bump-out Addition, one or multiple floors connected to an existing house by a hallway, or another modification suggested by the family. These additions may include kitchens, baths, half-baths, bedrooms, living rooms, and more.  According to Remodeling Magazine: Cost to Value Report for 2014, the national average cost of a Master Suite is $103,844, while a Two-Story Addition is $155,365. Starcom Design/Build's In-Law Suites run on average anywhere from $75,000-$250,000 depending on the square footage and finishes.    

If you compare the numbers in Remodeling Magazine: Cost to Value Report for 2014 with the average cost given by the US Department of Health & Human Servicesthe cost of housing your aging parent in a nursing home would exceed the cost of a Master Suite Addition in less than 2 years.  Running a comparison between the cost of a private room at a nursing home with the cost of a "high end" In-Law Suite by Starcom Design/Build, the nursing home option would exceed the cost of an "high end" In-Law Suite in a little under 3 years. 

An In-Law Suite can add value to your home and increase your property value.  According to The Maryland Association of Realtors, in February 2014 the median home price was $339,900 in Howard County, $375,000 in Montgomery County, and $283,998 in all of Maryland.  Remodeler Magazine reports that a Two-Story Addition should get anywhere from 70-75% return on investment.  In keeping with that trend, a Starcom Design/ custom in-law suite could be worth an additional $52,500-$187,500 should you decide to re-sell your house, depending on the size of the addition.

Regardless of the investment value an addition will buy, the family will have the peace of mind that a loved one is close and can be looked after by family.  An In-Law Suite gives aging loved ones the opportunity to have the separation and independence they want knowing they are just steps away from loved ones when they want a sense of inclusion and family.  Other benefits include; shared expenses, free child care, help with housework, and as preparative measures for the future when the elderly loved one is you.   

The market is still making it hard for people to find work and, in many cases, has forced them to move in with a relative to off-set costs.  Considering the high price of homes in Maryland, it may take many years to save the money to buy a home as a newlywed couple or recently divorced individual.  In these cases the “Out-Law” Suite may provide the answer. The Outlaw Suite  more recently termed the "My-student-loans-are-too-high-can't-find-a-job" Suite, provides an alternative for many children forced to move back in with their parents after graduating college.  They may even begin to refer to you as their roommates to soften the blow when they inevitably have to tell their friends they moved back in with mom and dad. 

 A custom In-Law Suite or Outlaw Suite by Starcom Design/ Build can increase your property value, gaining a 70-75%  return on investment, and add short term or long term space for loved ones.  The benefits of an In-Law Suite are endless, but the joy of having your family close to you is priceless. 

Let Starcom Design/Build provide options for you today!  

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