Single-family detached homes are the most desired type of dwelling among homebuyers, but alternatives like townhomes are growing in demand.


One dwelling in particular, that has a long history of popularity, is becoming popular again: accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as “granny flats.” ADUs are ideal for individuals looking for a non-traditional living space in a traditional setting.


ADUs are self-contained living units with their own kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom.  They are located adjacent to, and on the same lot as, another dwelling, usually a single-family home.


Why are ADUs gaining in popularity?


ADUs are attractive for people who want independence but need occasional support from a neighbor. Aging parents, young adults who are in a housing transition, or a person living with disabilities often desire an ADU.



In most cases, an ADU positivity impacts both the home owner and the occupant. Individuals living in an ADU find affordability, and the property owner receives income they often need to stay in their home. In fact, it is not uncommon for the landlord to live in the ADU and rent the main house in order to remain in their neighborhood when their housing needs change.



ADUs generally fit seamlessly with the character of the neighborhood. They often come in the form of a converted garage or other structure already on the property. And they don’t require new infrastructure to support them.



ADUs are usually small and an environmentally-friendly way to add housing to meet growing demand.


Unfortunately, ADUs are only permitted in the unzoned areas of Greenville County. We know many exist without permission and it is time for our local officials to respond to a changing housing market and permit ADUs because they are part of the solution to address high housing costs.

You can meet professionals to help you with your housing project at the Southern Home and Garden Show September 20-22 at the Greenville Convention Center. Visit to see a list of exhibitors.