How would I narrow search down to homes with guest houses/mother-in-law suites?

Asked by Kevin Brown, Bradenton, FL Thu Aug 2, 2007

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Bridgette Ko…, , Florida
Thu Aug 2, 2007
this search can be difficult even for a seasoned agent. Some MLS systems do not have a standard category for this feature, others do. Is this a common feature in the area where you'd like to purchase a home? If it is, the MLS system serving the area will probably have category for it, which makes searching easier. If it's not a common feature (or even if it is, but the MLS system doesn't give an option the choose it as a part of the listing/search criteria), the guest house/ mother-in-law suite will most likely be mentioned in the general description of the home. In this situation, you will have to look at each home individually and read the entire description--very tedious! This is a perfect example of why working with a buyer's agent can really pay off. A good buyer's agent will know the inventory (houses for sale) in the area you are interested in, and could probably even make a few suggestion right off the top of his/her head. Buyer's representation is (in almost every case) provided at no cost to the buyer. If you don't currently have a REALTOR, ask friends and colleagues for referrals. Best of luck and happy hunting!

PS-if you re-post more detailed information, such as: price range, # of beds and baths, area where you are looking to purchase, etc.--A local REALTOR on trulia would most likely be happy to provide assistance or to at least point you in the right direction...
1 vote
I am looking for a home in Albany County NY with an in-law suite for $200,000 or less.
Flag Sat Nov 9, 2013
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Thu Aug 2, 2007
There's a few different ways. In the search criteria there is a way for your Realtor to flag for this. Also your realtor can search by key words in certain fields. It is tricky though because what many call a mother-in-law suite is just a bed and a bath on the other side of the house, or upstairs over the garage. That's not always what people have in mind when thinking of a mother in law, especially if you're asking the question about a guest house. Another trick with guest houses in my area is that they are built over detached garages, so climbing stairs is required. Just some things to think about. It may require the realtor to search and then clarify by calling before you go look.
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Sandy Kaduce, , 98275
Thu Aug 2, 2007
Talk to a local Realtor and ask if they have the ability to search for a 2nd Kitchen or Auxiliary Dwelling Unit. A lot of MLS's that run on Rappatoni software (such as the Northwest MLS in my area) have these options and they are searchable. Also, on our MLS we are able to search for specific terms in the marketing remarks of a home so it is possible to search for any homes where the term "MIL" appears in the comments. The success of this search will be dependent on how thorough the listing agent was at putting in the right information, but it should be a good start.
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