Home Buying in Julia Keen>Question Details

Robin Mason, Home Buyer in Tucson, AZ

I see the feature "mother-in-law" in some ads. What is it?

Asked by Robin Mason, Tucson, AZ Thu Feb 10, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Robin,

A Mother-in-Law Suite is another way to describe Guest Quarters in a home. It can be as simple as a bedroom and private bath that has a door giving the suite privacy from the rest of the home. Or it could be more elaborate like a small guest house with a kitchenette on the property.

If you have any more questions about Tucson Real Estate, I'm happy to help.
My website is: http://www.BizzyTucsonRealtor.com and email is: Bizzy.Orr@comcast.net.

All my best,

Bizzy Orr
Realty Executives
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
A very desirable feature that adds a lot of value to a home for the right buyer. It is an extra room or building that has it's own bath and possibly it;s own entrance. That way both occupants can have some privacy. Let us know if we can help you in your home search.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 13, 2011
Hi Robin:

Also known as a Casita, Guest House. Can be a separate entrance off of the main house or a separate building on the property.

Adds value and keeps some privacy for the homeowner when "Mom" or friends visit. Also not a bad way to earn some extra cash to pay for the mortgage on a temporary or regular rental.

Jeff Masich
Arizona Homes and Land
Web Reference: http://ArizonaHomesLand.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 11, 2011

One would think that someone was trying to peddle their mother-in-law.....

No, not really, it's a physical arrangement within one home that provides mostly separate living quarters for an extended family setting.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
Continue reading...better explanations follow.
Flag Sun Apr 12, 2015
Ohmigawd... that's SO not a feature... that's a serious negative... It usually refers to your wife's mother (as opposed to the plant... mother's in law tongue), and they're often acerbic, annoying, interfering and interloping. Personally, while marriage is a wonderful institution, Mother's-In-Law are the fly in the ointment.

Think long and hard before adding a mother-in-law to your family tree... ohh.. wait...

I think you might have meant an "in-law-suite"... usually at least a bedroom in the house, sometimes with a sitting room and a nearby bath that could be used to house your in-laws... (should you be insane enough to consider that)...

never mind.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
I am a little late in answering but the other agents have got it right. It is an extra structure, either attached or separate of the home, that has "living quarters" and is not simply a bedroom with a bath. They may have some kitchen facilities depending on the zoning. Some may have a separate bedroom or be set up like an efficiency apartment.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
I don't know where the term came from but it refers to a guest house or casita seperate from the main house yet on the property. The correct term that we use in the MLS would be guest house. It would probably have some sort of kitchen. Guest quarters is a bedroom with it's own full bath and a door to the exterior.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
Hello Robin:

That's a great question.

I believe you are asking about a home that contains an "in-law", "teenager" or "something or other" suite, and not that someone is actually selling their mother in law!

(Don't laugh, I have seen some pretty strange things, but that would certainly take the cake.)

Anyway back to the "suite".

What the listing agent is probably trying to convey, although not very well, is that the home for sale contains an area of the house, that is possibly seperate or in some way "apart" from the normal living space in the home.

In other words, this "suite" could be in the basement, could be in the attic, or maybe it is outside of the house a la where Tom Selleck lived in Magnum P.I.

It is a part of the house that someone can go to get away from it all, or more likely, a place in the house, where someone with less than desirable social skills, is sent to contemplate.

Hopefully that helps, and good luck,

Johnny Yankoviak
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
Great question and what the listing agent is referring to is a guest house in some capacity. This would be a guest house or room for the mother in law or really any guests. I personally think it is an outdated term, but still.

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Best of luck in your search.
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty
Tucson, AZ
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
Hello Robin,
The term "mother-in-law" in a listing means that there is a space in the property that includes a bedroom, bath, and kitchen or kitchenette of some type. Usually, it can be found in a lower-level area or apartment above a garage.
Hope that helps define it.

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
A separate "suite" as part of a home, often with it's own private entrance. The Tucson MLS, as do most MLS's, have an easy source code to find such properties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
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