Guest house or live able space

Asked by Atmerry55, San Jose, CA Tue Jun 11, 2013

What is required to make a space considered a guesthouse or live able space

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Leili Mortaz’s answer
Leili Mortaz, Agent, Campbell, CA
Fri Jun 14, 2013
Most towns in silicon valley have updated their building codes to allow for a granny unit, but the addition has to comply with ALL the set back, and code requirements. You should also contact the Utility company to see if they might need to upgrade your Meter depending on the use you anticipate from the new unit.

If the unit is fully permitted you can actually request a NEW address for it and rent it for much higher value specially if it's in a great school district.

Good luck.
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Wed Jun 12, 2013
You will need to go to the Building and Planning department for the City where you plan to build. They have guidelines which will include, size, set backs, heights, etc. In order for it to be counted at livable space please get a building permit, and make sure that it is finalized at the end of the project.
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Juliana Lee…, Agent, Palo Alto, CA
Tue Jun 11, 2013
The city of Palo Alto has a good zoning manual online at

This will give you a good idea of what is typically required for an accessory building or a second dwelling unit. Especially if you plan on renting it out be sure it has been built with the proper permits.

San Jose real estate information at

Juliana Lee
Top 2 agent nationwide at Keller Williams Realty, the nations largest
Cell 650-857-1000

Over 20 years experience
Over 1,000 homes sold in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
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0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Tue Jun 11, 2013
In San Diego what you're descibing is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). By definition you need to have a bathroom but not always a kitchen. A lot depends on the square footage. Not sure what your local jurisdictions require.
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Kim Eisen, Agent, Twin Cities, MN
Tue Jun 11, 2013
Finished walls/ceilings/floors/insulation if necessary. Heat, proper windows/access. And, of course, proper permitting for use through governing authorities.

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Kim Eisen
"Helping People Make Smart Real Estate Decisions since 1980"
(651) 457-HOME (4663)
0 votes
Guy Berry, Agent, San Jose, CA
Tue Jun 11, 2013
It depends. For one, it has to be heated to be counted. Also, to be legal, it was be permitted by the governing agency. Otherwise, it would be illegal and in worst case, needs to be removed

Guy Berry
Risk Manager
Keller Williams Realty
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