I’ve lived in the South Bay with my wife for 25 years now, we raised our three daughters here. A couple years ago the City reached out to homeowners in the area to encourage us to build more housing and help address the affordability crisis. Los Altos Hills can be very expensive so we thought we would build the ADU for local teachers.
When my daughter and her family decided to move back to the area, we offered them the ADU so they could have an affordable home and live close to us. It has been wonderful for us to be able to spend time with the grandkids, and we like to help out. The kids usually spend an hour with us every day.
A friend recommended our architect, and he did a very good job. The ADU is designed efficiently with no wasted space, and the plans only took four months to develop. We picked finishes and appliances with the idea of making it an enjoyable and convenient home. The kitchen and living room feel very cozy and we like to spend time there together as a family.
We also found a professional contractor through a friend. He came with a good reputation and hiring him turned out to be the best decision we made. He made the building process very straightforward for us, the actual construction was much easier than I expected.
I would be happy to move into the ADU and rent our primary home someday, maybe as we get older and if Aditi and her family decide to move. A neighbor came to see the ADU and said they wanted to build one too, hopefully we’ll see many more in our neighborhood soon.
I grew up in the South Bay, and after being away for a few years we decided that we wanted to move back and raise our children near family. Rent is so expensive and we weren’t sure if we could afford a place that would work for us. When my dad offered us the ADU we were thrilled and of course cautious. We discussed what the day-to-day would look like. We wanted to plan spending time together while making sure that my parents would still have their privacy. It was a slow process, but it was important to be careful and thoughtful about sharing space.
Now we’re a year in and we’ve settled into a comfortable family routine. We have family dinner twice a week, we don’t have to put a lot of work into planning a visit, and I’m constantly going over to borrow something, or they come to the ADU to watch the baby while I get stuff done. After daycare my son spends time with my mom. It’s such a blessing having my parents see the kids every day and watching them play in the garden together. We can easily be in each other’s lives but also live independently and have our own home.
The ADU is an amazing home. It’s designed so that there’s no wasted space. It has its own washer and dryer, an amazing induction stove, and the windows are well insulated so we hardly use air conditioning and we rarely hear any road noise. The living room has two giant windows that let in sunlight and a view of our private garden and patio, and we also share outside space with my parents. We still have our privacy, but we don’t feel cramped.
Often other parents tell us they wish they could have the shared family life that we were able to build. When my husband and I want to go on a date, visit our friends, or just need to take a break my parents are right there. I think that most people wish that they could have that casual interaction with their support network. It’s been wonderful for the whole family.