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Why adding a 'Granny Flat' to your home isn't as complicated as you might think

Their 1,100-square-foot unit could rent for more than $2,000 a month.

SAN DIEGO — The pandemic forced many family members to move in with each other, which in turn, has created a need for extra living space. In this Zevely Zone, I met a San Diego couple who jumped onboard the "Granny Flat" boom.

I know what you may be thinking, building a "Granny Flat" in your backyard might be illegal and at the very least a difficult dance. 

"I've danced next to celebrities," said Victoria Gray-Mays laughing.

She is a San Diego homeowner who not only danced in the Macy's Parade but a Super Bowl Halftime show. When her 77-year-old mother, Vera, was living alone in Florida without a dance or life partner, Victoria knew she had to do something.

"Absolutely and being all the way across the country [was] very hard," Victoria said. 

She and her husband Damian thought what if they could build a Granny Flat for Grandma and supersize it? 

"Oh man, we ended up building what Maxable calls the behemoth," Damian laughed.

Maxable is a company co-founded by Jared Basler. 

"I'm better known as the Godfather of Granny Flats," said Jared, who told me in 2017 the state of California re-wrote the rules on Accessory Dwelling Units, otherwise known as ADUs. 

"Pretty much any single-family house can have an ADU on it," Jared said. 

The local designer said state lawmakers wanted to ease California's housing crisis, so, starting at $75,000, you too can expand with far fewer rules and restrictions.

The units aren't just for family members. In the future, Damian and Victoria can rent the space out to whoever they want. Their 1,100-square-foot unit could rent for more than $2,000 a month.

"So now we have a two-car garage attached to a two-bedroom, two baths with a 400-square-foot roof deck," said Damian said.

The project took about six months and so far, Maxable has helped more than 800 homeowners. 

"You really are the Godfather of Granny Flats," I said to Jared. 

He smiled and said, "I guess I am, yeah."

Let's just say, Granny Vera is happy to see and hug her 6-year-old grandson Hudson both in her new home and on her rooftop deck. Florida was nice, but a supersized San Diego ADU, gives new meaning to the words "Go big or go home," which is something dance about.

"Absolutely, should I dance?" asked Victoria as she laughed launched into her happy dance with her mother reclining with sunglasses on the rooftop deck with a cold drink in hand.

Jared Basler is an outspoken ADU advocate whose efforts helped pave the way for legislative changes throughout California. For more information about his company, Maxable, click here.

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