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Tight Housing Market Attracts ADU Makers

REAL ESTATE: SF Firm Building Model Home in Mira Mesa

A San Francisco company that sells accessory dwelling units, also known as granny flats, is moving into the San Diego market and building a model home in Mira Mesa.

Sean Roberts
CEO
Villa Homes

“We’ve been doing a handful of pilot projects in the (San Diego) market over the past few months,” said Villa Homes CEO Sean Roberts.

“We’re really focused on San Diego now,” Roberts said. “It’s a place where the existing housing stock is well suited to ADU development. It’s a very expensive housing market to both rent an apartment or own a home and ADUs are going to be an important part of the solution.”

Villa Homes markets prefab accessory dwelling units that can be ordered online, right down to wall colors.

“We make it easy for the consumer,” Roberts said. “We handle basically all of the logistics.”

Villa Homes was formed in 2019 and has sold more than 500 accessory dwelling units, “mostly concentrated in Northern California,” Roberts said.

The ADUs are built in several factories in California, Utah and Arizona and trucked onsite. They range from 450 square feet to 1,200 square feet. Roberts said that the typical ADU sold by Villa Homes is about 1,000 square feet –and the total project often costs about $350,000 to $400,000, including permitting and site work.

Like Buying a Car Online

“We’re not a factory. We orchestrate all the work across different factories,” Roberts said. “A big part of what we do is based on what the consumer wants to build. We will match that order with the factory that can do it for the lowest cost.”

Villa Homes hires an independent contractor to prepare a foundation and the ADUs are trucked from the factory to the buyer and assembled on site.

“It’s a very quick installation process,” Roberts said usually taking no more than a few weeks.

The model ADU, due to open in June, will be about 1,000 square feet wood frame structure with three-bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen, Roberts said.

Using the company’s online service, potential buyers can select from a variety of models and see a virtual mockup of what the ADU would look like on their property.

“A consumer will come to our website at villahomes.com, they can input their address, that will allow them to bring up an aerial (view) of their property,” Roberts said. The aerial view will have property plot lines delineated. “It computes the buildable space in the backyard to be able to add and ADU,” Roberts added.

From that, the image will show roughly what an ADU would look like and provide a rough estimate of what it will cost.

“It’s very similar to buying a car online. Once a customer has a sense of what they want to build, they start talking with our team,” Roberts said. “It’s very tech forward. It’s very easy for the consumer. All the hard work that’s involved, coordinating all the construction elements and the factory that’s building the house and the permitting, we take care of that.”

Typical buyers are property owners who want to add an ADU to their home as rental property to earn extra income or as a place for aging parents or adult children to live.

“We can make it look and feel just like the existing home, so it looks like it’s always been there,” Roberts said.

Oceanside Properties

Villa Homes
Founded: 2019
Headquarters: San  Francisco
CEO: Sean Roberts
Business:  Prefabricated  housing
Employees: 60
Website:  www.villahomes.com
Contact: 415-928-1625
Notable: Villa Homes has sold more than 500 accessory dwelling units  throughout  California

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