HGTV's Mina Starsiak Hawk Shares Exactly What Savvy Home Buyers Are Looking For

Buying a house nowadays looks a lot different than it did 10 to 15 years ago. Inflation has affected the cost of new homes, increasing rates to a price many new homeowners can't afford. Homebuyers are turning to older homes that they can fix up and make their own. However, there's more, according to HGTV's "Good Bones" star Mina Starsiak Hawk, home buyers are now looking to purchase homes with income units. She claims, "The younger crowd that lives downtown, they are really savvy buyers and want a home that's not going to only increase in value, but also one that they can have as an income property while they're living in it" (via

The income units Starsiak Hawk mentions are also known as accessory dwelling units or ADUs, which provide additional living space for close family members, friends, or strangers looking to live in a home but can't afford to buy one yet. They're perfect for renting and bringing in extra income, and since housing prices are incredibly high, especially in states with a limited supply and high-income tax rates, installing ADUs helps homeowners pay for their homes.

Benefits of ADUs

Living in popular states like California, New York, or Illinois, where the housing market is astronomically expensive, installing an accessory dwelling unit or living in one can help with your finances. When looking for a home, they attention to the number of rooms, the house's size, and the property's size to determine if you can add an ADU to a part of the house.

According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, ADUs are more affordable to install and rent because you don't have to pay for additional land, parking, or infrastructure. Some homeowners have even transformed their garages into ADUs. HGTV's Mina Starsiak Hawk turned two one-bedroom units into a three-bedroom home with a separate two-bedroom unit in the attic to rent out. On the other hand, if you want to build a separate ADU, they are generally made with cost-effective wood frame construction, which is more affordable than traditional building methods.

How to know if an ADU is right for your home

Even though accessory dwelling units can help provide extra income, there are some things to consider. You might get stuck with renters who struggle to pay rent or aren't as reliable as you thought. Being a landlord can be challenging, but it can benefit you in the long run if you need extra income. 

Before building an accessory unit, it's essential to consider a few things to ensure it's right for your space. For example, every state has its own ADU regulations that you must abide by to build an accessory apartment. If your state and zone allow ADUs to be installed, then think about what space you want to convert or where you want to add an accessory unit. Converting a garage or basement is often easier and more affordable than building a detached unit from scratch. It might be prudent to hire a contractor since they will know all the regulations you need to follow and the best way to get started.