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Converted garage as income-earning small home in exurban LA

When Chris Aune bought his home in Lancaster, California, he was looking for a place for just himself and his dogs so he didn’t need all 1400 square feet. He also didn’t need a “home for his car” so he converted his garage into his home.

He now rents the original home for more than the cost of his mortgage and figures he can pay off his home in 4 or 5 years. Meanwhile, he parks in the driveway and lives comfortably in the 575-square-foot ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit- AKA backyard cottage, granny flat, in-law unit).

And there’s a chance his home will someday become a true “granny flat”. “My mom saw the space and she said, ‘you’re going to save this for me right?’”, he explains. “Actually I did have that in mind when I built this, that who knows what might happen, she could live here and I could watch her and she’s just 30 feet away from the main house.”

* Filmed by Johnny Sanphillippo, owner of a small, mortgage-free home. He also films stories about urbanism, adaptation and resilience for his site Granola Shotgun.