John DL Arendsen ~ ADU'S Are His Specialty

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899

John DL Arendsen delivered a wonderful presentation on ADU's (Accessory Dwelling Units) speaking with authority and providing us with a wealth of knowledge. John is the founder and owner of Crest "Backyard" Homes. He specializes in the design, construction, installation and consulting for Accessory Dwelling Units. His expertise is valued and sought after. I appreciate John sharing his knowledge with us. Every state is different and I was astounded to learn in San Diego up to 6 ADU’s could be constructed on one property!  I’m still trying to assimilate all the information he imparted and am glad to hear he will be back with more for us. 

We are starting to see more ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Unit) in Austin as our City Council pushes for higher density living and investors seek additional rental opportunities. The increasing popularity of multi-generational living offers more private quarters for parents, a relative or sibling living in an ADU. There are also many homeowners looking to rent to a college student or professional to offset the high property taxes. They are discerning building an ADU can be a valuable source of income. Some home owners view short term rental or a home office with privacy when considering an ADU.

My son John Dunham just listed and closed a home in Central Austin with a small constructed ADU, perfectly finished out and positioned in their back yard oasis. Many buyers clamored for this property but the appraisers still had problems on valuing the property.

The City of Austin is not easy to deal with because of all the local regulations which create obstacles to obtaining approval. The COVID restrictions have added another layer of impediments.

John's Zoom presentation showed us the possibilities of having an ADU on a developed property and can all understand why he gets so many kinds of requests. Picking and choosing through the list is necessary as some have unrealistic expectations and have no idea the price tag involved in building an ADU in San Diego. With the costs beginning in the low 6 figures it hinders many from moving forward.

He outlined there is so much to consider when discussing the possibility of an ADU. Having a septic system won’t work and in most cases you will need to upgrade the electrical amp service. John suggested fully scrutinizing a contractor offering services to construct an ADU. Do they have the licensing, networking and experience it takes to comply with the local regulations? Do they have the right insurance and how many claims have been made on their company? Public records are a great source of information and time should be taken to research.

I’m not familiar with hybrid units (part modular and park stick construction) but John said his son is a contractor and works in this construction arena.

If you haven’t attended a ActiveRain Weekly ZOOM Meeting in the past please make an effort to log on Tuesdays to the Active Rain Zoom presentation.

We are so fortunate to have such talented members in ActiveRain willing to share their expertise. Knowledge is power and where else can you learn so much on one site!

Check out George Souto's post on our Zoom upcoming Tuesday meeting (January 19) at 12 pm EST. As always a big Thank You Debe Maxwell, CRS for your leadership in making this weekly event happen!


Posted by

Austin TX Canyon Creek Real Estate Agent

(512) 750-6899


My ActiveRain Blog
Austin Real Estate Website
Canyon Creek Neighborhood

I specialize in Listing and Selling homes in the NW Austin Area. I use my experience to guide clients through the process, whether selling or buying. It’s a beautiful thing when your career and a passion come together. I love what I do!

Comments (8)

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Dorie, great post, and unfortunately, missed the Zoom meeting.  We still are not seeing a lot of ADUs, as most cities won't approve them.   Have to buy a bit out of town to do so.

Jan 18, 2021 08:03 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Hi Joan Cox ,

Yes many cities are not allowing them but many are so expect to see it in the least you will know what they are!

Jan 18, 2021 08:18 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing this successful Zoom session.

Take care, be safe and have an outstanding week.

Jan 18, 2021 08:14 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Thank you Roy Kelley ,

We are blessed to have so many taslented and sharing members to help educate us all on various topics in our industry.

Jan 18, 2021 08:19 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Dorie and great zoom meeting on Tuesday and those that miss it is missing great information.  I will miss the last one of the month because of a class.


Jan 18, 2021 09:16 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Hi Will Hamm ,

Tomorrows presentation will be awesome..can't wait!

Jan 18, 2021 05:58 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Dorie- Congratulations to John!!! And what a wonderful synopsis of John's presentation. I love the idea of having additional space that is still private for rental income or multi-gen living. It's important in Texas because we don't have basements here!

Jan 18, 2021 10:26 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Hi Kathy Streib ,

You are right..we don't have basements so it's only natural to consider making a private structure in your own back yard! It's nice because you can have windows and see out to view the yard!

Jan 18, 2021 06:00 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Dorie this is an excellent re-cap of John's presentation, and good to know that you have personal knowledge of this because of the issues your son (John Durham) is having with one of his listings.

Jan 18, 2021 11:05 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX

Austin is seeing more ADU's but its such a hassle with the City regulations..I'm sure they will get it figured out as more are constructed. 

Jan 18, 2021 06:01 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have been a big fan of John DL Arendsen since I met him a few years ago and heard about what he was doing with ADU's.

Jan 19, 2021 04:21 AM
John DL Arendsen
CREST "BACKYARD' HOMES, ON THE LEVEL General & Manufactured Home Contractor, TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments - Leucadia, CA
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & RE Developer

Wow! Thank you so much Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR You are too kind and I really appreciate all the support, interest, information and knowledge I've been recieiving over the years from so many great members on this platform. 

Sorry I missed today's ZOOM meeting. Duty called as I was on an installation. I'm droning and videoing the installation and once edited I'll be happy to share it on AR. I'll also be posting tomorrow or Thursday about our 2nd Annual ADU Expo sponsored by the ADU Coalition of San Diego.

This will be great for any/all folks who are interested in seeing how this budding industry has impacted San Diego and the entire State of California. You can gain some keen insight as to how you may be able to spawn interest in your communities. But most importantly how you as a RE Professional can personally benefit from it while helping those who desire to add a BACKYARD HOME to their property..

Jan 19, 2021 06:55 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Dorie:

What a thorough and thoughtful overview of John's ADU Zoom session. Things really are shifting in that market, and I suspect many communities are struggling with the issues that can come up if the right decisions are not made. I, too, was shocked to hear about being able to put 6 ADUs on 1 lot in San Diego!

Thanks for your entry!


Jan 22, 2021 04:10 PM