Cost Effective Housing Alternatives

Accessory Apartments on a Single-Family House Lot

The costs of buying a single-family home, whether or not it is new, are prohibitive for many Louisa residents even in these economic times when prices are relatively low. And while renting is an option most places in the County, there are not always affordable rentals, either. An accessory apartment is an opportunity for people to rent small housing units located on the same lot as a single-family home. These apartments can be attached to the main structure or physically separated. Some people find this to be a good way to provide affordability and independence to an older family member or friend, or someone with a physical disability with limited mobility. But anyone can live in an accessory apartment, regardless of their life situation.

2-Family Dwellings

In certain areas of Louisa County, you can live in a housing unit that is physically attached to a neighbor's unit and on the same lot. This arrangement may be less costly for a tenant than renting a single-family home, and can provide rental income to a property owner who lives on-site. Unlike an accessory apartment attached to a single-family house, in a 2-family structure 1 housing unit does not have to be smaller than the other. Also, the property owner does not have to live in one of the units. This type of housing is allowed in the Agricultural (A-2) and Residential (R-1 and R-2) zoning districts with a conditional use permit.

Single-Family Attached Dwellings

Another housing option in Louisa that may be relatively more affordable is the single-family attached dwelling. This is similar to a 2-family dwelling in that there are 2 housing units in the same structure. However, unlike a 2-family dwelling, here the two homes are actually on separate lots. The property owners may be able to save money on energy costs because they share a common wall. Like a 2-family dwelling, there is no requirement for either property owner to live on-site. This housing type is allowed in the Agricultural (A-2) and Residential (R-1 and R-2) zoning districts with a conditional use permit.

Manufactured or Modular Homes

While it is important, as with any business, to identify a builder who will provide a quality product, there is evidence that manufactured or modular homes can be of very high quality at an affordable price. When they hear the term "manufactured home," many people visualize mobile homes or trailers of the common rectangular shape and single or double-wide configuration. There is much more variety in these types of homes, however.
House with Large Yard