Home Away from Home
They say you can never go home again. But if you’re lucky, your folks have a cozy in-law suite, carriage house, or finished basement where you can kick back and recoup for a few days. If not, consider buying a home or townhouse that features its very own studio, complete with bedroom, kitchen, and bath. The benefits are extensive, including rental possibilities, Airbnb hosting, and ample space for family and friends to stay the night. Besides, with more people working from home than ever before, you may just need a mother-in-law suite for the staycation of your dreams.
Walk to the beach every day from this beautifully remodeled home in North Clearwater Beach, Florida. The downstairs in-law suite has a kitchenette and TV area, as well as a separate entrance and private parking. Guests will also enjoy pristine landscaping, as well as access to a plexiglass and tiled above-ground pool.
You don’t need to buy a home to enjoy all the benefits of in-law living. Just check out this sprawling lakeshore rental in Chanhassen, Minnesota. On the shores of Lotus Lake, you can lease this one-level brick home, with a separate two-bedroom area for putting up in-laws, guests, and friends. It has a kitchen, as well as access to a private gym.
History with a Twist
The past never never looked better. In Atlanta’s historic Edgewood neighborhood, you’ll find this open plan home with a newly finished basement. The lower level mother-in-law suite is designed for entertainment and relaxation, complete with a kitchen, wet bar, plus theatre area and Dolby surround sound. Movie night anyone?
The owners loved this Denver home so much, they gave her a name: Isabelle. She’s a grand old dame, but decked out with the finest modern luxuries, including an open-concept kitchen, integrated sound system, and wine cellar. The carriage house out back is perfect for in-laws and guests, with hardwood floors and exposed brick walls.
Blue Ridge Calling
Imagine being greeted by fresh mountain air every morning. This stately home in Ooltewah, Tennessee, has views of the Blue Ridge and a basement in-law suite, with a full kitchen and garage access. Guests can enjoy the rural life without being isolated, since this home is also close to nightlife in downtown Chattanooga.
Virginia may be for lovers, but it’s also for folks who enjoy the beauty of historic neighborhoods and formal homes. Case in point: this brick colonial, located in leafy Lynchburg. The basement is completely finished, with a full kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room. A perfect vacation rental or guest suite, right under the floorboards.
Life Above Par
Kick back and unwind at The Long Beach, a modern palace designed by architect Trey Hoff. Its one-of-a-kind architecture and country club location meets all the requirements (and desires) of retirement life, including access to a golf course, heated floors, and a fitness center. The downstairs in-law suite (which adult kids will also enjoy) has its own kitchen and direct garage access.
Wend your way down tree-lined Dingens Avenue, and you’ll find yourself in France. Well, almost. This European-inspired manor is really located in Windermere, Florida, and boasts a private pool and lanai, surrounded by green lawns. The seller considers the mother-in-law suite to be one of its best features, built over the garage, with a separate entrance, three rooms, and kitchen. The grandkids will also have the time of their life, playing in the miniature treehouse in the backyard.
Living at the end of a cul de sac is pretty blissful. So is this remodeled, Spanish-style villa in Phoenix, Arizona. The basement is fully finished, with 1,400 square feet of living space, including a wet bar, two bedrooms, and one full bath. Outside, enjoy a backyard BBQ, or relax in the pool and spa. With space for five cars in the air-conditioned garage, as well RV parking, guests may not want to leave.
French Country Manor
Learn the ways of the manor born at this French country home in Atlanta. It’s faced with hand-cut limestone and features 16-foot ceilings, hard carved fireplaces, and marble countertops. Keep climbing to reach the elevated in-law suite. This upstairs apartment has a full kitchen and living room, and the home’s many amenities are at your fingertips, including a zero-edge heated pool and spa.
Stately without being sterile, this Chicago historic landmark is a feast for the eyes and senses. Built in 1908 and fully updated with a home theater, gym and sauna, the light-filled home boasts two guest areas, including a fully finished basement suite, as well as a separate upstairs bedroom and bath. Outside, stroll to Lake Michigan or the city parks.
With its soaring 22-foot vaulted ceilings and airy white interiors, this house on Melissa Lane in Dallas is all modern luxury underneath the Mediterranean-inspired tile roof and stucco facade. Guests and relatives can stay in the fully finished downstairs, complete with bedroom, game room, study, and garage access. It’s almost as good as going on a cruise.
At first sight, you may think this historic Queen Anne Victorian home is located in New England. In fact, this gem can be found in Alameda, California. Deep teals and aquamarine walls are offset with bright white interiors, with bay windows spilling light onto hardwood floors. But it’s the in-law suite that takes the cake, with a private entrance, kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bath. An ocean-hued home away from home.
Home Sweet Home
A carriage house is the epitome of in-law suite style. Set on acres of tree-lined greenery near Wichita, play host in a beautiful brick home, with a move-in ready carriage house. Offering 700 square feet of space, including a separate entrance, wood floors, fireplace, and kitchen with granite countertops, the owners really have a miniature home on their property for guests, relatives, or renters to enjoy.
Even townhomes can feature mother-in-law suites, especially extra-large end units, like this one in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The downstairs is all decked out with a full bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. But the best part is the private screened-in patio, looking out into the trees, offering a sense of escape both indoors and out.
In this spacious bungalow in Fort Worth, Texas, mid-century modern style meets modern living. Original hardwood floors complement the open plan living space, and there is a sweet spit-level carriage house out back. With sliding glass doors opening to a patio and private backyard, this cute separate apartment is also great for entertaining.
Den of Delights
Finished basements, like this one in Atlanta, are a coveted feature of marketable single family homes. Add to that original brick fireplaces, custom-built windows, and an outdoor fire pit and water fountain, and this Durant Place classic is a steal. The lower level, with its complete kitchen, laundry room, multipurpose workspace, and wine room is so cushy, guests may rarely emerge.
Live gracefully, with full-on Southern charm, in this historic federal-style home in Mobile, Alabama. With heart-of-pine floors and high ceilings throughout, the home itself is graciously proportioned and full of light. For a private getaway, the basement (accessible by elevator no less) is completely finished, with a kitchenette, full bath, and exercise room. You could even turn the bedroom into a playroom or office.
The Good Life
Charleston, South Carolina, is famous for its fried green tomatoes and elegant downtown. Enjoy easy access to restaurants and nightlife in this classic take on a single family home. For people who prefer top-story living, the extensive mother-in-law suite is upstairs instead of in the basement, offering a partial kitchen, along with three guest bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a media room.
Peace and Quiet
Love urban life, but prefer peaceful nights? A private estate in swanky North Buckhead, near Atlanta, may be for you. The home has awe-inspiring architecture, including built-in bookcases and coffered ceilings in the great room. Even the downstairs receives soft southern light, offering plenty of R&R in the form of a workspace, living room, den, and two bedrooms.
For a big family, consider a sprawling compound in the middle of rolling green hills. This is the picture-perfect setting in Gallatin, Tennessee, where a smart home awaits the right owners. At right angles to the main house is a separate guest house—with its very own heated pool. Anyone staying there also has access to a back patio with a wood-burning fireplace. Talk about a home for all seasons.
Related: Murphy Beds: 9 Hide-Away Sleepers
Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newsletter today!