Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

053: Everything You Need to Know About ADUs with Derek Sherrell


Prepare to step into the world of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as Jonathan sits down with one of the industry’s brightest minds, Derek Sherrell.

Fondly known as “that ADU guy,” Derek’s journey is anything but ordinary. Derek’s story is captivating, from his undying passion for building treehouses in his early days to becoming one of the youngest licensed contractors in Oregon. Listen as he shares his secrets for creating beautifully finished projects that are as functional as they are stunning. As the conversation unfolds, Derek’s insights on the unique criteria needed to successfully build ADUs – from infrastructure and lot size to alley access – will turn your perspective on its head.

Jonathan and Derek explore how ADUs play a crucial role in affordable housing, particularly in rural areas. In a post-pandemic world stricken with housing challenges, ADUs may just be the knight in shining armor we’ve been waiting for. They also delve deep into the advantages of ADUs for families and investors alike. Imagine having a close-by housing solution for a disabled family member or seeing your child taking their first steps towards independence in an ADU. Derek shares his experience using his ADU to house his 19-year-old son, teaching him critical life skills like bill management.

Finally, Jonathan and Derek navigate the complex maze of local zoning regulations for building ADUs. Derek stresses the importance of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy before listing your property and shares unique strategies to overcome these complexities. As they wrap up, Derek’s open-source approach to knowledge sharing and his future plans will inspire you to further explore the world of ADUs.

Whether you’re a family seeking a nearby housing solution or an investor looking to maximize space, this episode promises to be a treasure trove of insights from the master builder himself, Derek Sherrell.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Derek Sherrell’s journey from building treehouses to becoming a licensed contractor and expert in Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

  • The unique factors that influence the successful construction of an ADU, from infrastructure to lot size and alley access.

  • The pandemic’s impact on the ADU industry and how ADUs could solve affordable housing issues in rural areas

  • Derek’s explanation of the technical side of building ADUs highlights the importance of understanding local zoning regulations and strategies to navigate them

  • His open-source approach to sharing knowledge in the industry, including offering pro bono consultations to motivated first-time buyers

  • The importance of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy before listing a property with an ADU since many ADUs across the country are not permitted

  • Derek’s future plans to continue to build as much housing as possible, with a current focus on buying larger pieces of land that can be split up and slowly built out – a strategy he terms “land hacking”

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Supporting Resources:

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