General Question

timtrueman's avatar

What does "studio in-law" mean in the context of a studio apartment?

Asked by timtrueman (5742 points ) September 9th, 2009

I’ve been looking at all kinds of apartments on Craigslist and came across that a couple times. From what I can infer it seems to be a tiny, separate living space that’s part of a larger home. Is that so?

What are the advantages/disadvantages or things I should be aware of that I might not think of if I were to consider a studio in-law?

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6 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Yes. We usually call it a Mother-in-Loft. Usually a self contained studio above the garage. But it could also be attached to the house. It should have a separate entrance, kitchen, and bathroom.

timtrueman's avatar

@johnpowell That’s a good oneā€¦are there other funny names for it?

Sampson's avatar

You’ve pretty much got it down in your details section.

I lived in one. Wasn’t that great. It wouldn’t have been better if it actually had a kitchen and if I didn’t split it with another dude.

Sarcasm's avatar

I’ve seen it listed as “granny flats” as well.

frdelrosario's avatar

I describe my place as an in-law unit for people who don’t like their in-laws, because it’s that small. But I’ve been in my landlord’s backyard for nine years, because the cottage is great for one.

Biggest advantages are no shared walls; that is, no neighbors to bother or be bothered by, and the rent is incredibly good. I mean, this place is so small that I once had a student whose guest bathroom was bigger than my cottage.

Disadvantage is that I’ve only cooked here one time. I miss having a real kitchen in which I can move around, and one small spill in this place is relative to an oil tanker explosion.

figbash's avatar

Sometimes you can really luck out with these, if they’re a large space over a garage or something designed with comfortable and private renting in mind. They can also be miserable, cold, basement apartments with tiny kitchens and appliances that absorb all the noise from above.

Obviously, always check them out in person to figure out what the proximity is to the owners/other renters and what you’re really getting for your money, per square foot. It also depends on what you need. If you’re not social at all and don’t ever have anyone over and just want a really cheap place to work/study OR if you’re out all the time, this might be the way to go. If you’re social or have a lot of guests, it may be worth shelling out an extra 100 a month for a standard apartment that affords you more space and privacy.

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