Carlsbad Homes - Want a Casita with Your New Home?

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CalBRE Lic #01490977

 One of the features of a more expensive home in Carlsbad and surrounding communities is a casita.

A casita is generally defined as a small house or guest house. In this area of Southern California they generally are attached to the main home and consist of a large bedroom, often with a sitting area, and a bathroom. Sometimes, however, they are detached. Casitas are used for guests, as an additional bedroom for older kids, or often as an office, studio or game room. They typically have a separate entrance but in some cases may also have an entrance directly into the main home (casita shown lower left, on left side of photo).

Casitas seem to have become particularly popular with the larger new construction homesin subdivisions like La Costa Greens, La Costa Ridge or Emerald Pointe (several of the floor plans include a casita either as a standard offering or an option; these homes tend to be priced in the $1.2 - $1.7 million range), and generally are accessed off the entrance courtyard to the home. While they can work well as bedrooms for guests, they offer additional private space that may fulfill a variety of purposes for the family.

 When the guest quarters are larger they generally are referred to as a guest house, and these may be simple, with one bedroom, a bath, and a galley kitchen, or much more elaborate, rather akin to a small house of 1500 - 2500 SF with several bedrooms, a kitchen ,living room and several baths on larger estates. In more cases than not these are separate dwellings and are fairly common in affluent communities like Rancho Santa Fe. Some estates offer 2 guest houses.

When a casita or other ancillary space includes a kitchen and dining area, or perhaps a combo living and bedroom area, you will often see the term "granny flat" used(I don't care for this localism personally), as long as there is a separate entrance. Back in New England the common term for this sort of extra space was "in-law suite."

Buyers should carefully review the MLS listings, as it seems to be common practice to include the casita bedroom as one of the total bedrooms listed (i.e., a 4 bedroom home may have 3 bedrooms in the main house and a casita), and for some families this sort of living arrangement, depending on the number of children, may not be adequate or suitable.

You will also want to check to see if the square footage of the casita is included in the stated size of the home; it may or may not be, especially if it is detached. If the square footage is important you will want to do your due diligence and verify this information.

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JEFF DOWLER, ABR, CRS, e-PRO, SRES, Ph.D., REALTOR

RE/MAX Associates - Encinitas  (760) 840-1360 direct or text

Email:  Jdowler@remax.net

Website:  http://www.jeffdowler.com/

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Ambassador
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages Connecticut - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
WOW ...... Jeff I love that concept, I wonder why we do not see more of that around here.  In fact I don't think I have seen any, but I bet it would catch on quickly if someone introduced it here.
Sep 25, 2007 07:44 PM #1
Rainer
111,289
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
I think I live in a casita now; where is the larger house? :-)  We have carriage houses here; I love the idea of a casita!
Sep 25, 2007 07:56 PM #2
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jeff - love the casita idea.  "Granny flat"? That's odd...we have in-law suites.  Great houses!
Sep 25, 2007 08:18 PM #3
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
It really needs to be a "must" here. So many have their "granny" live with them and it would offer more privacy for all.
Sep 25, 2007 08:26 PM #4
Rainmaker
202,495
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate

Jeff - Great coaching to carefully review the listing.  Some agents tend to "double count" the casita in the number of bedrooms.  It can be a little tricky.  Best to get it clarified with a phone call before schlepping out to the listing to be surprised.

Sep 25, 2007 08:44 PM #5
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

There's an idea for you, George - talk to some builders!

Jeff

Sep 25, 2007 09:20 PM #6
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

LOL, Carole. It has taken some getting used to out here. I had no idea what people were talking about.

Love carriage houses - lots of those in New England, too.

Jeff

Sep 25, 2007 09:22 PM #7
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Linda - yep, same back East. I hate "granny flat." It sounds condescending to me.

Jeff

Sep 25, 2007 09:24 PM #8
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Sally - I think the ideal situation is the flat where the person will also have a private kitchen and sitting area. This would allow for privacy for all if desired.

Jeff

Sep 25, 2007 09:26 PM #9
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Thank you, Marlene. you are so right, it can be tricky to figure out what the situation actually is. Most times I see it counted as one of the bedrooms, so folks assume the main house has __ bedrooms. Kinda misleading especially if they don't note that there is a casita in an obvious way and state how it is being counted.

Jeff

Sep 25, 2007 09:29 PM #10
Rainmaker
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Paula Henry
Home to Indy Team @ Sycamore Group Realtors - Avon, IN
Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174
Jeff - There were a few builders offering casitas when I lived in Califirnia. They did not have a seperate kitchen though and were more of a guest room with a seperate entrance. They also make a nice home office area. You can leave one door and go through another and leave your work behind.
Sep 25, 2007 11:20 PM #11
Rainmaker
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Ana Connell
G & C Properties - Burbank, CA
Burbank Real Estate Agent
Jeff-I love the idea,good post!
Sep 25, 2007 11:56 PM #12
Rainmaker
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Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate
Casitas... we have them in Pasadena, but they're usually more of mini guest houses and are detached and stand alone.  Very interesting.
Sep 26, 2007 12:04 AM #13
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Paula - yep, the casitas are just the bedroom, but there are some new places being built with the "granny flats."

Jeff

Sep 26, 2007 01:17 AM #14
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Ana - thanks, I think it makes sense, at least for some families.

Jeff

Sep 26, 2007 01:18 AM #15
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360

Irina - hmmm, the differences are interesting. They have some here but they aways seem to have kitchens too (at least those I have seen) and tend to be called guest houses.

Jeff

Sep 26, 2007 01:20 AM #16
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