Smart ADU’s in Hawaii, Pre-Fab and Fabulous


Bentobox has created a local company, Bento Homes here in Kaka’ako to help streamline the ADU purchase, financing, permitting process, build, installation and management once complete. This product is focusing on efficency and quality for the local market in Hawaii.

This new build is definitely a SMART way to go for various reasons and let me break it down for you. To begin, for those who are wondering what an ADU is, it stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit and in Hawaii terms, an Ohana unit/cottage/in-law suite that you would add to your single family home here in Hawaii. These ADUs are basically a mini-house usually equipped with at least a full bathroom, full kitchen and sleeping quarters that doesn’t have to be attached to your current home.

Ohana units were once allowed on Oahu but legislation banned it for years and in 2015 it was brought back with revisions to help with the current and future housing crisis that the local market is and will continue to encounter. By having an ADU on your property, you can rent it out to family members and provide more use for your property multigenerational wise (like Ohana Units) or rent it out to a separate party and offset your personal expenses (new changes).

This is attainable if you currently own a property or looking to purchase a property that meets the states regulations on an ADU. I will go over some of the basic requirements a little later.

Bento Homes has custom built ADUs specific to your needs and they will build the entire unit to spec and it will be ready to move in. They will come complete with all the bells and whistles.

They have also made efforts to be sustainable as much as possible, implement smart technology into the home and utilize multifunctional furniture and efficient floor plans in order to maximize the smaller spaces in these ADUs.

Last but not least, they make the effort to partner with local companies to help support Hawaii’s economy.

If this has sparked your interest, here are some of the basic requirements for an ADU on Oahu:

1. Your lot is zoned residential or country district

2. Your lot is at least 3,500 square feet

3. Your lot isn't landlocked

4. Your lot must contain ONE single-family dwelling

5. Property owner or family member of property owner resides on the property. *exceptions

6. ADU and current dwelling to remain as one property and not sold separately.

7. If your home owners association doesn't allow ADUs, 2nd dwellings or rentals, you cannot build an ADU.

8. ADU must have a designated parking stall, separate from the current dwelling's parking stall(s).

9. Must follow the ADU Floor Space Limits

*Lot sizes between 3,500sf to 4,999sf can have a max of 400sf interior square footage.

*Lot sizes 5,000sf+ can have a max of 800sf interior square footage.

To learn more please visit Hawaii ADU, a non-profit organization that has a wonderful website to explore. You can also download the ADU Homeowner's Handbook (click here).

I know the next question is how can I afford this? Well, with the help of Bento Homes, there are also financial options that will help you secure one of these for your current residence. With the equity in your home, Bento Homes can connect you with local financial institutions that can provide you with options. This way you are not having to come up with the cash and instead, leverage your home for your home. Once one of these ADUs are up and running as a rental, you would be pretty surprised how quickly you could see your investment paid off without investing hard cash into the build. In addition, you will be legally adding interior square footage to your property, a kitchen, bath and bedroom(s) that can also add significant value to your property. Definitely worth looking into.

They have a very clean and user friendly website to get you started. Best thing to do is fill out their questionnaire online at Bento Homes (Click Here) and you can even start designing your own ADU here.

Lastly, their showroom is now open and they built a 400 square foot ADU in it for you to checkout! Located at 441 Cooke Street in Kaka’ako.

For more information, you can also contact me, Christina Laney at (808) 282-1399 or feel free to email me (Click Here) .

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