An appreciating housing market is offering some homeowners an opportunity to develop their own properties and maximize their values, ultimately offsetting living expenses, letting them age in place, or to increase savings.
Among the techniques most often used are subdividing and selling off a piece of land, building a rental property on a parcel next door, or turning a large, urban single-family home into condominiums, which is the most onerous.
"It can be a financial bonanza for the owner if a property can be subdivided from single-family residential to a higher density of development," said Brad Hunter, chief economist for HomeAdvisor.com, which helps homeowners find home improvement resources.
Now may be as good a time as any to become a DIY developer.
Demand is up and inventory is down. In a balanced market of supply and demand, there's generally about six months' worth of home inventory. In May, it was 4.7 months, according to the National Association of Realtors.