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Guest homes are hardly just an accessory piece in today’s luxury real estate market, as pointed out by a recent article, The Popularity of Guesthouses, published by the Wall Street Journal. Whether used as lodging for friends, a nanny, or a home office, the allure of having a separate living space is growing faster by the minute. Many homeowners, like The Agency’s Craig Knizek, who is also an architectural designer, are using the guest home as an extension of their main home for use by their immediate family members.

"We realized that we all needed a place to escape to, but we couldn't figure out how to create that space in our main house,” Knizek told the WSJ. “Building a second structure was so much less expensive than having to incorporate a big addition into our main house.”

Whether a guest home is intended to be used as another source of income or not, residents and prospective buyers alike are recognizing a return on investment. With years of experience remodeling guest houses for clients, Knizek has seen this shift in tastes and preferences.

"Before, you might see a builder of a $10 million house include a guest home in the project," he explains. "Now, a lot of homes priced in the $3 million to $5 million range have guesthouses, too."

Alas, there are still plenty of homeowners who are going the traditional route: using their guesthouses to house their actual guests. Valerie Giraud's 2,400-square-foot guesthouse, which has French doors, a stone exterior and a large porch, sits about 70 feet from her 5,000-square-foot main residence on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Malibu. Friends or artists often stay in the space, says Valerie, its natural palette and high-ceilings offering up a soothing environment for creative types.

To learn more about this 2 bed 2 bath guest house currently listed by Ann Eysenring of The Agency, as well as the gorgeous main home, visit its listing page.

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here.