Garage ADUs

Efficiently converting garages into affordable work force housing.

Highlights
  • Success to date. Developed design and secured manufacturing partner to build a modular, prefabricated garage conversion living unit. Constructed a studio conversion in San Jose, CA. A second, 1-bedroom in Burlingame, CA has approved permits and is under construction. 
  • Incentive programs launched. Implemented a $50,000 incentive program, in partnership with the City of San Jose, using Measure E funds for ADUs that maintain 100% Area Median Income (AMI) for 15 years. In addition the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has approved SYMBiHOM as a preferred ADU provider statewide. Homeowners can apply for a $40,000 grant to build an ADU. The state is holding training and information sessions for homeowners, a majority in the Bay Area.
  • Construction approvals in hand. Approvals in place include compliance with CA codes and from CA Housing and Community Development (HCD) for off-site fabrication and HCD inspection with the same approval available in 48 states. Construction permits received in Burlingame, CA and master permits secured in the City of San Jose CA and under review by the building department in the city of Fremont CA.
  • Targeted marketing. Mailing lists targeting owners of rental homes in permitted cities are in hand with a broader audience being purchased and developed. We’re focusing on San Jose (~30,000 owners of single-family rentals) and Burlingame (~10,000 owners of single-family rentals) to start.
  • Engagement. Created a video + newsletter campaign which is underway. A digital marketing firm has been engaged to further engage and expand our audience, focused on both demographics and need. A mailing list for 27,000 Santa Clara County Homeowners has been secured to which a newsletter brief with the Mayor of San José promotional video will be included
  • Financial progress. Raised $460,000 pre-seed funds with $220, 000 in gross revenue to date.
  • Scaling up. Plan to scale from 80 conversion kits sold in 2022 to 4,000 in 2026. Projections are based on distributions through contractors who will receive training and certification to install SYMBIHOM conversion kits in the San Francisco Bay region and expand to other regions per demand. It is worth noting that LA has approximately the same number of garages as the San Francisco Bay Area and that 30% of homeowners surveyed in our 2020 market survey indicated that an ADU was absolutely right for their home. Other opportunities being pursued included a potential partnership with EQUFI.com, who will provide cash to equity rich homeowners to build a SYMBIHOM ADU, in exchange for a share of the equity in their home; and working on a pilot program with the  CEO of County of Santa Clara County [Steve Preminger] and the office of aging [Diana Miller].
  • Female founder. Last year, businesses solely led by women attracted just 2.3% of all capital raised by venture-backed firms in the U.S.
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The Models
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The Mission

SYMBIHOM LLC (the “Company”) is on a mission to increase workforce rental housing, homeowner’s income, facilitate aging in place and provide multi-generational living at low cost.

Rebecca Moller was inspired with the idea of a scalable solution for one of the largest issues facing the nation - affordable workforce housing. She saw a critical need that could not be addressed through traditional means and decided to pivot her real estate career to address the workforce housing shortage, starting in the state of California. Specifically, her passion is to provide the ability by which working class families and essential workers have the opportunity to live in the communities they serve, as well as provide an added income to homeowners. SYMBiHOM is a scalable, geographically agile solution to provide moderately priced rental housing within already existing communities; an untraditional method to real estate development--a garage that has been converted into a modern upscale commercial class, yet affordable, living space.

The population of the San Francisco Bay Area has increased by more than 1.5 million people since 1990.  We’ve added nearly 1 million jobs in that time. But traditional construction has failed to keep pace with that growth. On average, the Bay Area has added 2 jobs to the economy for every available housing unit.
Housing permit rates in our community lag behind other comparable cities, and home prices have reached record highs throughout the region - there is just not enough to go around.

We designed our patent pending prefabricated modular State approved Conversion ADU to fill the need for homeowners’ added income, workforce housing, multigenerational living and simplified aging in place by making it simple, convenient, and affordable for homeowners in the Bay Area to convert their existing under utilized space into high-quality housing. We’ve done all the hard work - our unit complies with all applicable state and local codes, is delivered fully-fabricated, and installs in less than 4 weeks. Now, we’re looking for homeowners and commercial property owners who are ready to join the mission by turning their extra space into opportunity - for additional income, for additional living space, and for hard-working members of our community looking for a secure housing solution.

Our commitment is to address the workforce housing shortage in the state of California and build strong, inclusive communities by repurposing existing real estate in communities to a higher and more meaningful use.

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The problem (in San Jose)
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The Problem

“California state law recognizes that local governments play a vital role in developing affordable housing. In 1969, the state mandated that all California cities, towns and counties must plan for the housing needs of our residents—regardless of income.”

This state mandate is called the Housing Element and Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). As part of RHNA, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) determines the total number of new homes the Bay Area needs to build—and how affordable those homes need to be—in order to meet the housing needs of people at all income levels.” 

Cities need to meet RHNA mandates. Institutions and corporations need to ensure that workforce housing is available to attract and retain young talent and to grow. Home ownership is unaffordable for the average earner. An aging population needs to age in place with income to assist them. In California, one in three homeowners and renters are cost burdened, spending  > 50% of their income on housing. 3.5 million market rate and affordable housing units are needed in California alone.  New multifamily construction cannot meet demand. Workers cannot afford to live near work and half of our aging population needs an income subsidy. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic increased homeowner need for additional income.

Increased land cost, land use laws, permitting, development processes, and rising construction costs have slowed the rate at which traditional new residential density can be built. In short, demand outweighs supply—most notably in metro areas where a lack of affordable housing has forced workers far away from their employers. At the same time, real estate prices continue to rise nationally.

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Listen to the podcast
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Renderings
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The Solution

Transform garages and increase workforce housing, homeowner income, multifamily living and aging in place with income.

SYMBIHOM LLC (the “Company”) has developed the SYMBIHOM GARAGE CONVERSION ADU (“SYMBIHOM ADU”), a modular living unit ‘kit’.

The SYMBiHOM ADU converts a 1, 2 or 3 car garage into an upscale commercial-grade living space built to make micro-living feel like luxury living. A garage can become an opportunity for additional income, additional living space, a home for an essential member of your community, or a place to age in place simply.

The Company has enlisted an ecosystem of service providers to serve each homeowner in a variety of ways. Providers can help with the decluttering process, removal of unwanted items, installation of alternate storage, legal counsel on managing tenant pre-qualifications and lease agreements, and even property management.

SYMBIHOM ADU floor plans are designed to maximize built-in storage and spaces for convertible furniture to maintain a sleek and uncluttered look. Depending on the size of the garage, the ADU can be a studio, 1-bedroom, or 2-bedroom living unit with a full bathroom and kitchen. Each ADU features modern finishes, a full suite of appliances, and many potential sources of natural light (like pivot doors mocking a glass garage door front, or large windows to replace your current garage door.) Utility connections are made to the home’s existing utilities. In addition, the SYMBIHOM ADU can be removed to return the garage to its original use.

The SYMBIHOM ADU is approved by The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which oversees alterations of existing manufactured homes required to bear a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) label. It is built off-site and then assembled in an existing garage, quickly converting the garage into a commercial grade living unit. This solution leverages California laws which classify the SYMBIHOM ADU as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) exempt from zoning or parking ordinances.

Each SYMBIHOM ADU provides +/- 500 sf of living space, and is installed with a pre-approved permit to fit right inside the garage. Each unit takes two days to prep and just two weeks to install and can provide:

  • Additional income to homeowners
  • Workforce housing
  • Multi-generational living OR 
  • An aging in place with income solution

With its SYMBIHOM ADU, the Company provides an end to end service to homeowners, municipalities, institutions and corporations and offers the following features:

Turnkey. Removes guesswork, complexity and risks associated with construction.

Profitable. Homeowners increase income, communities attract and retain a workforce and everyone enjoys reduced traffic since more people can be housed close in.

Scalable. Fast to deploy and scalable to multiple markets.

In order to streamline financing the Company offers two financing solutions to homeowners:

Equity purchase. We have aligned the Company with a third party financial institution which provides funds to the homeowner based on their existing home equity. These funds can then be used to fund the purchase of a SYMBiHOM ADU. In addition to the value of the home appreciating with the added livable space, the investment in the SYMBIHOM ADU if rented is expected to double over 15 years with regular recurring income.

Lease agreements. Tenant lease agreements and management services to the homeowner through a third party service provider. Institutions can lease garages as a 15-year land lease, and then offer the unit (along with management of it) to employees as part of their employment package. The homeowner can renew the lease with the Institution, furthering long term stable income.

Our partners and process

SYMBiHOM’s contracted team consists of data analysts, logistics manager, project managers, carpenters and finishers along with licensed plumbers and electricians. All highly skilled, dependable and backed with a solid performance history.  We have four field team categories - Site Assessment / Contracts,  Utility Connection,  ADU Installation and  ADU Finishes.

The Company has a statewide master permit to build its units at an USA off-site location. The modular unit is then delivered to the homeowner in each municipality, the master permit allows for an expedited site-specific permit process. To ensure timely project completion and commitment to quality, each installation is overseen by a SYMBiHOM project lead to supervise the certified installation agents.

A national light gauge steel panel manufacturer with over 20 years of experience on commercial construction projects, partnered on the development of the SYMBiHOM modular product. They have manufactured the first two SYMBIHOM ADUs, and we have a contract with them to manufacture a minimum of  2500 additional ADUs.

We have partnered with ALOM, an award-winning, woman-owned global supply chain and logistics management firm, to ensure that materials are acquired and delivered with precision and timeliness.  ALOM worked with SYMBIHOM to develop a team that specializes in construction materials. Operating out of 19 locations across the globe, Alom implements technology-driven supply chains ensuring that each order, no matter how complex or challenging, is seen through to completion.

Additionally, each SYMBIHOM ADU is inspected by the CA Department of Housing and Community Development during assembly and receives proof of compliance, via an insignia, that can be viewed on site by any local building official.

Finally, the Company has partnered with a national transportation company, JIT Transportation, to optimize the receipt of materials, then organize and deliver the entire SYBMBiHOM ADU to its destination, with all components accounted for and intact. Our logistic partner is a company with a proven track record of delivery of time sensitive shipments with immediate response and guaranteed turnaround times.

All intellectual property is owned by SYMBiHOM LLC.

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About the change

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A garage conversion
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The Pipeline

The San Francisco Bay Area alone has approximately 1.2 million single-family owner-occupied homes with garages. The Los Angeles market offers similar numbers. In a Market Survey of single-family homeowners with attached garages of which there are 600K [600K detached], 37% of respondents indicated they had ‘Strong Interest in converting their garage into an ADU, while 20% indicated ‘Moderate Interest’. At 37% adoption, the market opportunity is $90 billion. The Company estimates that if it transforms 2.5% of the 37% within the next five years in the San Francisco Bay Area alone, this will result in an estimated $2.25 billion market opportunity. See pages 14 - 16 of our business plan for details of this market survey.

Our initial customer acquisition strategy focuses on cities, institutions and corporations who need affordable workforce housing—and interested homeowners seeking an additional revenue stream to combat the high cost of home ownership. Institutional and corporate funds are available to underwrite the low capital expenditure to then aggregate a quantity of housing units dedicated to the institutions’ use and accelerate adoption in communities providing a zero out of pocket expense with recurring income to the Homeowners. This creates a rapid scaling wholesale approach to the sale of our units. Alliance partners, located in various geographical locations, each of whom is licensed and insured, will be certified to prep each garage and install the SYMBIHOM ADU throughout the State of California.

The Company is also developing SYMBIHOM Reef to quickly find their market. SYMBIHOM Reef is a matchmaking software currently in development. With it we will be able to collect community data to determine supply and demand, and to match employers with potential installation locations for the SYMBIHOM ADU. A non-provisional patent has been filed for SYMBIHOM ADU. All IP is owned by the Company.

Existing stand-alone backyard ADU units come with an installation cost of $250 - $650,000 and a lengthy 27-year real estate depreciation. In contrast, the SYMBIHOM ADU is sold and installed for an estimated $175,000 to $220,000, is considered a personal asset, and can be depreciated over 15 years. The low cost of the SYMBIHOM ADU also allows for easier financing, lower tax assessment (because it does not add to the square footage of the property but is rather a remodel of existing) and greater ROI.

Presently, we know of no other ADU providers that are capable of building commercial grade low-cost living units by converting the garage in three weeks. 

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Revenue Model

SYMBiHOM’S revenue model is planned to be 100% sale to homeowners. The State of California and a number of cities offer incentive grants to build ADU’s, in order to reduce the cost of housing and to encourage housing supply.

We’ve calculated Company’s Total Addressable Market (TAM) based on the number of homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. The San Francisco, Hayward, Oakland Metro Area has 1.8 million homes, San Jose, Sunnyvale Santa Clara California Metro Area has .67 million homes and the entire San Francisco Bay Metro Area has approximately 3 million housing units of which approximately 45% are rentals and 55% owned. 95% of these homes (1.14 million) are single family and 1.2 million overall homes (including townhomes) have garages.

Download detailed Bay area housing statistics here.

Without including the institutional housing needs in this market, and based on our survey results [Link to this], these 1.14 million single family homes project a market share of 185,000 homeowners who are very interested in our solution and another 100,000 who are moderately interested.

With funding to support staff and marketing efforts, we project being able to sell 60 units this year, 480 units in 2023, 1,000 in 2024, 2,000 in 2025 and increasing to 4,000 in 2026,(with expanded reach beyond the Bay area), by creating a SYMBiHOM ADU KIT that contractors can purchase and install.

Eventually we anticipate that institutions will underwrite the cost of these units and lease from each home-owner for a 15-year period to meet their employment needs, providing additional equity value to the homeowner and additional recurring income.

Finances.

We estimate that the Company will have assets of approximately $600 million and cash balance  of over $400 million at the end of five years. Start up operations have been and will continue to be funded by seed equity in the early years. That equity has been raised from our founder and through a friends and family offering, and will be supplemented by this Reg CF offering. Since we started operations in 2020 we have deployed founder equity and loans of $550,436 and $400,000 of the additional $500,000 in seed funds raised. $220,000 of revenue has been earned to date.

We expect to expand our employees from 2 to 10 over the next year, and complete 60 garage conversions this year with another 200 next year. After that, as we start to distribute kits to certified contractors, we expect growth to double each year.

As we grow we’ll be able to fund our operations through cash from revenues. Once this offering is complete, we plan to raise further funds to meet our total goal of $2 million through additional high net worth equity.

The table on page 19 of our business plan, reflects projections for the Company over the next five years. 

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A garage conversion
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About the entrepreneur

Rebecca Moller was inspired by the idea of a scalable solution for one of the largest issues facing the nation - affordable workforce housing. She saw a critical need that could not be addressed through traditional means and decided to pivot her real estate career to address the workforce housing shortage, starting in the state of California. Specifically, her passion is to provide the ability by which working class families and essential workers have the opportunity to live in the communities they serve, as well as provide an added income to homeowners. SYMBiHOM is a scalable, geographically agile solution to provide moderately priced rental housing within already existing communities; an untraditional method to real estate development--a garage that has been converted into a modern upscale commercial class, yet affordable, living space.

Rebecca has served in senior roles within large commercial construction companies nationally providing innovative design-build acumen and leadership to successfully plan and execute projects for national and global clients. In 1997 she founded R. MÖLLER, Inc., which provided project management services to Fortune 500 Companies, such as General Electric, Verizon and IBM Global Services.  From start to finish, Rebecca has overseen more than 22 million square feet of commercial real estate worth over $10 billion in critical construction projects nationally.

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About the offering

The Company is engaged in a Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) offering (the “Offering”) to raise money for SYMBIHOM LLC, which converts garages into ADUs. The funds raised will be used to increase the core team, marketing reach, operations, legal and professional fees.

We are trying to raise a maximum of $250,000, but we will move forward with the Project and use investor funds if we are able to raise at least $100,000 (the “Target Amount”). If we have not raised at least the Target Amount by 11:59 pm on February 1, 2023 EST (the “Target Date”), we will terminate the Offering and return 100% of their money to anyone who has subscribed.

The minimum you can invest in the Offering is $1,000. Investments above $1,000 may be made in $500 increments (e.g., $1,100 or $1,200, but not $1,136). An investor may cancel his or her commitment up until 11:59 pm on January 29, 2023 EST (i.e., two days before the Target Date). If we have raised at least the Target Amount we might decide to accept the funds before the Target Date; in that case we will notify you and give you the right to cancel.

After we accept the funds, whether on the Target Date or before, we will continue the Offering until we have raised the maximum amount.

You can download a copy of the Form C and Disclosure Packet here or where registered on the SEC.gov site. Investments under Reg CF are offered by NSSC Funding Portal, LLC, a licensed funding portal.

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About your investment

The ‘securities’ we are selling are Simple Agreements for Future Equity, or SAFEs. A SAFE doesn’t really have a ‘price’ the way a share of stock or limited liability interest does. If you invest $1,000 you get a SAFE with a face amount of $1,000, and so forth.

If the Company raises money in the future from the sale of its shares (common or preferred) for a fixed price, where the Company receives gross proceeds of at least $1,000,000, then your SAFE will convert into that same type of shares (common or preferred). The price of the conversion will be 80% of the price paid by the new investors.
For example, if the new investors pay $1,000 per share, your shares will be converted at $800 per share.

EXAMPLE:  Suppose you invest $5,000 in our SAFE, and an investor makes a $2 million investment at the price of $1.00 per share. Your SAFE will convert into 6,250 shares of Series A SAFE preferred shares (as described in the SAFE)  as follows:

Type of Shares Series A Preferred Stock
Price Based on 20% Discount $0.80 per share
Amount of SAFE $5,000,00
Number of Shares Received 6,250 shares

If the Company liquidates before it raises at least $1 million in gross proceeds for additional Company total shares, you will have the right to receive the amount you paid for your SAFE, without interest. However, your right to payment will be behind the rights of the Company’s creditors, and on a par with others who hold SAFEs or preferred stock.
The SAFE does not give you any voting rights in the Company or other rights as a shareholder. For example, you do not have the right to receive any dividends for as long as you own your SAFE. 

You can review the SAFE here.

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The solution (in San Jose)
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About the risks

A crowdfunding investment involves risk. You should not invest any funds in this offering unless you can afford to lose your entire investment. 

In making an investment decision, Investors must rely on their own examination of the issuer and the terms of the offering, including the merits and risks involved. These securities have not been recommended or approved by any federal or state securities commission or regulatory authority. Furthermore, these authorities have not passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this document.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not pass upon the merits of any securities offered or the terms of the offering, nor does it pass upon the accuracy or completeness of any offering document or literature.

These securities are offered under an exemption from registration; however, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not made an independent determination that these securities are exempt from registration.

Additional statement:

There are numerous risks to consider when making an investment such as this one and financial projections are just that - projections. Returns are not guaranteed. Conditions that may affect your investment include unforeseen construction costs, changes in market conditions, and potential disasters that are not covered by insurance. 

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Follow the change.