Q&A with Realtor and ADU Expert Joseph Tuenge

Two people sitting down for a conversation on a small porch during the day

If you want to learn more about adding a Modal to your property, this short interview with Joseph Tuenge is the place to do that. Joseph is a Salt Lake City realtor and ADU expert. He’ll go over where you can add an ADU in Salt Lake City, the effect it will have on your property, financing 101, and a few other things you should thoughtfully consider before moving forward.

If I buy a Modal, where can I drop and park it in Salt Lake?

So most people are placing them in their backyards if they have enough space and then a lot of people are also starting to figure out that they can use them as fancy cabins and are finding land. 

How do ADUs typically affect property value? 

Super well. Actually, it adds to the square footage of the home. You can add an extra bed and bath or two to the home. So you can just add the square footage to the house. The ROI isn't immediately one to one but if you can prove rent history as well, then we can basically sell the business along with the home when you are looking to sell. 

What is the primary factor I need to look into before getting an ADU?

The number one factor would be if your city does or does not allow for it. Most do, some are still trailing behind. But contact Modal. DM them, go to their website, call them. They'll figure it out for you for free and they'll be straight up with you.

Do people actually rent these out?

Yes, and they absolutely kill it when they do. Many use them as nightly rentals, others use them as long-term rentals. Cash flow works both ways. You do you.

What's financing like for an ADU?

It's a relatively simple process. Of course, there's always going to be paperwork and homework that the lender is going to require. Many are going with conventional loans, construction loans, some are even finding a lot of equity in their homes and they're pulling that out with the cash-out refi. Rates are low guys. You should probably pull the trigger. 

Are houses with ADUs harder to sell?

Not at all. Who wouldn't want one of these that's already landed and ready to go? 

How do I know if my city allows for ADUs?

The easiest way would be to get in touch with Modal. They'll get you the right and accurate answer. Otherwise, you can also visit their website and fill out the form there. You can still Google your city's code, you can call the city. But again, I would personally just contact Modal. It's going to be easy. 

Can I use Modal as my primary residence?

Yes, in many areas you can. Different cities have different regulations, so you're going to want to contact Modal. They'll do the research for free and let you know if your property qualifies. 

If my HOA doesn't allow for ADUs, can I petition them to allow me to have one? 

I would encourage you to do it for sure. A lot of them will be stubborn, but you know, I think that a lot of them also need to come around and we're seeking change here. 

Do I need to hire my own contractor?  

No, you sure don't. Modal is actually your own contractor in a way. They actually build it off site. They will help with site prep, they will do all your customizations, and then install it in one day.