Bell: A pool or not a pool? That is the question

Originally published in The Statesman

by Cyndi Bell

Here in Central Texas, a pool in the backyard is a welcomed sight at the height of summer. When it comes to buying a home with a pool, the obvious question surfaces: “What’s the pool worth?”

The answer is: it depends.

If you ask the seller, they will tell you the pool is worth the cost of installation. If you ask the buyer the same question, you’d be surprised on their response.

Does having a pool add or detract value? If you are the only homeowner in a high-end neighborhood without a pool, I could argue your property is worth less than its counterparts. If you are the only homeowner with a pool in a lower-priced neighborhood, your pool will give you little to no added value.

There are things to consider when buying or selling a home with a pool. These items can assist the seller, buyer, lender and appraiser as we determine the value of a pool to a residential property:

• How old is the pool?

• Do you have access maintenance records?

• Do you have the receipt of its installation?

• Are there outstanding repairs, if any, that require attention prior to selling?

• What is the cost to operate (e.g. gas, electric and water bills), along with service and maintenance of equipment?

Most consumers do not realize only 11 percent of homes sold in Round Rock during the past year have a pool. The median sales price for a home in Round Rock with a pool is $395,000; the median sales price without a pool is $265,000.

Since most homes in Round Rock do not have an installed pool, take into account your neighborhood prior to building one. Find out how many homes have a pool; research the difference in sale price between homes sold with a pool and without a pool to guide you on estimate return on your investment. You can contact your local real estate agent to find out more.

When I am working with a seller and getting their house ready to put on the market to sell, I encourage them to have the pool entirely serviced and maintained during the listing. This can help for a smooth sale of the property by keeping surprise maintenance items out of the way.

When I am representing the buyer on a purchase of a home with a pool, it is an absolute requirement to have a licensed home inspector or industry specialist review maintenance records and inspect the pool structure and equipment. This is to not only make sure the pool is safe, but it can also help alleviate unknown headaches after the buyers move in.

The buyer can also inquire with the Round Rock city staff to verify proper permits were filed and completed prior to purchasing the property.

Remember, adding a pool is for your enjoyment. When you sell your home, you may or may not secure the full cost of the pool in your sales price.

Real estate agents are a great source of information. If you have questions on what your pool or your home is worth, or if you have a questions about real estate (with or without a pool) contact your local real estate agent.

Cyndi Bell is president-elect of the Williamson County Association of Realtors and a real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty Cedar Park.

Date : 11/12/2017