Sherri Genge…, Home Buyer in 78745

Pool converted to pond?

Asked by Sherri Gengenbach, 78745 Fri Nov 19, 2010

Hi, I have a very old in-ground swimming pool in need of lots of repairs. Since removing the pool will be very expensive, I'm thinking about converting it into a pond instead. See: to get an idea of what it would like like after the conversion. Do you think this will be a turn off to potential buyers? This is not a luxury house -- appraised value is about 141k. I'm thinking buyers at this price point will not want to pay for the expense of a pool.

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If your planning on selling your home, your best bet is to obtain two sets of bids from multiple contractors 1) to Repair the Existing Pool and return it to good working condition and 2) to professionally remove/fill in the pool. I would not advise you to convert the pool into a pond, as the pond will be a "turn off" for a large percentage of Buyers. There are specific buyers at all price points that want a pool, and conversely, those that will not consider a house with a pool. If the goal is to sale your home, I would simply go with the cheaper of the two alternatives above and move on.

If I can be of any assistance please feel free to give me a call -

Randy Massey
Keller Williams Realty
Cell# 512-762-3268
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
There is a fourth option:

Deck over it! check out

That is what I am planning to do on my soon-to-be-purchased home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 15, 2010
It sounds like you are going to sell the house soon.
Knowing this, I wouldn't recommend investing in a nice pond like that one on your link you provided. The cost will be significantly more than just the $2,500 in materials, if you are not doing it yourself.
If you are doing it yourself, get ready for a significant commitment towards the project.
Plus, the average buyer in your neighborhood is not looking for a large pond in their backyard, so even though it will come off as a "cool" feature at first to most people, it will likely conclude with thoughts of "maintenance and risk" form a home buyer.
By limiting your pool of buyers down to "someone who wants a large pond in their backyard", you'll either end up accepting a lower offer from a non-large-pond-seeker, or you'll likely be waiting a long time for that actual large-pond-seeker who also wants all the features of your particular home.

My point is, a large pond will most likely bring down your resale value due to limiting the amount of buyers you'll attract, and it will have cost you additional dollars to install/maintain properly.

If you don't plan to sell your home soon, and you are ready to invest money into/maintain/enjoy a large pond at your house.... then I say Yes... go for it. I'll certainly stop by and appreciate it with you!

(serious note though...)
The typical home buyer in your area doesn't expect to have a pool or a pond, so if it's inoperable and/or problematic, just fill'er in and neutralize that backyard.
If considering selling your home, click here and we can discuss it:…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 21, 2010
Sherri, you got a lot of various answers, but I think converting it to a pond is definitely a bad idea. Buyers who don't want pools, for fear of liabilty or children(or adults) drowning, maintenance, etc. will also not want a pond for similar reasons. Even more dangerous considering murky water=lack of visibility and the same drowning potential. Plus, a pond requires maintenance and if it's stagnant, promotes insects/mosquitos. Fixing it would be preferred, although filling it with soil and putting grass in is an option too. How long do you plan on staying there before you sell it? If you're staying, for example, would you enjoy a pool or a larger lawn. That is another factor I would big is your yard? Could it benefit from more grass or is it big enough already? If you're about to sell it, let the new buyer decide and have a good REALTOR market it accordingly not only w/ regard to price but full disclosure. I would be happy to visit the property and give you a first hand opinion. I am not only a Top Ranked REALTOR in Austin, I own a custom home building company and a good friend owns a pool company, so I've got multiple points of insight/reference! Feel free to call on me, Joe Jarusinsky, REALTOR/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty (512) 497-0105
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
Hi Sherri,

Based on your message detailing the cost of reparing orremoving the pool or converting it to a pond, i recommend repairing the pool. The only question you should ask your self is... will the pool area be attractive and inviting as an outdoor living area once the repairs are completed? If so, repairing the pool gives the greatest return on the investment you will make in resolving your dilemma. Particularly so if you subsequent maintenance estimate proves accurate.

If you would like other suggestions as to ideas that would make your home more marketable (and valuable) when, and if, you decide to sell your home, I would appreciate the opportunity to assist you, Sherri.

I hope my comments help.

Tom Cantalini
Century 21 HKS and Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
I would echo the NO to converting it to a pond. I don't think Jed Clampet is moving to Austin, so a cement pond is out!
May I recommend calling on Betina Foreman who answered earlier. I know her to be diligent in guiding her clients and she is very resourceful to boot.
Best Wishes and good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010

I think based on the general consensus of the realtors that have responded thus far, turning the pool into a pond is not a good investment if your attempting to get your property ready to sale. Fixing the pool appears to be the most economical approach in the short term, based on the bid information you just shared with us, as you will not be responsible for future pool maintenance if you plan on selling the property in the short term. If the pool isn't fixed, the negative impact on your sales price will most likely be greater than the actual cost of repairing the pool prior to placing the property on the market. Buyer's don't like to "Buy" someone elses problem, and if they do elect to "Buy" someone elses problem, they expect to take on the problem at a reduced price and reap the financial "benefit" of completing the updating / repair work themselves.

All My Best-
Randy Massey
Keller Williams Realty
Cell# 512-762-3268
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010

I'm Gus and I had the same problem. The first house I bought was a 4b3b foreclosure in South Austin at WC and S. 1st. I was a bachelor at the time and was living in one room and rented out the other 3(it was nice). It had a kidney shaped pool in the back yard that was in disrepair i.e. needed to be resurfaced, plumbing, and pumps. We called it the swamp. It was me and some friends living there so nobody seemed to mind except for during mosquito season. A few years went by and I fell in love. But like any good love story there were some challenges and one was the swamp. The love of my life and I proceeded to get engaged and then married so I slowly got rid of my money making roommates and replaced them with people that cost me money, which I love very much. At the time of all this transition this pool was a growing concern for me and my new bride mainly due to a wonderful little man that is now my son. I soon got active on the situation obtaining bids from plaster contractors, plumbers, and electricians. Also researching alternative ideas on what to do whith this big kidney shaped hole in my back yard. Call me if you'd like to hear the rest of my story and how i overcame the swamp...

Gustavo Tostado
Texcella RE Broker
or hit me on my paperless mail at
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010

I think you should leave the pool as is and have your realtor incorporate its condition into the marketing strategy.

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

It's easy to do at no cost to you.

Mary Strickler
Realtor GRI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
No to a don't want a 8' deep pond.
I can't imagine any buyer I've ever had that would want a home with a swimming pool turned into a pond.
While you may save a little money up front, I think you would lose a lot of money in the long run taking a huge hit on sales price to get it sold. None of my buyers over 10 years would want to mess around with trying to turn a pond back into a pool.

Bury it ...maybe.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
As a professional investor, I say go with your gut Sherri. Pools are nice in Texas, but if it's an old one, let it go and sell your house without it. All pools do is weed out potential buyers who don't want pools, and there's no significant dollar value contributed to your asking price even if you have one.

Get a couple of strong guys with sledge hammers to break the top 3 or 4 feet of the pool shell back into the pool itself (a few feet below the soil line). Buy several yards of soil (depending on how big the pool is) and have it dumped in the hole. Sod St. Augustine or Bermuda grass over the top... no more pool. This will cost you less than repairing or removing it.

Good luck!

Tony Z
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
Hello all. Thanks so much for your thoughtful answers to my dilemma. To put things in perspective, I thought I'd provide some hard numbers. I've already been talking with contractors about the various options....

Option 1: Repair pool (replace plaster, redo tile, replace pump). Cost: $3000. Currently, maintenance for the pool runs about $1,000 per year. After repairs, the pool will require less chemicals and maintenance, so I'd guess maintenance would be about $600 per year after repairs. When I had the house appraised, the appraiser told me that the pool did not add much value at this price point.

Option 2: Remove pool (remove concrete deck and remove about 18" of concrete). Cost: $5000. Since the bottom portion of the pool would remain, I would need to disclose this at closing. If someone wanted to purchase the house and put in a pool, the expense would be higher because of this. But the house might appeal to a wider range of perspective buyers.

Option 3: Convert pool to koi pond. Cost: $2500. If the pond is done right, maintenace would be minimal--- once-yearly draining and removing leaves. The design I'm looking at would be fairly self-sufficient. But, as Randy mentioned, most buyers would be turned off. If a buyer wanted a pool, they could still have one by emptying the pond and replastering it.

Option 4: Leave pool in place, fill with dirt. Cost: $1000. I could put in a playscape or garden area, but it would still be obvious that the area was a pool that had been filled in. I think it might be kind of tacky, but it would be cheap.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
As an owner of an older in-ground pool, I can appreciate your delima; however, I would not do anything except to offer to convert it or fill it in prior to closing. You might find someone who would want to do the work required to repair it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
The pond would most likely require the same maintenance and cost of water as a pool wold without the pool. Although it may cost more to get the pool in order I think in the end this option would net you more money. Some buyers are truly looking for a pool and some buyers would not consider a home with one. Having a deep pond like that would create a possible hazard for children and would rule out a lot of potential buyers.

In this market you need to make your home stand out above the competition and minimize any negative aspects. Spending a little extra to get the pool in order may cost more now but will definitely pay off when you home is sold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
Hi Sherri,

I think you're very smart to explore alternatives to a pool at this price point (many first time owners) - most especially a pool that needs extensive repairs and that will continue to require maintenance throughout the life of the pool once brought back to current standards. Many people do not want a pool and will not look at a house that has the additional maintenance and liability of this feature, or that of a large pond. You may want to consider having the pool filled in, as I've heard of a number of instances of this being done successfully, and for less ongoing cost than keeping the pool. There are companies that specialize in this type of work, so let me know if I can help you locate a contractor to give you an idea of how this option may help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
Hi Sherri. I understand your delima. Kind of a darn if you do and darn if you don't type deal.

As mentioned already, first thing I would do is get a bid to see what the repair cost will be.

Generally speaking, appraisers will add value to a home up to about 10% of the total home value for having a pool, but most likely not to exceed $10,000. I'm speaking about your neighborhood specifically. Other neighborhoods with more expensive homes with more expensive pools will get a bigger boost to their value.

You have to make the decision to basically sell your home as is or with the pool in good working condition. It may be too cost prohibitive for you to spend thousands getting the pool repaired, but be prepared to take a hit when you try to sell.

Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
Buyers in all price points like pools. I would get bids to see just how much it would cost and then decide. Remember ponds still require maintenance as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 19, 2010
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