Does a neighborhood pool add property value to my house?

Asked by Kathy, Ballwin, MO Mon Feb 18, 2008

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Dale Weir, Agent, Chesterfield, MO
Mon Feb 18, 2008
As a Realtor who lives and works in Ballwin, I can tell you that Trisha is correct for our area as well. A neighborhood pool does not increase your selling price over a subdivision that does not have a pool, but it is something that buyers take into consideration when deciding where to purchase a home. At the same time, the community facilities are also considered. Ballwin (as does many of the other nearby municipalities) has an outstanding recplex with an indoor pool and fitness center and a wonderful outdoor pool that is next to the Ballwin golf course. As a result, buyers keep in mind that those facilities are available to them also. (as a Realtor, we have to be careful to annotate if a home is in incorporated Ballwin and hence eligible to use the Ballwin facilities, or in an unincorporated area that might have a Ballwin zip code, but would not be eligible to use the facilities)

One point is the age of the family. If someone has children old enough to go to the neighborhood pool by themselves, it can be more of a selling point then if Mom or Dad has to load them up and drive them to the pool in the summer. The neighborhood swim and dive teams are also big factors when deciding where to buy for some families who have children who are competitive swimmers. Having a small subdivision pool is also preferred by families who find that Mom or Dad have a pleasant place to sit and watch the kids swim while talking to the other neighborhood parents and there are typically pool parties and events throughout the summer months at the facilities. When I bought my home, my subdivision didn't have it's own pool, but my home was within walking distance of both the Ballwin outdoor pool and the pool for the next subdivision which we could join. My son preferred the smaller subdivision pool with it's dive and swimming teams over the municipal pool plus we felt much safer with his swimming there where everyone knew everyone and the lifeguards had fewer people to guard. Our pool community was close knit enough that if my son rode his bike over and got too tired to ride home, one of the parents at the pool would load him and his bike up in their van and drop him off on their way home.

At the same time I am telling you this, I will point out that many of the smaller neighborhood pools have closed in the past few years. The cost of insurance, maintenance, repairs, staff, etc drove the cost to the subdivision up past the point where it was no longer economically feasible to continue owning the pools, especially when they were competing with the larger municipal pools (in fact the larger municipal pools have had some difficulties the past few years meeting their bills as well). The subdivision pool my son swam at was sold a couple of years ago and turned into a villa complex.

Another consideration when looking at the amenities that the subdivision has, is the annual dues. There are a few complexes that have wonderful facilities, but the annual dues to pay for them are so high that buyers shudder and turn to other areas where the facilities might not be so grand, but they are a lot cheaper.

But for all of that, on a hot summer day, a home with access to a pool has a decided advantage over a home that doesn't and a smart home seller will make sure to have pictures of the subdivision pool as part of their marketing in the home for potential buyers to see

So, your overall answer is yes, a subdivision pool will add intrinsic value to your home, but it will not over ride the same factors that make a home sell any where - it is part of the location and amenity part of the equation that will get a buyer to chose your home over another home.
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Trisha Lee, Agent, Columbia, MO
Mon Feb 18, 2008
Kathy -
Having a neighborhood pool, tennis courts, playground, clubhouse and walking paths through a neighborhood always bring the quality of a neighborhood up over those that do not have any amenities. There is an intrensic value of desireability over those neighborhoods that don't have anything extra. If you were looking for a home as a buyer and all other things were approximately equal (location, overall landscaping and ambience to name a few), you would probably lean towards the neighborhood that offered more. As to adding actual $$$ value to your house, where it DOES add money is in the length of time your home would be on the market over others of your caliber in other neighborhoods. It is a great marketing message to put your home above the rest and you probably would get a higher dollar in a shorter period of time on a level playing field. Just having those things would not overcome poor location, poor upkeep or a thousand other elements people look at when purchasing.

I guess that's a convoluted way of saying yes it would add value but not if the rest of the package isn't equally appealing. Buyers look at the whole picture and the more you have of what they want, the more your property is worth.
Hope this helps.
Trisha Lee REMAX Boone Realty, Columbia, MO
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