What is price discount for homes with a pool?

Asked by Fantastico, Menlo Park, CA Thu Apr 16, 2009

Homes with a swimming pool generally are priced less than homes without one. People dislike pools for various reasons--danger for kids, high maintenance costs and effort, reduced yard size, little usage for about six months in a year... So, what is a general sale price differential between a home with a pool and one without, given everything else approximately the same?

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KB Collins, , Queens, NY
Thu Apr 16, 2009
This is a funny issue and I will tell you why. I had 2 appraisal done on a property in NY in 2007. Both appraisers came up with, wait for it, wait for it.... TWO DIFFERENT AMOUNTS. One discounted the pool the other added value. SOOOOOOOO it all depends... But I would say echo what the others say it is a wash. I received a CMA the other day and it increased the value 8k... So I would just call it a wash in NY. Personally I like a great pool.

1 vote
Vinicius Bra…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Of course most buyers that I encounter are not looking for pools and therefore see them as a hindrance in purchasing a home. There are however rare occasions where some buyers may even welcome a pool, but this is rare. The only time a pool can be used as a selling point is perhaps in luxury real estate, but for the most part I agree with you Fantastico, pools=lower prices or generally a tougher sale.

I have sold several homes with pools and the issue of the pool always comes up. I believe a fair valuation would be is the actual cost is in filling the pool and lanscaping the area Filling a typical pool will cost anywhere from $10,000-%15,000 to fill professionally. Simply landscaping a backyard will cost you roughly $2500 for sod, $1000 for sprinklers, $1000 for plants and trees, and $2000 for hardscaping. Total cost of lanscaping and filling the pool should be between $16,000 and $20,000.

Prices will vary by pool size and if you cannot get a bobcat or tractor to the back, so its wise to get an estimate from a professional pool demolition contractor. While preparing to put the home on the market, I will obtain an estimate for the removal and lanscaping, so if it becomes an issue, which it always has, we can present it to the buyer as an option.

I would not deduct it from the list price, but add it as an incentive if the buyer requests it.
1 vote
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Hi Fantastico, I wouldn't venture to say that a pool always equates to a discount. I think geographic location and affluence of the neighborhood has a notable influence on whether a price discount or a price increase is typical. Hence, it would reason that demand would also be influenced by the same geographic locale.

For example, after reviewing 30,000 home sales in Philadelphia from 1996 to 2003, NAR reported in 2004 that property values jump about 8 percent because of in-ground pools and fall by roughly 2 percent because of above-ground pools.

If you are interested about the other characteristics of homes and their pricing influences contact me offline and I will email you the study results.

Best, Steve
1 vote
The Medford…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Apr 16, 2009

We find that the pool does not diminish price, but it doesn't add anything either - it's a wash. What a pool WILL do, however, is decrease the number of buyers for the home by about 50%.
Web Reference:  http://www.carlmedford.com
1 vote
Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Hello Fantastico and thanks for your question.

I'm not prepared to say that a pool is guaranteed to generate discounted price for a home--especially if the home is located in a good school district. Amongst certain ethnic groups (Asians, for example), a pool is a disincentive because of the maintenance and insurance costs, as well as the "inauspicious aspects" of such large bodies of water on the property--feng shui. Since a disproportionately larger number of homebuyers are Asian, homes with pools don't have quite as much appeal as those without a pool. However, if a buyer likes the home, the property configuration, the location and the schools, a pool will not create a huge disincentive to purchase nor a discount over homes without pools.

As with any home purchase (with or without a pool), comparables will help gauge the purchase price of the property that you're considering. Speak with your real estate professional to determine how best to price your offer or list your home. In some cases--especially if the home is not necessarily located in a good school district or location, it can be advantageous to be open to asking for or offering a discount to remove a pool from the property.

Good luck and happy house selling and buying!!

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
0 votes
Norman Aless…, Agent, San Jose, CA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Hi Fantastico,
This is Allyson, I'm going to take your question from a different angle as the other Realtors have given you there perspective. I have been working mainly as a buying agent ( though I am also an experienced listing agent ) and most of my buyers just WON'T look at homes with pools. There main issue is the safety of there children. As far as price differential I do not know a percentage of price difference because it ALL depends on price range of the homes you are comparing. High end homes I don't think it makes much of a difference,at least with my buyers. Middle priced homes it may make a difference as fewer people want pools at this level.Now the LOW end homes now it does make a difference as most purchasers are 1st time home buyers or investors. The 1st timers usually have small children or are planing on starting a family and Don't want there small children near a pool. Now the investors don't want the expence of maintaining a pool and as you SO rightly pointed out the increase in insurance premiums as they are looking for return on their investment they want to keep expences as low as possible.
I hope this helps, let me know if you have any additional questions.
0 votes
Fantastico, Both Buyer And Seller, Menlo Park, CA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Thanks for the answers provided thus far. As I do more reading about costs associated with a pool, I am getting more concerned--a lot of owners with a pool seem to regret their home purchase decision. Previously, I didn't realize that homeowner's insurance will go up significantly. I guess this is due to costs of litigation from slip and fall accidents and perhaps environmental hazards.
0 votes
Earl Girbovan, , Mountain View, CA
Thu Apr 16, 2009
I would agree with Carl, that with maintenance costs and liability, pools are less of an attraction.

If you're looking for a house, and don't want a pool, don't disregard a house that has one. A pool contractor can do what's called a partial demo, where the top 3' of the pool is removed, holes punched in the bottom of the pool for drainage, and the whole thing filled in. Depending on the size of the pool and access, this typically runs ~ $10K. Landscaping the area is extra. Cities are OK with this method, as long as you don't plan to build on top of a pool removed in this way.

This is not a lot compared to the purchase price of a home, and you may be able to get the seller to credit you for pool removal.
0 votes
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