Article Provided by Joseph Callaway – Those Callaways Realtors
Years ago, a client called me to share his excitement at no longer having to pay for pool maintenance. He explained in detail how a company came out and, for a fee, they jackhammered the bottom of his recently emptied pool so that future rainwater could drain through his giant concrete relic. They broke up all the decking and dumped it into the hole, then brought in a couple of truckloads of sand and soil. A big machine finally pounded his new yard to compact the soil.
Once done, landscapers brought in decorative rock and planted low water use plants. Think cactus with thorns. He was so proud. He no longer had to pay for a pool service. I asked how much this handy work had cost and quickly computed that his savings would pay for it all in 11 years. Also, without sharing because he was so proud, I thought about how much he had reduced the value of his home and quickly added another 10 to 15 years to recoup the loss.
He truly hated paying that monthly fee. On top of all that, if he ever sells, he will have to disclose to the buyer where the pool was and hope it doesn’t sink the deal. It is hard enough to sell a home without a pool. But a yard full of concrete is a challenge if the buyer wishes to have a new pool installed.
So, what is the value of a pool when selling? First there is the original cost of the pool adjusted for inflation and then reduced for deprecation. This means a newer pool that may have cost $30,000 to $40,000 dollars is still worth $20,000 over comparable homes without a pool. Older homes with older pools may only be worth $5,000 to $10,000 more, depending on the pool’s condition.
The real cost is measured in sellability. Imagine 10 average buyers, nine want a pool and the other one doesn’t care, unless they are like our gentleman who filled in his pool. The odds of selling are good because most buyers want a pool. Now consider the home without a pool. You can always put in a pool you say, but
at today’s climbing prices, this can be an expensive undertaking. The result is that nine of those 10 buyers don’t even want to look at homes with no pool, reducing your odds of a sale considerably. If you could just find that militant anti-pool buyer.
Is there a solution? Yes, there are companies that will come out, drain the pool, and build a deck over it. The cost can range from reasonable to pricey depending on upgrades, but whatever the price, it is a better alternative to jackhammers and bulldozers.
Our office has a pool. We’ve swam in it three or four times on holidays and every Thursday the pool guy comes out to chemical the water and sweep the debris. We recently replaced the filter and every time I write the checks, I think of it as a water feature, like a fountain or a waterfall. At least it’s not a cactus garden full of thorns.
Joseph Callaway is with Those Callaways eXp Realty and has been selling houses for more than 26 years.