Do buyers really stay away from Windsor houses with swimming pools? In yesterday’s post, I did mention that swimming pools are often a problem for sellers. Of course, in Florida, Southern California or other hot climate areas where swimming pools are almost required when buying a home, in our neck of the woods, they are not at the top of most buyers check list.
So what are we looking at in today’s buyers?
1. Buyers who won’t consider even looking at homes with pools.
These are usually buyers with small children. Safety issues are paramount. Also, some buyers don’t want the expense, they will never use it and it’s just another thing to upkeep.
2. Buyers who won’t look at homes unless there is a pool.
These buyers usually have teenage children who really want a pool. Also, buyers who like to swim for exercise and/or entertain frequently where the pool is the main attraction. Chances are, they grew up with a swimming pool and can’t imagine a home without one.
3. Buyers who never considered a pool.
These buyers look at a pool and stand back for a moment to think of the advantages and disadvantages. They aren’t turned off at all and in fact, intrigued. They then think it might not be so bad to live with a pool, or they may want to fill it in. Regardless, they aren’t walking away from the home and the pool is not a deal breaker.
So now, as a buyer, you need to ask yourself: What category do I fall under? Normally, higher end homes will have a swimming pool, though some are rarely used. Other times, pools exist as decorations. But ask yourself, if you enjoy swimming, then a pool might fit in with your lifestyle. But of course, you should only consider a home with a pool if you will in fact use it. It can be costly to maintain and become more of a burden than anything else so you need to enjoy it.
Are there advantages to owning a home with a pool?
1. Many homeowners think it improves their landscaping.
2. As mentioned above, it’s a wonderful feature for entertaining and children love it!
3. It’s a great summer feature. It cools you down on those hot, humid days.
4. It’s great for exercise.
What are the disadvantages?
1. Maintenance. Owning a home with a pool requires upkeep, chemicals, cleaning, repair and closing the pool over winter and re-opening in the early summer.
2. Safety. For many home owners, the risks outweigh the fun. Children can fall in, and constant looking out after small children is unnerving.
3. Pools don’t appeal to the majority of buyers. So when it’s time to sell your home, your pool can be an issue on why your house is not selling quickly.
4. Pools take up lots of space. If buyers prefer a home with lots of yard, a garden, etc., then a pool can be a problem.
5. Cost. Homes that have a pool may experience higher utility bills as well as insurance costs.
As a real estate agent, it all depends on the home before setting a price for a property that has a pool. For the most part, it doesn’t add to the price of a house, but it doesn’t mean that you automatically lower a price. Again, there are buyers out there that fall under two of the categories I listed above: they absolutely want a pool or they never considered it, but the thought of owning a pool home is interesting. The goal is to locate and market the property to these specific buyers.
For sellers: Now that summer is approaching, homes that have pools should be staged properly. Make sure the pool is spotlessly clean and the landscaping looks attractive and welcoming. Clean up all pool toys and store. Buyers don’t want to see a mess, but rather the pool itself. If you have waterfalls or fountains, make sure they are turned on. Also, patio furniture should be scrubbed clean. What you want to create is an outdoor oasis so those buyers who fall in those two categories are instantly attracted to your home.
When marketing a home with a pool, talk with your real estate agent about how best to promote your property. Again, with higher priced homes, pools are often expected, but in lower to middle priced homes, pools are often a surprise. But because most buyers today are looking at properties to live in for a long period of time, some are considering pool systems. They figure that instead of buying a vacation home, they will create their own outdoor paradise.
While pool homes may not be attractive to every home buyer, for many, it’s the best decision they ever made.