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To Pool, Or Not To Pool


You asked, I’ll answer! Thanks to Melissa for sending me this question and helping me break through my writer’s block! Melissa wrote:

“Hey, Lisa! Recently, our local paper ran an article about how new homebuyers are gaga for homes with pools… the fancier, the better! I’ve been dying for a pool for years, but have held off because we’ve always believed that a pool can be a liability when selling your home. What’s the scoop?”

This is a great question… to “pool” or not to “pool.” First of all, I’m familiar with the article that Melissa mentioned. It appeared recently in the Tennessean and you can read the full article here. I agree with the premise of the article that pools are a hot commodity right, but especially in new constructions with high-end upgrades and hefty price tags. Most of the builders I work with do find that their clients building million dollar plus homes want beautiful outdoor living spaces with pools and/or water features. They find that the benefits of having a private pool/hottub/waterfall on property far outweigh the drawbacks and it’s also true that a fancy pool can make the difference between a really nice home and truly fabulous one.

So what about the rest of us “normal” folk who live in neighborhoods with the sub-5,000 square foot executive manors? Can we have a private pool without worrying about negatively impacting our resale possibilities? The answer is (a qualified, of course) YES! More and more, homeowners in Williamson County and Middle Tennessee are looking for ways to make improvements on their homes rather than relocating. Partly because it’s tough to find a new home here right now and partly because of the boon in the home renovation market, people are just staying put and upgrading kitchens, baths and yes… putting in pools! While it was true, once upon a time, that some homebuyers (particularly those with small children) were warned to stay away from buying homes with pools, the advances in pool safety and technology have rendered most of those concerns null and void. But, those safety features are also why I’d qualify my previous YES answer a bit. If you plan to have a pool installed, be sure to factor in the cost of safety features. Most neighborhoods with HOA’s have strict restrictions on fencing, etc… It’s likely you’ll have to install a privacy fence before you can start digging and those fences can cost several thousand dollars. Additionally, you’ll want to research the cost of child-safe covers and interior gates to keep your own offspring protected.

One other caution… I do think that a nice pool can increase any home’s value, but not if it is at the expense of any other backyard area. I recently showed a home in a well-known neighborhood in Franklin. The home was lovely… 2,800 square feet, beautifully maintained, updates galore, great design features. Until you got to the backyard. The sellers had built a pool in their tiny backyard and the pool and patio literally took up THE ENTIRE SPACE. There was no grass. No trees. Just pool and pool deck. So, do consider scale… if you have a large enough yard to build a pool and patio and still have grass and trees, I say go for it! Otherwise, I’d look for a nice neighborhood with a great community pool and clubhouse. Most neighborhood in this area have lovely, private community pools that are either part of the HOA dues or available at a low cost.

Keep the great questions coming and enjoy these beautiful summer days… maybe at the pool! 😉

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