Michael Mahoney - Boston Realtor with Century 21
Michael Mahoney

Will an Empty Pool Affect the Value of a Property?

Will an Empty Pool Affect the Value of a Property?

Will an empty pool affect the real estate value of a home

Agents in the Office Asked If an Empty Pool will Affect a Home’s Value

does an empty pool when buying a home

Recently in our office a question was raised about the value of a property when trying to sell it with an empty pool.

It’s my opinion that anytime something at a piece of real estate is not shown in it’s best light that it will affect the value.

If you have a buyer and you tell them that the pool worked great in 2012 that’s fine and you can make the claim. However, it’s my opinion that the buyer’s mind will wander and then they will go to the Internet and look for information about the “empty pool” that has been sitting for a number of years.  Then they will find articles about the maintenance and repair of the pool. Once they find those articles it will be the “kiss of death”.

They will always assume the worst case scenario since that it is what buyers do.

One such article was written by Melissa Tracey on August 30, 2010
45 for Realtor.org.   This article details the expense of keeping up a pool.

Are pools worth the expense?

Pools - are they worth it? This was written by Melissa Tracey on August 30, 2010 45 for Realtor.org

Here is what Melissa had to say about pools in her article:

On a hot summer day, who isn’t envious of the house with the inviting, backyard pool to jump in and cool off? But today’s cost conscious home buyer may be leery of taking the plunge with buying a home with a pool, viewing the upkeep as putting them in the deep-end of mounds of extra expense.

In-ground pools can be attractive features when selling a home; Realtor.com allows buyers to narrow their home search to properties with only a pool. However, some buyers are looking more closely at the added expense, just as some home owners are even opting to remove that once-considered jewel of the backyard.

You can see Melissa’s full article on pools here

People Who Want Pools Want Pools and the Water that Comes with Them Too…

I think many people who are looking for a property with a pool are definitely looking at the property for that reason. I was a person who was looking for a pool at my next property. I think had the pool been shown empty, I would have hedged my offer for sure. Pools are expensive to build and it’s easier to find a property with an existing pool. Today I am responding to your question about the value of the home and if the empty pool will be affected. I can assuredly tell you that it will have an impact for sure.

People who purchase homes with pools do so for quality of life reasons. Here is what The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals had to say:


The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, a trade association representing the industry, recently posted a response to The Wall Street Journal’s article questioning the expense of a pool: “There are many, many things – including pools – which people choose to buy because it makes their lives better,” the association writes on its Web site. “A pool or a hot tub may or may not be a financial investment, but they are most assuredly a quality-of-life investment.”

From my home office, this is what quality of life looks like with a pool.  Here is a pic from the home office today.

Pools are part of a home purchasers decision for luxury


Will the Buyer Get Financing Without The Pool Water?

My friend Randy Hooker an agent out in Gilbert, Arizona was involved as a buyer’s agent in a real estate transaction where there was no water in the pool. Just when he thought they would be close to getting to the closing table the bank said, “hey wait a minute”.

Here is some of the letter Randy Hooker shared on his blog post about the empty pool and financing.

“The purpose of this letter is to address the empty pool at [referenced] property. The buyers have applied and been approved for an FHA loan in order to purchase the property. The credit approval part of this process has been finalized and is complete.

To obtain full and final approval and successfully close this transaction we need to obtain property approval. Upon reviewing the appraisal it came to our attention that the pool is currently empty. According to FHA guidelines, the pool must contain enough water to allow the pool’s pump to successfully circulate the water. The pool’s current state will not allow us to move forward on this transaction at this point.

In order to approve the property, the pool must be filled with water to meet the above mentioned criteria for a period of time long enough for the appraiser to re-inspect the pool. This is for 2 reasons. The first is to ensure that the pools systems are functioning. The second is that to ensure that the pool can hold water to avoid any safety issues.”


Can you get Insurance on a House with an Empty Pool?

I called a colleague of mine who I often use for insurance questions and to get homeowners insurance for clients. Here is what Jeff Lydon of Lydon and Murphy Insurance had to say:

A empty pool is an insurance problem. Most home insurance carriers will not cover a home with an empty pool. If it’s a situation that the pool is just simply not being used by the current homeowner and it has a security cover, some carriers maybe willing to give the new owners a small window of time to get it operational.

If the pool is empty due maintenance issues and has fallen into disrepair, then finding coverage could be difficult and coverage maybe only possible thru an excess lines carrier. If there is a mortgage company involved, they may not accept coverage from an excess lines carrier.

If you need homeowners insurance or were recently denied coverage,  I would call Jeff Lydon of Lydon and Murphy. Jeff has a special knack for being able to navigate the difficult road to becoming insured.  As Jeff likes to say “don’t just renew, review”.

search for homes with pools


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