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Do Above Ground Pools Add Value?

Posted 04-20-2010 at 03:24 PM by bbkennedy
Updated 06-06-2010 at 02:44 PM by bbkennedy (sentence fragment)


One of my clients asked me about the value of his above-ground pool. He bought a 'fixer' in an east end subdivision and wants to know if he should keep the pool or get rid of it.

I couldn't find enough sales in his subdivision to make a graphical study so I searched the MLS to identify a couple of similarly priced subdivisions that did.

In the course of my efforts I learned that the above-ground pool mecca of our metro area is Hillview and the areas directly to the north and east of it. I chose one subdivision from this area, Hunter's Hollow.

Next, I went east just inside the Gene Snyder to Fern Creek were I found the sister developments of Farmgate & Farmgate Springs.

My results will surprise many real estate veterans, appraiser & real estate agents alike. Appraiser's are trained not to give them any value since they aren't considered "real estate" according to Fannie Mae appraisal guidelines. Realtor's typically follow suit.

For years as an appraiser I have had to deal with the dilemma by skirting the issue. Time and again, I noticed these houses sold for a premium. When I had to appraise a house with an above ground pool I dealt with issue by making sure to include other houses with them. That way I could give them value but under the underwriter's radar.

Based on the sales in Hunter's Hollow an above ground pool adds about $5,500 to the value of a property. The typical property used in my study from this subdivision is 1,100 Sq.Ft. and the pool tends to give it a $5.00 per Sq.Ft. premium.

In Farmgate & Farmgate Springs a typical premium is about $5 to $7 per Sq.Ft. but the houses are larger. The average house in my survey was about 1,450 Sq.Ft. in these developments so an above ground pool tends to add about $7,000 to $10,000. Not too shabby.

Take a look at my graphs here- Value Added by Above-Ground Pools

A note of caution. First, if these types of pools aren't well accepted in your subdivision I don't think you'll realize similar gains. They were fairly common in the subdivisions I did my study on which means people there like them. Second, my years of experience has taught me that the people that have these pools tend to have more disposable income than their neighbors. This often translates to their houses being better maintained and updated too. Regardless, there is no denying that above ground pools add considerable value in some neighborhoods.

For more resources and information about real estate in Louisville & Mt. Washington KY, including MLS & open houses searches, visit www.kennedyvalue.com
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