By Brad Litz
Real Estate Broker, Appraiser & Investor
It was easy to pick a topic to discuss for this month’s issue as spring is arriving and I know that most of our neighbors are ready and raring to get outside! Personally, it’s my favorite time of year as I think of preparing our backyard to host another summer of pool parties, impromptu get-togethers, my daughters’ second birthday and our annual race party. There is definitely something to spring that gets me motivated to get outside and enjoy not only my own home, but everything the neighborhood has to offer such as taking leisurely strolls with my family, catching up with neighbors, or enjoying one of the outdoor dining options.
As spring approaches, I always get questions as to whether or not outdoor spaces, including pools, patios, and decks, add value to your home. Typically the answer is yes, but that should be explained further before you order your new pool to be installed. From my experience with pools, through having my own and helping many clients with theirs, is that a quality, in-ground pool is going to cost you more than $40,000 (depending on construction type, size, shape and filtration system) and that doesn’t include the landscape and hardscape. You will recoup some of this cost when you sell your house or have it appraised, but it will likely be about 25% of the cost of the pool, not including landscaping and hardscapes. I certainly don’t mean this to deter anyone from having a pool, but you should consider it as an expense rather than an investment.
The more affordable options for exterior spaces are decks and patios. These are relatively inexpensive options compared to the use you will get out of them and as long as you install either of these at a market price, you will recoup much of the cost. As well, if you don’t have a functional outdoor space it will affect your value negatively as any buyer will instantly recognize this as a cost to them if they purchase your home and, if you are having your home appraised, it is likely all of the comparable properties will have an outdoor space, resulting in a negative price adjustment for your house.
I would give some quick tips on how to prepare your lawn for summer, but I am no green thumb and I’m sure any of the experts in the area would be happy to help you! Our neighborhoods really come to life in the springtime and I look forward to seeing everybody out and about!