10 reasons NOT to put a pool in your front yard

Let me give you a bit of free real estate advice. Don’t put a built-in swimming pool in your front yard. I know that sounds silly, but since I had the privilege of walking through a house with a front yard pool last week, I wanted to bring it up. Enjoy a one-minute video tour and then I’ll give you some reasons NOT to install a pool in the front yard – some more serious than others. Watch below (or here).

10 reasons NOT to install a pool in your front yard:

  1. Buyers don’t want pools in the front yard.
  2. There is more privacy in the backyard.
  3. Your house may actually sell for less because of a front yard pool.
  4. Avoid perverts looking through holes in the front fence to check you out.
  5. It’s awkward to try to avoid drowning while walking to the front door.
  6. When people ring the doorbell you can’t pretend like you didn’t hear them like you can when swimming in the backyard.
  7. Skinny dipping seems much more risky in the front yard.
  8. A pool next to a sidewalk begs teens to throw stuff over the fence into the water.
  9. It’s a bad sign when buyers say, “what the heck were they thinking?”
  10. A front yard pool is really not a common feature. Spend time using Google Maps satellite view and I bet you’ll find it very difficult to find many front yard pools.

Now here are some pictures to help create a little more context. You would never know by looking at the home that there is a pool just steps away in the front yard. Obviously this pool needs some repairs, so it’ll be interesting to see if the buyer fills it in or repairs it.

front of house with pool in front yard - sacramento appraisal blog

front view number three with pool in front yard - sacramento appraisal blog

view from bedroom with pool in front yard - sacramento appraisal blog

view from front door with pool in front yard - sacramento appraisal blog

You may also enjoy 10 signs your pool is too big for the neighborhood or How much is a pool worth in the eyes of an appraiser?

Question: Anything you’d add to the list? What is #11?

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Stairway to functional obsolescence

This is a nice looking house, right? It has upgrades galore and is over 4000 square feet. There are five bedrooms, four full bathrooms and a decent-sized lot. This house may be slightly overpriced, but on top of that, prospective buyers have not been making offers. Take a close look and see if you can guess why no offers have been made. What do you see?

Example of functional obsolescence

Why is this house sitting on the market? While this property has many appealing features, the stairs have been an issue for buyers according to the Listing Agent. Why? Because there are stairs to get to the front porch from the driveway, stairs inside from the first floor to the second floor and stairs from the garage to the first floor of the home. We expect stairs inside, but it can be very taxing for buyers to have to walk up stairs to get into the house from the driveway and through the garage. There is literally no other way to access the house besides going up stairs. This would of course be a great way to burn calories, but it would be a pain for grocery shopping, baby transport and many other everyday details of life.

What is functional obsolescence? It is ”a reduction in the usefulness or desirability of an object because of an outdated (or odd) design feature, usually one that cannot be easily changed” (from Investopedia). We see functional obsolescence when there is a feature of a house that is not useful to buyers for one reason or another. It may have been acceptable at some point in the past, but is now outdated, or it may simply be odd and less appealing. Other examples of functional obsolescence include having to walk through a bedroom to get to another bedroom, having no dishwasher in the kitchen, no laundry hook-ups, or having no bathrooms on the first floor of a house.

This is a very nice home that’ll sell eventually, but since all buyers have passed on this property so far, it’ll likely sell at a discount because of the stairs. While appraising a home in this neighborhood, I chose not to use this listing in my appraisal report because of the stairs. I explained in my report why this property was not a good indicator of value for the market.

Would stairs like this matter to you?

If you have any questions or Sacramento area real estate appraisal or property tax appeal needs, contact me by phone 916-595-3735, email, Twitter, subscribe to posts by email or “like” my page on Facebook