Kuper Sotheby's International Realty's Shay Millheiser knows houses in a way that most Realtors don't. She's been renovating homes since college, and as a global sales advisor with Sotheby's she advises people using her market and construction expertise, often sharing tips on her Instagram at @shaymillheiser.
Now, with a hot Texas summer approaching, Millheiser is sharing her industry expertise about a polemic backyard accessory: swimming pools. Is it better to buy a home that already has one? Or should you tackle installation after you move in?
Absolutely the former, Millheiser says. Here, she explains why:
1. It's way more convenient. Have you tried living with a ripped up backyard for four to six months? Talk to your friends who have and there won't be any need to continue reading.
2. You already know what the end product looks like. We've all got big dreams about the grotto and oasis we see on HGTV, but the reality of planning that out and affording it can be daunting. Buying a home with everything in place takes away the stress of making those decisions.
3. You know all the costs to maintain. Electrical required to heat, system upkeep, chemicals, and maintenance — it all adds up. When you build a pool, you're not exactly sure what that monthly cost could be. With a purchased pool, someone has already set all that up and paid those bills for months — or sometimes years — so you can get all that information prior to even making the purchase.
4. It's way cheaper. Especially for homes that have extensive landscaping and top-tier pools. Building a pool is expensive, and generally that pool and the surrounding landscaping will only be worth 5-8 percent of your home's total value upon resale. For a $635,000 property like 15202 Dorothy Dr. (see below), that means you're only paying $30,000 to $50,000 for landscaping that originally cost the owner over $125,000 to install.
5. You can wrap the cost of the pool into your mortgage. Loans to build a pool once you've already bought a home carry an interest rate of at least 5-6 percent for 15 years. For an $80,000 yard and pool oasis, that could cost you up to $600 a month for just the pool.
Now compare that same $80,000 pool and yard for 50 percent less (the reduced value if purchased with a home), wrapped into a 3.25 percent purchase loan. That same pool would only cost $174.08 a month.
If you're looking for the perfect backyard oasis that's already done, 15202 Dorothy Dr. is available at the recently reduced price of $635,000. The three-bedroom, two-bath in Lakeway features 13-foot ceilings, upgraded wood and tile floors, stainless steel appliances, and a gorgeous pool, spa, and outdoor oasis that originally cost more than $125,000 to install.