This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!
Question: We have made a backyard pool a higher priority on our housing criteria, but finding very few homes for sale that have one. How difficult is it going to be to find a house with a pool already built?
Answer: A few years ago I wrote a column about whether or not having a pool helps or hurts when selling your home. The short version is that, historically, homes with pools take longer to sell and sell at a deeper discount from the original asking price than homes without pools.
It makes sense because most local buyers don’t value having an in-ground pool — they’re costly to maintain, parents of young children see them as a safety hazard, they often take up most/all of the backyard lawn space, and it’s useful less than half of the year.
However, things have changed this year with buyer and homeowner demand for backyard pools increasing. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers behind finding and selling homes with pools in Arlington and Fairfax County. The data below is based on sales of single-family detached (SFD) homes sold since 2015.
- It is REALLY hard to find a home in Arlington with a pool. Only 1.4% of SFD sales in 5+ years have included a pool.
- The average price of a home with a pool in Arlington is artificially inflated by a $45M sale earlier this year. Without that sale, the average price of a home with a pool in Arlington drops to $1,352,000 and $1,423,000 in the 22207 zip code.
- 70% of homes sold with a pool are in 22207 and 22205.
- The highest percentage of homes sold with a pool in the area is in Great Falls, with just over ¼ of the sales including a pool.
- In Arlington, you’re most likely to find that pools take up most/all of the usable backyard space, but lot sizes in Fairfax County are big enough to accommodate a pool and a lawn.
Building Your Own Pool
Most people are shocked when they find out what it costs to build a gunite (concrete) in-ground pool around here, which usually runs $150k-$200k+ before additional patio and landscaping work.
I linked up with local Arlington landscape designer/expert Rob Groff, of Groff Landscape Design, to find out why it’s so much more expensive to build a pool here than elsewhere in the region/country and ask about a common strategy I’ve heard from homeowners to hire an out-of-town company to build a pool for less and pay for their travel/lodging during the project to save some money.
Q: Why is it so expensive to build a pool here?
A: It’s so much more expensive to build a pool here because permitting is more time consuming and expensive, materials and labor are more expensive, average lot size is smaller which oftentimes causes for problems, engineering, municipal related site preparation such as construction entrances, super silt fence, site restoration, drainage, etc are all a factor.
Q: Is it more cost effective for homeowners to hire an out-of-town pool company who builds pools for less money and pay for their travel/lodging?
A: A lot of pool companies don’t include all expenses up front and therefore there are a ton of surprise costs on the back-end of the pool project. I’ve seen this a lot especially from out of area pool companies. We actually setup a spreadsheet and accompany some of our clients in the vetting process. We had a local company at 205k for a pool that a Fredericksburg based company had at 145k. By the time the meeting was over and we corrected the Fredericksburg company to make sure they didn’t leave anything off, they were up at 215k.
Q: Are there more affordable options for in-ground pools that you recommend?
A: In Northern Virginia, a gunite (concrete) pool has been the standard for a long time. On average, we see these coming in at $150k-$200k in Northern Virginia (not including the pool patio and other surrounding elements like landscaping, lighting, etc). Fiberglass pools are growing in popularity and their base price is closer to $55k-$65k (River Pools and Spa). These fiberglass pools don’t feel the same to many homeowners as a true gunite pool, but they save enough money to make people consider them. There are a ton of good videos on their website that explains the differences between gunite and fiberglass, etc.
Thank you very much Rob! For anybody interested in excellent landscaping design consultation and work, I highly recommend Rob and his team at Groff Landscape Design. Pool design, layout and project management is part of their service package for those interested in building a pool. They even have a great financing program available to help spread the cost of what is often $100k+ landscaping projects.
If you’d like to discuss buying or selling strategies, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].
If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. #10C Arlington, VA 22203, (703) 390-9460.
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village