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: Have you seen a change in demand for home pools since COVID-19 began?
Answer: In 2017 I wrote that for most homes in Northern Virginia (and the D.C. metro), having a pool had a negative impact on resale because most buyers see them as a hazard, unnecessary expense and/or inefficient use of yard. However, COVID has changed the minds of many buyers and caused demand for homes with pools to increase significantly.
Demand for Pools Much Higher in 2020+
Below is a look at the data (as of April 4, 2021) of homes sold with a pool in Arlington County, Falls Church City, Alexandria City, Fairfax County and Loudoun County since 2015. The numbers were pretty consistent prior to 2020, then demand clearly shifted in favor of pools due to COVID. All indicators improved significantly for people selling a home with a pool.
Demand Similar Across Northern Virginia
I broke down the sales data since 2015 between each Northern Virginia jurisdiction to see if certain markets perform better or worse on sales of homes with pools. It turns out that there’s not much of a difference on where you’re buying in Northern Virginia — the interest in pools seems to be relatively similar across each market. Note how few homes in Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church have pools.
Looking for a Pool?
If you’re looking for a house with a pool in Northern Virginia, I wrote an article last year breaking down what sub-markets you’re most likely to find homes with a pool for sale and the sales data for those homes.
Unfortunately, it’s incredibly expensive to build your own pool here. Most people are shocked when they find out what it costs to build a gunite (concrete) in-ground pool around here, which usually runs from $150,000 to $200,000 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. I also asked 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 problems; and 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 upfront 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 set up a spreadsheet and accompany some of our clients in the vetting process. We had a local company at $205,000 for a pool that a Fredericksburg-based company had at $145,000. 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 $215,000.
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 $150,000 to $200,000 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 $55,000 to $65,000 (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.
If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, 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 DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C Arlington VA 22203. 703-390-9460.
The Arlington Mill neighborhood was the scene of one of the more unusual crashes in recent memory yesterday afternoon. Just before 4 p.m. Sunday, police and firefighters were dispatched to…
An Atlanta suburb is known for its “miles of natural, wooded beauty” — and its 10,000 golf carts. At 26.04 square miles, Peachtree City is just a touch smaller than…
Grumbles About Car Tax — “County Board members have been getting their share of comments, too. ‘We have definitely heard some concerns,’ County Board Chairman Katie Cristol acknowledged, as elected…
The week started as summer and is ending, unmistakably, as fall. On the plus side, we have a stretch of crisp, sunny days ahead, with the exception of some rain…
Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!
Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!
– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!
Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above. In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?
All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).
When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM.
Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved. Join ACFCU for our Homebuying