Baton Rouge Real Estate: Greater Baton Rouge Homeowner Should Not Have Added $60,000 Pool In A $150,000 Subdivision
I ran across a situation in the Greater Baton Rouge Housing Market where a homeowner, located in a subdivision where the average home is worth $150,000, installed a $60,000 Gunite Inground Pool recently. Now, their home is on the market and they are about to be taken through the “school of hard knocks” when the appraiser doesn’t give them any more than $5,000 to maybe $7,500 contributory value for their pool. I’ve been appraising now for 18 years and see these types of situation several times per year and just shake my head when I see this happen.
Why only $5,000 to $7,500 contributory value for a $60,000 “gunite” pool? It’s not that “blankety blank” appraiser’s fault. It’s actually the market, the buyers, that don’t reward such expensive overimprovements. And mortgage underwriters that scrutinize the appraisals when appraisers do.
Is It Common For IG Pools In That Market? Let’s venture this thought process in the eyes of the appraiser! You have to look at the overall market and ask if it’s common for $60,000 inground pools to be installed in subdivisions where the homes are $150,000, which it’s not. Then ask yourself if the average owner in Such-And-Such Subdivision has an inground pool and the answer is no. Look at an aerial map for proof. Is it common for any buyer in the general Greater Baton Rouge market to pay more than $7,500 for a pool on an existing home sale where the price of the home is below $200,000? That answer is generally no as well. There may be exceptions, but they would be very rare.
Mortgage Underwriting Questions? What happens if the appraiser gives more than $5,000 to $7,500 on a pool is the underwriters coming back with a request for comps where the market actually gave that much for a pool. It’s at that point where the sale may fall apart because the appraiser can’t support giving the subject home that much value for that $60K pool in a $150,000 subdivision. I’m sure from the photos that it’s a nice pool, but in this national mortgage meltdown market where this loan may be underwritten in New Jersey, Manhatten NY or California or elsewhere where pools don’t carry much value, then giving too much value to the pool may even cause the lender not to want to do the loan and/or throw up red-flags.
There’s two lessons here!
1.) If you plan on remaining in your home until you die, then live it up and build whatever you want in your backyard (ig pools, metal workshop, that covered patio, wood decking, stone walk-ways, etc..).
2.) If you don’t plan on remaining in your home until you die, and your investment dollars must be wisely spent, then be very cautious about installing ig pools, metal workshops, covered patios, wood decks, stone walk-ways, etc.. because they don’t bring much return on investment. The lesson here is not to invest money in the your backyard and expect to receive dollar-for-dollar return on your investment. The lesson is to invest on the home itself before investing in your backyard.
Greater Baton Rouge’s Home Appraiser – Bill Cobb! Your Local Home Value “Trust Agent”! http://www.accuratevg.com/