Q: In a townhouse community (where units are owned as condominiums), does a community pool automatically raise the sales price of individual units?

A: That’s a great question, but there’s no easy answer. That’s because adding a significant community improvement like a pool, work-out facility, or other freestanding structure has significant upfront and then ongoing costs that will add something to everyone’s monthly maintenance fee.

If the condo association takes on debt to pay for a $150,000 to $200,000 pool with beautiful landscaping surrounding it, outdoor furniture, and a restroom, paying off that debt can involve instituting a special assessment, or simply raising ongoing monthly maintenance costs.

While having an amenity like a pool might make the community more attractive to other buyers, and thus raise prices somewhat (or hold them steady in a falling market), some buyers will be unable to afford the special assessment or an increased assessment.

The question you have to ask is will the benefits of building the pool more than offset the costs of installing and maintaining it down the line? If yours is the only community that doesn’t have a pool, you probably have to build one just to compete. If yours will be the only community to have a beautiful pool, then it will likely raise the value of the property, even if it is only a little.

I hope this helps.

Published: Jul 2, 2008