When you’re shopping for a new home, many planned developments offer tempting neighborhood amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts. But before you dive in, read about the pros and cons.
Pros. Living in a neighborhood with tennis courts and a swimming pool provides easy access to leisure activities without the extra work or direct expense of having to maintain or insure them. Generally, such communities have a homeowners’ associations that collects dues to take care of shared resources. While these amenities may not increase your home’s value directly, they can make your property more desirable to potential buyers. Many active people and families with children tend to prefer neighborhoods that offer these types of amenities. This is especially true if you don’t have a lot of public access nearby, such as a community pool or park. These common areas may also provide an opportunity for a more close-knit community. The pool is a great place to make new friends. In addition, some communities offer low-cost or free activities such as swim team, tennis lessons or exercise classes.
Cons. When it comes to neighborhood amenities and home value, real estate professionals don’t always agree. Most say that a pool or tennis court does not affect your home’s value, but could be a selling point. Some view shared amenities as a drawback. Monthly and/or annual dues are required to maintain and staff these facilities, which are in addition to your mortgage. Also, repairs or vandalism can result in unexpected dues increases. Note: if don’t pay your dues, your homeowners’ association may pursue legal action against you. If the home you’re considering is next to a pool or tennis court, it’s also wise to consider the extra noise and traffic generated by neighbors using the facilities.