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Question: Will a swimming pool add value to my property?

Answer: Many years ago, swimming pools were not considered an expensive improvement. Now people are asking me whether spending $60,000 to $70,000 for a pool will make their property value increase accordingly. It's difficult to say, since increase in value occurs for different reasons and increases are hard to measure in this way. Generally speaking, adding a swimming pool will not add value to your home. Many buyers do not want a swimming pool, particularly if it will eliminate a grassy area for children to play. The short answer is a swimming pool is not a great investment but can be a wonderful thing to have.

Q: I have a relative in the real estate business. Should I list my home with him?

A: There's an old expression: Never do business with friends if you want to keep your friends, and never do business with family, because business and family don't generally mix well. Your personal business is your business. Do you really want to discuss of your financial matters and privileged information with a personal friend? It could get very awkward. It is sometimes difficult to be open to friends and family when it comes to what you need and what you want. Keep your business and family separate. A professional would not take personal offense if you were to become demanding or emotional.

Q: When is the best time to sell your home?

A: This question comes up at least once a week. People always want to know when will be the optimal time to sell their home to take advantage of the market. Many people are quick to follow up that question by saying they are totally flexible and in no hurry. The answer is typically different in parts of the country where climate has great significance. Of course, it is always nice to show your house on a warm, sunny day, and it is always better to show a home with a pool when weather is consistently warm.

Also, in many family neighborhoods, school becomes a factor. I often hear people say, "Wouldn't it be better to sell your home when schools are on vacation?" Most people buying and selling do not have children who will be that affected by relocation. They either have children who are too young to be affected or relocate after their children have graduated and have moved on.

The best time to sell your property is when the inventory is exceptionally low and the demand is exceptionally high. It all goes back to the concept of supply and demand. When there is strong interest and very little to choose from, it will be a seller's market. When inventory is strong and demand is mild, the market will shift to a buyer's market. Of course, it is best to sell in a seller's market.

One of the things that will cause inventory to sit and increase is interest rates being on the rise. Buyers will back off, and houses will take longer to sell. As a result, the inventory will build. Buyers also tend to back off when there is uncertainty, either political or economic. Try to stay ahead of changes in the market and negative financial/economic issues.

For more information, please call Ron Wynn at 310-963-9944, or email him at Ron@RonWynn.com. To find out more about Ron and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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