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Can a USDA Property have an In-Ground Swimming Pool?

March 13th, 2015 by Sean Stephens

The December 2014 changes to the USDA requirements and guidelines removed the prior value restrictions on in-ground swimming pools on USDA eligible properties. These changes have brought the program into line with FHA, VA and Conventional appraisals.

Today’s video tip will keep buyers, sellers, and realtors in the know when USDA financing is involved with a property with an in-ground swimming pool.

If you are thinking about a USDA loan and the property you have found in  Florida, Alabama, Tennessee or Texas with an in-ground swimming pool, there is good news!

USDA loan Florida

Review of Previous USDA Requirements

Prior to 12/1/14 properties that had in-ground swimming pools were not considered in USDA’s modest housing definition. One myth that existed, was that USDA loans would not finance homes with inground pools, but that was not true.  However, financing was possible, but no value could be credited to the pool. For example, if your property appraised for $120,000 and the appraiser noted that the value attributed to the pool was $15,000 – then the most we could finance would have been $105,000.

This previous requirement created confusion among Appraisers, Realtors, and Homebuyers along with creating possible cash to close issues due to financing limitations.USDA loan Texas

Updated Guidelines

Now, we can see another positive change under the updated USDA 3555 regulations which modernize their in-ground swimming pool guidelines and simply state that:

“The agency may approve dwellings with in-ground swimming pools.”

It’s business as usual for eligible properties with in-ground swimming pools!

Make sure to share the good news with any listing agents or sellers when your next offer involves USDA financing with a home that has an in-ground swimming pool.   As always, please feel free to reach out to my team with any USDA property eligibility questions.

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