Home Sales: Can an Eighth Note Make a Difference?

Would a musical note shaped pool be an asset or a liability when it comes to selling this Los Angeles area home?

Photo courtesy of Gail Steinberg Do think this this musically shaped pool would hit a sour note with Los Angeles homebuyers, or would it make the sale sing? 

Los Angeles homeowners are notorious for customizing their property in very personal ways, but we’ve all heard there’s a fine line between what will help, and what will hinder a future sale. For example, in an entertainment capital like this, a fully built-out music studio might be considered a real asset. But a pool shaped like an eighth note? Too quirky/kitchy for most buyers, perhaps?

That theory was put to the test recently, when a unique home in Colfax Meadows came on the market. Romance, rather than resale value was the first thing the owner had in mind when he constructed a pool shaped like an eighth note to honor his bride to be, who was a professional singer.

Now, it would be one thing if the pool were just one unique feature in a vast backyard. But, as you can see from the photos, it pretty much dominates the entire space, which is not that big.

By Colfax Meadows standards, this property is relatively small: the lot is 6,752 square feet, the house 2,090 square feet, and it includes three bedrooms and four baths. This in a neighborhood where acre lots with houses over 5,000 square feet are common.

Photo courtesy of Gail Steinberg From the street, this looks like an average home, and in most markets it wouldn't appear to be in the million-dollar range. But the pool shaped like an eighth note just might affect the value ... one way or the other.

“Note” that the yard has a waterfall and a spa, but if you compare the pool to the nearby furniture for scale, you’ll see that the stem is actually quite narrow. Some potential buyers joked that they’d have to confine themselves to the rounded end, because they wouldn’t fit in the narrowest part of the pool. It’s definitely not for everyone.

But at the end of the day, according to real estate agent Gail Steinberg who recently represented the house, size didn’t matter, nor did shape.  In about two weeks she had multiple offers. Steinberg says it’s all about the neighborhood.

This property happens to be within strolling distance of the trendy Tujunga shopping and dining area, and walk neighborhoods like that are all too rare in Los Angeles. It’s also in one of the best public school districts in Southern California, which are also too rare in L.A.

Photo courtesy of Gail Steinberg Although there is a spa, waterfall and a small deck area, it's obvious that this small pool shaped like an eighth note pretty much dominates the backyard. 

Since the pool was put in, it’s been purchased by a couple of doctors with a young family, and most recently by a single guy who thought that the guesthouse on the property would make it attractive to roommates/renters.

He also saw the investment value. In most other neighborhoods across the U.S., you’d think this property wouldn’t be valued anywhere near $1 million, but Steinberg says the sellers got the full asking price of  $1,125,000, having risen at least 25 percent over the past year or so.

So it would appear that in this hot neighborhood and others like it, the days of keeping your home in generic condition to help retain its resale value are in the past. If your house is in a good place, you can be as romantic as you wish, customizing to your heart’s content – and you’ll still make beautiful music when you sell.

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