UPDATE: as of December 1, 2014 Rural Development has removed this rule. Pools are now acceptable and the value will not count against the loan-able value of the home.
When purchasing a home with a USDA loan it is important to remember that if your dream home has a swimming pool there are certain guidelines that you must follow to ensure your USDA financing goes smoothly.
USDA Guidelines state: IN GROUND SWIMMING POOLS ARE PERMITTED WITH THE USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, “as long as loan funds are not used to finance the contributory value of the swimming pool.”
Simply put, If the home you wish to purchase has an in- ground swimming pool the USDA underwriter will require that the appraiser assign a monetary value of the pool and the value assigned to the pool will be deducted from the appraised value of the home.
Appraised value of the home: $100,000.
Value of in-ground pool: $3,000.
Appraised Value (for loan purposes) of the Home $97,000.