Mike Rock, Granite Bay Luxury New Construction...For Less (Complete Design)

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Shawn and Angela Miller
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Amabassador Real Estate - Lincoln, NE
Lincoln and Omaha, NE REALTORS®

We have a 1/2 acre stocked fish pond on our 4 acres and it would fit easily on yours.  They are nice to have and many people expect some sort of water feature like this in the area I live.  Most acreages in my area have ponds. Nice to just walk outside and catch a 4lb large mouth or take the paddle boat for a spin.  They are expensive to create but easily maintained by purchasing pond bacteria, pond dye, algae control, and pond weed spray online.  This stuff is not cheap, but works nicely and keeps the pond water quality in check, especially if you have fish.  But if your building a high end spec, then its just a drop in the bucket.

Here are some tips we have learned about ponds if you go that route:

First things first, have your soil tested for drainage.  Building a pond is not simply digging a hole and filling with water, so you might need an experience designer and survey.  Whoever builds the pond needs to properly pack, using a sheepsfoot roller, several inches of sodium bentonite around the entire base of pond and shores and properly pack dirt over it so your pond does not leak back into the ground or through the dam, if you need a dam.  Most ponds do not go deeper than 8' and is not recommended.  Any deeper becomes more maintenance and possible leaks back into water table. Wait a year and make sure it doesn't leak before stocking fish.  If it leaks, you'll need to pump the water out and repack with more bentonite.  When I say leak, that means dropping more than an inch or two a week during hot evaporation times.  It's easier to drain and fix without killing your fish.

Make sure you have some sort of overflow drain so during heavy rains, the pond won't overflow.  Like a 6 inch pipe buried on one end of the pond that leads to a ditch or something for drainage.  Having a well is nice to keep pond full during times of heavy evaporation.

You must have aeration at the bottom to prevent algae and turn over, either electric pumps or windmill pump with backup electric for when wind is not blowing.  A water display like a fountain is optional .  It will help circulate the top of the water, but they cost a lot of money to purchase and to run depending on voltage.  Some are 120v and others are 220v.  So remember to add in the cost of running electrical to pond.  Run bottom aeration all year so fish survive in the winter.

Forget about mosquitoes.  I have never had issues with mosquitoes around my pond.  This is due to the wind, water action and fish.  Wave action is too rough as they need stagnant, standing water to breed, lay eggs, and hatch.  Plus, if you stock with fish, the fish will eat any bugs or their eggs.  I have more mosquito issues on the ground under some of the trees farther away from the pond when we have wet periods during the summer. 

There are no additional fees with homeowners insurance for mine.  I've got State Farm, but better check around to be sure.  To landscape 2.3 acres would cost a lot depending on what you do and it would also take time for things like tress and bushes to grow.  2.3 acres is a huge area to landscape, your landscape has to match the size of lot, which means go big or go home $$$$$

Ponds are expensive to create and do take time to maintain, however, we get lots of great comments from friends and family visiting our place and how they wished they had one.  Our nieces and nephews love it because they can fish all they want or try to catch turtles and bullfrogs.  But that all depends on the person.  You can't please everyone.

You can read about our main battle with cattails in our first two years of pond ownership here : http://activerain.com/blogsview/4873579/getting-rid-of-cattail-from-your-acreage-pond

We took over our pond in which the former owners neglected control of cattail.  Take a look at the before and after photos. The final photo only shows about 1.5 acres of my 4 acre lot.  There is plenty of room for pond AND landscaping.

As a current pond owner, I hope this helps in your decision. 

Jun 01, 2016 06:07 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

in my opinion, you're bound to lose potential buyers because of it.... there's always the thought of families with children having the fear of their children's safety being challenged!!!  pools have fences, gates and locks.... ponds are open.....

Jun 01, 2016 01:07 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Give the concern swirling around mosquito born viruses I would think this would be a negative.

Jun 01, 2016 03:11 AM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

Will it be a stocked pond? Yes, I think it more maintenance than at least I care to take on - but that's just me

Jun 01, 2016 09:16 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

For us a pond is cheap, trying to maintain one in an arid land may be differnent.

And you should also consider whether you want a natural pond, hole with water or a landscaped and treated for algae and other parts of nature type sanitized pond which seems to be what most urban dwellers expect.

Jun 01, 2016 08:19 AM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

There are pros and cons, but it comes down to your target market. We have a 5 acre pond and it is not inexpensive to maintain;  we specifically looked for a property with a pond, although I am sure we are not in the majority of people who would want to undertake this expense.

You cannot just let it sit there and look nice; it takes a lot of costly maintenance, especially if it is stocked.  We had an additional power box installed by the power company just to power the aeration system we installed to help keep the pond water balanced.  That is just the tip of the iceberg.

As for the positives, it is a wildlife magnet - again, something we wanted, but not everyone appreciates wildlife the way we do. 

I vote for spending the money on an outdoor kitchen area - lots of stone, fireplace, etc.  I think most people love a nice outdoor entertainment area.

Jun 01, 2016 07:39 AM
Grace Hanamoto
Intero Real Estate - Sunnyvale, CA
Quality, Knowledge, Professionalism, Experience

California + Drought + Cali "New Environmental Think" = No on Pond.

I think water features are fabulous and you can absolutely find a great water feature--not a pond--that will add aesthetic value to the property. 

The problem I have with ponds is that they are essentially "non functional" water features. They take up a LOT of space, use considerable amounts of water and cannot truly be used by the owners--too shallow to swim in, too small to boat on, attracts deer and tons of other wildlife that is "cool" for a bit until they start eating all of your garden and dump your trash over--then you start to hate the pond.

I'd opt for a fountain or lap pool, and a super cool putting green to a pond at this time. 

Jun 01, 2016 04:44 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

Liability, expense, weekend killer...

Jun 01, 2016 03:53 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I would never attempt a pond that is not spring fed or creek fed.  No way would I try to fill anything larger than a pool with a well.

Jun 01, 2016 03:49 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I would like a pond. It would attract wildlife like ducks 

Jun 01, 2016 01:02 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

I love water!  If you can get it permitted, and if it is feasible cost-wise, DO IT!

Jun 01, 2016 12:57 PM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

 Mike Rock Looks like you have gotten lots of advice from Rain members.

Jun 01, 2016 12:06 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

My wife loves them and so do the raccoons if fish are in there.

Jun 01, 2016 08:21 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

 I wouldn't do it. For one thing, it does require more maintenance that some buyers may not want to take on. Also, a mother of small children may be concerned with kids wondering into the pond. Others may not want their dog getting into it and dragging the dirt home. ...just sayin': may not be worth the trouble. Spend more on gorgeous landscaping, a pergola or an arbor.

Jun 01, 2016 08:18 AM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Mike - I think the majority of my clients would prefer a pond. Maybe that's because they are very hard to do here - you have to own the water rights to make it happen, unless you want to run it off of expensive public water supply.

Jun 01, 2016 08:04 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Ponds need water to be entering and existing the pond continuosly. If they become stagnant, they become breeding ground for mosquitos, snapping turtles, etc. There is always the liability of a kid falling through the ice, or drowning. They can also become covered with algea. On the bright side, if you aren't near a fire hydrant, a pumper can get water from the pond to fight nearby fires.  I figure around $10,000.00 for a 1/4 acre pond with dam, overflow pipe, etc. If you stock it with fish, many people will constantly be stopping to ask if they can fish. Just depends on your lifestyle and what you like.

Jun 01, 2016 06:30 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I once had  a listing in a nice community . They could see a pond across the street on the othe side and buyers asked if there were problems with mosquitoes. 

Jun 01, 2016 06:28 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

If it's a high end home, I believe the expense will be worth it.

Jun 01, 2016 05:43 AM
Toronto, ON

It will likely depend upon the particular buyer regarding whether they would want a pond as well as the obligations and risks that arise from owning the pond.

Jun 01, 2016 04:03 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

NO pond. Put in some complimentary landscaping, features or walkways

Jun 01, 2016 03:48 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I can't speak to the maintenance aspect.  Personally, I don't have much of a use for a pond, especially if it is stagnant and will need regular cleaning like a pool.  A naturally occuring one would be nice, especially if I could row a boat on it or fish in it (and take up fishing).  I'm going to second Corinne Guest, Managing Broker's comment and recommend the hardscape instead.  If you want a pond, maybe a low pond for koi fish.

Jun 01, 2016 03:06 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

I would only consider a pond if there was running groundwater. Pulling well water for a pond is wasteful both in the water resource and the electricity to supply the water.

Jun 01, 2016 02:52 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

It is going to limit your buying pool

Jun 01, 2016 02:41 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I think you do need to be careful of liabilty but could advertise it as a large enough lot for the owner to add a pond.

Jun 01, 2016 02:24 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I would avoid the pond. I believe you will lose many buyers because of it. 

Jun 01, 2016 02:21 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Do the landscaping and draw the larger audience!

Jun 01, 2016 01:55 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We had a koi pond in Los Angeles.  It was a colossal headache to maintain: mosquito abatement, birds of prey who thought we had begun to serve gourmet fare, ph levels, etc.  We took it out and planted trees instead.   And we all know that those with children today are  concerned with their safety at every point...A

Jun 01, 2016 01:49 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

 Always pros and cons.  I think it depends some on your target client.  Families with small children, probably a liability.  Older folks who like the ambience, a plus.    I would wonder about insurance cost difference between water and no water.  Will be watching replies.

Jun 01, 2016 01:40 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Is the area subject to mosquitos or other critters that might be drawn to it? Is the water in the area hard so you'll need to filter it or have calcification buildup? Theoretically, a pond or water feature should not be a huge issue but profile your buyer - I'm thinking high end home, landscaper and maintenance people so not much problem there.

Where is Laura Cerrano to advise on the Feng Shui implications? (Yes I think it's valuable!)

Jun 01, 2016 01:19 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Shawn & Angela gave you a great answer!

Jun 25, 2017 09:24 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Most of my buyers do not want a pond to maintain. They also are concerned about mosquitoes.

Nov 19, 2016 07:54 AM