Many of us as children held the idea of a house with a pool as the top in luxury and therefore the most desirable possible situation. However, the adults in our lives weighed the situation differently for a good reason. Along with the beauty and good exercise options of a pool, there are upkeep costs and time commitments to keeping a pool clean and in working order. Let’s look at some of the ways to consider whether a pool will help or hurt your home value.
If you’re thinking about adding a pool to your home, a few questions can help you determine how a pool will add value. For instance:
- If your neighborhood has primarily homes with pools and is in high demand (look at comparable homes to your own), that’s a good indication that people in this area are successfully selling homes with pools and that people know to expect that from this neighborhood.
- If you know you won’t be selling for a few years and have one or more active swimmers or pool-party entertainers in the home, you’ll gain a lot of value from the pool with or without a boost in home value – the key is to not just “put in a pool” right before a sale as some kind of last grab for value.
- If your real estate agent is seeing a lot of people who have pools on their must-have list of qualifications for a home, that can be a reason why a pool is a good investment. During the early pandemic, homes with pools saw a boost because so many people wanted to be able to relax and workout at home.
Even if you have all three of the above, however, the fact of the matter is that you aren’t guaranteed a big home value boost from a pool. There are some people who would happily pay much more for a home so they don’t have to handle the pool installation process themselves, but for every one of those, there are 2 or 3 prospective buyers who know they don’t have the time or interest in keeping up a pool. The narrowing of your buyer group means that you may get a good offer or you may get a lower-than-wanted offer from that one pool-interested buyer.
Other issues you may run into: while people who want a pool may pay your current home value + the cost of a basic pool, many won’t see the home as worth the full cost of a luxury pool install. Many people who opt for more luxurious materials or water features alongside their pools won’t see 100% ROI in their house sale, so it’s better to choose a luxury pool installation if you will derive joy from it personally for years to come, rather than seeing it as an investment. If you’re thinking about home value and personal enjoyment, a more basic pool install that is easy to clean and inexpensive to maintain will keep your options open a bit more.