Surely we don’t have to tell you all the benefits of owning a swimming pool. From hosting great backyard get-togethers to taking a dip anytime you want, the benefits of having an in-ground pool at your house are self-apparent. But does it add value to your home?
Pools are certainly popular, and recent research suggests that adding an in-ground pool can boost your home’s value by approximately 7%. But the cost of pool installation and ongoing maintenance expenses may outweigh the potential value increase.
In other words, it’s complicated — more so than other exterior home-improvement projects. If you’re thinking about buying a home with a pool, or installing a pool, we recommend considering the pros, cons and factors influencing the issue.
Getting A Good Return On Your Investment
Many homeowners have an in-ground pool installed with the idea that it will increase the value of their home (while others have little to no concern about how this will impact the value of their home and are only concerned with how the pool will impact their family’s quality of life and the enjoyment they will derive from the addition of the pool). Sometimes this idea works out, and sometimes it does not. It all comes down to getting a higher return on your investment than you put into it. Having a pool put in makes good financial sense if:
- Your backyard is big enough to still offer plenty of open space after installing a pool.
- You live in a neighborhood in which most of the homes have pools (in which case not having a pool could make your home harder to sell).
- When you live in an area where the weather is warm most of the year, a pool offers more benefits.
Whether or not a pool will boost your home’s value also depends on the pool’s style, condition, and age. Generally speaking, the more years go by after installation, the less likely a pool is to recoup its costs.
How Much Value Does a Pool Add to a Home?
Adding an in-ground pool can increase your home’s value as much 7% — that’s the number that’s often cited by residential real estate authorities however, the actual amount of value a pool adds will vary by market.
For instance, in a warm-weather market like Los Angeles, homes with pools sell for about $95,000 more than comparable ones without, per a recent report. Given that the median LA home price is around $909,000, that’s a 10% increase. But in other parts of the state, the report notes, the pool offers less of a bump — anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000 more — which works out to a modest 3 to 7% increase, even with the lower home prices in those areas.
As is true of virtually any facet of real estate, location makes a big difference. In towns with a below-average number of homes with pools, an owner with a pool could see a large increase in value because of their unique selling proposition. Also, neighborhoods that are heavily populated with families with school-age children will likely see the greatest increase in the need for pools, and even more so in communities without a nearby public pool.
Considering The Costs
Understanding what sort of value a pool can add is important but it’s essential to examine the costs before you commit. Ongoing pool maintenance, repair and insurance costs can add up, and these costs could be off-putting to some prospective buyers.
Pool installation costs
At present, According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to build an in-ground pool, including labor and materials, ranges from $45,000 to $85,000 for a fiberglass pool, and $55,000 to $100,000 for one made from gunite or concrete. That’s before factoring in the lighting, landscaping, and fencing — a safety fence around the pool is a requirement in many states including Ohio.
As indicated costs depend on the type of pool you choose. Fiberglass shells and pools with vinyl liners are less expensive but often need more maintenance. Some need to be replaced as frequently as every ten years. And not to focus too much on the negative, but you’ll also be responsible for the ongoing costs of heating, filtration, and maintenance over the lifetime of your pool.
Pool upkeep and repair isn’t cheap, either. HomeAdvisor reports that the average cost for basic pool maintenance annually is $500 to $4,000. Throw in utility costs (like water and, if you use a pool heater, fuel) and the combined yearly total can be up to $10,000.
Upkeep will require buying and adding chemicals to maintain proper pH levels and prevent algae growth, having the pool vacuumed and cleaned regularly during swimming season, and purchasing accessories like telescoping poles and attachable brushes and leaf skimmers.
If you plan to stay in your home a while, you’ll also need to consider bigger repair or upgrade projects. For instance, concrete pools may need to be resurfaced eventually, which can cost between $2,250-$15,000, according to HomeAdvisor.
These ongoing costs have traditionally been one of the things that have dampened pools as a selling point. However, homeowners can significantly lower their costs by doing some of the maintenance themselves instead of hiring a pool service.
Some recent tech innovations have helped, too. For example, your costs can be lower if you invest in a saltwater pool rather than a chlorine pool, or through the use of products such as Pool Rx which can reduce pool chemical needs by up to 70%.
Homeowners insurance increases
Another cost to factor in is the price to insure your home — your homeowners insurance premiums will likely be higher when you have a pool.
Most insurance policies cover up to 10% of the cost to replace external structures or fixtures like a pool, and also at least partially cover most swimming pool accidents.
While the liability portion of your homeowner’s insurance covers pool accidents if a guest is injured or dies, you can still be legally held accountable if you were not providing a safe swimming environment when you allowed guests to use your pool
An in-ground pool might be a worthwhile investment, or you might be better off buying an above-ground pool, which will cost a fraction of the price but won’t do much in the way of boosting your home’s value. If you’re still on the fence, talk to your real estate agent to help weigh the pros and cons.
It may also be smart to pay for a personal umbrella policy that gives liability protection beyond the limits of your homeowners policy.
Final Word on Pools Adding Value to a Home
Know what you’re getting into before committing to a swimming pool. Of course, it can provide a lot of enjoyment, but as an investment, it’s an iffy proposition. Maintenance, repairs and insurance coverage can be costly. There’s no guarantee that your home will sell for more money down the road because of the pool or that you would recoup the cost incurred to install it.
You also should give thought to how you’ll need to prep and market your swimming pool when it’s time to sell. The pool will need to be repaired and cleaned, and you’ll want to nicely stage your outdoor retreat. Also, you need to cater to the right buyer and employ good marketing tactics. Higher-end house-hunters, as well as families with kids or teens, are the most likely buyer candidates.
If you’re in a colder climate such as we have here in Columbus, Ohio, you should really wait to sell when the weather is nice and your pool will be open. If you’re selling in the spring, perhaps open it early. The sun sparkling on a newly unveiled pool offers tremendous appeal.
If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please call 614.332.6984 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to assist you!
The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley 43209 Columbus 43201 43206 43214 43215 Delaware 43015 Downtown Dublin 43016 43017 Gahanna 43219 43230 Grandview Heights 43212 Galena 43021 Hilliard 43026 Lewis Center 43035 New Albany 43054 Pickeringto, 43147 Polaris Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235