How much value a pool adds to your home depends on the market and the buyers within that market.
A pool is an expensive home improvement project that will likely improve your quality of life, but it doesn’t necessarily add value to your home. Some research indicates that an in-ground pool could boost your home’s value by about 7%.
But there are myriad costs associated with pool installation and maintenance. Before you put in a pool or decide to sell a home with a pool already present, there are a number of factors to consider — most importantly, your home’s location.
A pool can increase home value, but it’s not a guarantee. In fact, adding a pool ranked as a home improvement project with the lowest ROI in a recent survey of Orchard experts. There are a number of factors that play into how much, if any, value a pool adds to your home. These are the biggest ones.
One of the most important stipulations to make at the start is that in-ground pools are far, far more likely to increase home value than above-ground ones.
Above-ground pools are generally considered temporary structures and likely will not be included in an appraisal. While they only cost $883 to $5,356 to install, according to HomeAdvisor, the typical buyer won’t see an above-ground pool as an asset. If anything, it’s more likely to deter buyers who won’t want to move the pool or feel compelled to put an in-ground one in instead.
When we refer to pools increasing home value, we are always referring to in-ground pools. Above-ground pools virtually never increase home value.
By far the most important influence is your home’s location. A pool is most likely to increase your home’s value if:
Based on these factors, it’s no surprise that pools are more likely to increase home values in Florida or Texas, while they actually decrease home values in places like Massachusetts.
If there are a lot of pools in your neighborhood, there’s a good chance adding one will increase your home value. For example, in Paradize Valley in Phoenix, Arizona, as many as 91% of homes have pools. If your home was one of the 9% that didn’t have a pool, adding one would likely help your home value.
Finally, not all pools are created equal. Some pools are just really dang cool. Others feel shoe-horned in and prevent any other use of the backyard. A pool that blends nicely with the yard and still leaves space for grass and other landscaping is more likely to add value to a home than one that fills the entire yard with pavers and water.
In areas where pools do add value, a pool may increase your home’s value by as much as 7%. That’s not a hard and fast number, however. As we mentioned, there are myriad factors influencing how much value a pool really adds, and it could be more or less depending on your local market.
For instance, pools actually increase home values by 10% in Los Angeles County. In other parts of California, though, the number is in the 3% to 7% range, according to a recent report by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.
Ultimately, the amount of value a pool adds to your home depends on the market and the buyers within that market. In certain regions, having a pool is a major perk. In others, it’s practically a necessity. In others, the maintenance and installation costs outweigh the benefits of having a pool.
It’s also important to note that in neutral climates where pools aren’t a fixture at every house, homes with pools are actually less attractive to families with young children. You might think they’d want an asset for family fun, but safety concerns and the added financial burden of maintaining a pool often lead young families to avoid homes with pools.
Yes, a pool can increase the value of your home, but they’re not without costs. This home improvement project has considerable upfront and ongoing maintenance costs that will cut into any of the potential profit you’d get from selling your home. Still, it may be worth it to you.
“Pools are not a good financial investment — return is approx. 30% of what you paid. But if you have children, a swimming pool is priceless because you know where your children are playing,” says Dallas-Fort Worth Listing Agent Steve Gary.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to build an in-ground pool ranges between $18,010 and $46,704, and could reach as high as $100,000. So, if you’re thinking about putting one in, know that even with a home value increase, it’s highly unlikely you recoup your entire investment.
Beyond installation costs, pool upkeep and repair isn’t cheap. HomeAdvisor reports that the average cost for basic annual pool maintenance is $500 to $4,000 — and that’s not including utility costs like water and fuel for a heater. You may wind up spending up to $10,000 annually to keep the pool clean and comfortable.
If you keep the pool for a long time, you’ll also have bigger projects along the way. A concrete pool, for instance, will need to be resurfaced at some point, which could cost up to $15,000 depending on the size of the pool.
Installing a pool will increase your homeowners insurance premiums because there’s an additional source of liability on your property. This could also put a damper on a potential sale as any buyer will have to also consider the higher cost to insure the property.
Most policies cover up to 10% of the cost to replace or repair external structures like a pool and offer partial coverage for most swimming pool accidents. Still, there’s an unquantifiable liability risk when installing a pool should someone get seriously hurt or worse in your pool. It may make sense to pay for a personal umbrella policy that gives additional liability protection beyond your standard homeowners insurance policy, which is an additional cost.
There are many reasons to want a pool, both personal and financial. In many parts of the country, a pool increases property value, and sometimes significantly so. That said, it’s not always a guarantee, and any increase in home value will almost never offset the installation and maintenance costs of a pool. If you want to install a pool, make sure you have the space for it in your backyard and will use it enough to be a genuine lifestyle improvement. As a strictly financial move, installing a pool will almost never deliver a positive ROI.
If you’re considering adding a pool to boost your home value, consider these frequently asked questions first:
Homes with pools have the potential to sell faster in regions with warm climates where swimming pools are a sought-after amenity, as they offer immediate recreational benefits. However, the speed of the sale can depend on factors like market conditions and buyer preferences. In some cases, homes with pools may have a broader appeal, but in cooler climates or areas where pool maintenance is seen as a burden, the presence of a pool may hurt the selling time.
Removing a pool can have mixed effects on home value. In some cases, it might lead to a decrease in value, especially if the pool was well-maintained, modern, and an attractive feature in the local real estate market. However, in regions with high maintenance costs, safety concerns, or where pools are less popular due to climate or lifestyle factors, removing a pool could potentially increase the home's value as it eliminates ongoing costs and safety worries, and makes the property more appealing to a broader range of buyers. The impact on home value ultimately depends on the specific circumstances and buyer preferences in the area.
The size and type of pool can significantly influence its impact on home value. A larger, well-designed pool with attractive landscaping and amenities such as a spa or water features tends to add more value to a home, especially in warm climates where pools are highly sought after. In contrast, smaller or outdated pools may not contribute as much to the property's value and could even deter potential buyers if they require extensive maintenance or renovation.
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