Having a house with a pool can be a lot of fun for entertaining, family fun and just cooling off. When it comes to selling the house, however, it's difficult to say if the pool adds value or not. So many factors come into play, including the home's location and the house hunter's preferences. In some cases, a pool could even hurt the resell value.
An in-ground pool may indeed increase the value of your home. If two identical houses are for sale in the same neighborhood, the one with a pool will have the higher sales price according to Deb Guinto, a realtor with Sanderling Real Estate in Punta Gorda, Florida. How much more the pool adds depends upon the real estate market in the area and the pool's condition. If it has cracks or the filter isn't working, it can detract from the home's appearance and make the whole package less appealing to buyers. Above ground pools won't change the value much because they can easily be removed.
There are circumstances where the pool may turn off a prospective buyer. Take, for example, a family with very young children. Even with a fence, locks and alarms, accidents do happen. Pool owners with small kids have to be vigilant at all times, and many buyers don't want to deal with that. Other buyers are leery because of the cost to maintain a pool. Those costs can reach about $5,000 a year when you add regular chemical maintenance to extras like electricity, homeowner's insurance and structural repairs.
Pools are more attractive to buyers in geographical areas where they can be used longer than three months out of the year. If a house is in a neighborhood where pools are common, having a pool is a good selling feature. After all, your buyer may feel left out if everyone else on the block has their own pool. On the other hand, if the house is in a neighborhood with a vibrant community pool, the backyard pool won't be much of a selling point.
Enjoyment Over Investment
Guinto says a pool should never be installed with the idea the investment will be recouped when the house is sold. Whatever value it adds isn't likely to equal your original investment. When you add the money it takes to keep up the pool, your return upon selling is even lower. Installing a pool for enjoyment and improving the quality of life is a different question altogether. For people with that mentality, a pool is worth every penny even if it doesn't make a splash with prospective buyers.
- The Wall Street Journal: Taking a Bath on Your Pool
- Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate: Swimming Pools: Added Value or Limited Appeal?
- Deb Guinto; Realtor, Sanderling Realty; Punta Gorda, Florida
- Increasehomevalue.org: Does A Swimming Pool Add Value to a House?
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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