If you asked for my opinion on whether installing a pool on your property would increase the valuation of your home in 2019 or prior, my answer most likely would have been “It depends. The cost to install and maintain can outweigh any increase in value”. My opinion today is in stark contrast to my pre-pandemic professional opinion.
Back then, space, layout, community, and amenities were prioritized very differently. Today, the health crisis has brought to light how valuable more square footage and carefully designed floorplans can be. Home offices, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, private pools, and theaters are becoming more popular, and some buyers are finding the space they need for these upgrades in the luxury market, thanks to record-low interest rates.
Specifically now, in the time of coronavirus, many buyers are still seeking a pool or the space to install one. The idea that their home is the main attraction for their summer entertainment activities drives many decisions because many are still afraid about leaving the house, or worried about paying for amenities they aren’t even able or interested in using.
Swimming pools come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, and are worth more to some buyers than others. So there aren’t always hard numbers to quantify how much money a pool is worth. Many inground pools are valued higher than above ground pools, and some buyers may want a pool, and others may not. Many experts say having a well-kept pool can boost your resale value, especially an inground pool.
In fact, if most of your neighbors have pools but you don’t, it could decrease your home’s worth on the market.
The experts are split on how much a pool can contribute to a home’s value.
One HouseLogic study suggests an increase of 7 percent, at most, under ideal conditions, while HGTV reports that the average inground pool can up your property’s value by 5 to 8 percent. As is true of virtually any facet of real estate, location makes a big difference. Be forewarned, however: The presence of a pool isn’t enough to raise your likelihood of higher resale value. A poorly maintained pool in need of repair or maintenance could drag your home value down and deter buyers instead.
If you’re pondering having a pool built, consider paying for a professional appraisal. This expert can best evaluate if adding a pool will augment your home’s value. Installation of a pool may cost the home-owner around $20,000 but a real estate appraisal may put the pool’s added value to the home at $10,000, $20,000, or $40,000.
Cost to install a pool
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to build an inground pool, including labor and materials, ranges from $20,000 to $60,000 for a fiberglass pool and $35,000 to $100,000 for one made from gunite or concrete. The typical tab for an above-ground model spans $1,500 to $15,000.
Cost to maintain a pool
Pool upkeep and repairs aren’t cheap, either. HomeAdvisor reports that the average cost for basic pool maintenance annually is $1,200 to $1,800.
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. Homeowners can significantly lower their costs by doing some of the maintenance themselves instead of hiring a pool service. Additionally, your costs can be lower if you invest in a saltwater pool rather than a chlorine pool.
Cost to insure a pool
Another cost to factor in is the price to insure your home — your homeowner’s insurance premiums will likely be higher when you have a pool.
The decision to build a pool or buy a home that includes one shouldn’t be taken lightly. Think carefully about when and how much you intend to use it. Explore the extent to which it can factor into your entertaining and recreational plans, and determine if you’ll have the means and local resources to keep the pool operating in good condition.
Only home buyers can truly decide how much a pool will add to their quality of life. Do you have children who will enjoy spending summer days playing Marco Polo? Will a pool make the hot months more bearable? Those reasons alone could be enough to justify owning a pool.
If you’re ready to gain some breathing room in a larger home, it’s a great time to give us a call so we can help you find more space in the luxury home market. Lastly, give thought to how you’ll need to prep and market your property and swimming pool when it’s time to sell. We can help you with that, too.
All my best,