Will a Pool Add or Subtract from Your Home’s Value?

Amber Randhawa Homeowner and Homebuyer Tips

Installing an in-ground pool in your backyard may sound like an enticing idea, especially if you do not live in a neighborhood that offers a pool as one of it’s amenities. The investment is likely to cost you at least $30,000, and possibly much more if significant additional pre-work is needed to get a backyard that is not level ready for the installation. You may greatly enjoy this addition to your property, but will it help you or hurt you when it comes time to sell?

Fitting In or Sticking Out

How many in-ground pools can be found throughout your neighborhood? Would your pool be one of many, or would it make your home stick out as unusual for the area? If your home is one of only a few in your neighborhood that boasts an in-ground pool, it could give you the advantage when selling. Meanwhile if pools are relatively standard for homes in your area, your pool may seem less unique. It’s difficult to predict how this will work out for you though – without a pool you may capture the attention of those buyers who do not want one and are tired of seeing them in all the listings in which they are interested.

Buyers’ Wants

As with any aspect of your home, when you decide to sell, how valuable a pool is depends on the people who are viewing it. There will definitely be people for whom a pool is more of a nuisance than an advantage. Families with very young children may feel a pool is too much of a safety hazard, while empty nesters may specifically be looking for a home with a relaxing water feature. You won’t necessarily be able to guess what the housing market will be like when you decide in the future to sell your home, but a pool ends up being more of a valuable addition during a seller’s market when there are fewer houses on the market than there are buyers looking. Adding significant safety measures such as a fence, cover and locking gates will increase your odds of being able to sell a home with a pool even to young families, especially if there are limited options on the market in your area.

Do You Have the Room?

Installing an in-ground pool is perhaps not the best idea if you are sacrificing too much of your yard space for the pool. If you have a small backyard and the pool ends up taking up the majority of the space, buyers may be turned off, even if they would enjoy having a pool. Make sure you have a large enough lot so that there is additional yard space for other activities, if you are concerned about resale value down the line.

Pool (and Pool Area) Quality

Installing an in-ground pool in your backyard is not the time to look for bargains and discounts. You want a top quality pool installed by professionals with years of experience doing residential installations. Consistent maintenance is also important for your pool to retain it’s value. A pool that has not been properly cleaned and fixed when issues arise will lead potential buyers to believe that the pool is more trouble than it’s worth. Attractive landscaping around your pool will also make it more inviting to buyers, so make sure you or your lawncare service gives special attention to your pool area.

The Bottom Line

If you have always dreamed of having your own pool and you will use it and enjoy it, you should go for it. You should not, however, have a pool installed simply because you think it will add value to your home. Be realistic about the length of time you will be spending in your current home, and the amount of use a pool would get from your family, along with the likelihood that you will stay on top of maintenance. A pool is for your enjoyment, not for resale value, so make your decision accordingly.