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Does a Pool Add Value to a Home?

Home with a pool

I get asked all the time if a pool adds value to a home. The answer is yes…and no. I know, a very noncommittal answer. But the truth is, whether a pool adds value to a home is a very subjective one. In other words, it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

If a buyer has no interest in a pool, he/she is going to place zero value on it. In fact, the buyer who has no interest in a pool may be so opposed to a pool that he/she will never look at your home at all. That’s okay though – they’re not your buyers.

You may find that there’s a buyer who doesn’t really care if there is a pool or not. That buyer may have an interest in your home, but will not assign any extra value to the pool when deciding on the offer price.

Then you have the buyers who have to either have a pool or a property large enough to add their own. Even these buyers, though, may not add a price value to the home. For the buyer who wants a pool – or doesn’t care if there is one – there are additional factors that help determine value.

Lot Size

Does the pool take up the majority of the backyard? Even people who want a pool typically want some yard space as well. So if the pool uses the bulk of the outdoor space, this can actually detract from the value.

Condition and Landscaping

It goes without saying: just like the home itself, a pool that is in poor condition from lack of maintenance will take away from the value. The condition of items extraneous to the pool, like landscaping and fencing, will also impact the value. If a home has a beautifully maintained pool with great landscaping (maybe even a waterfall), value will be added to the home.

However, it is important to note: even a pool that may add value will not command even close to the value that it costs to install it. According to the National Association of Realtors National Center for Real Estate Research, “An in-ground swimming pool adds about eight percent to value while an above-ground pool adds no value.”

My recommendation is that you shouldn’t think of a pool as an investment – you will never get out of it what you put into it. But if you want a pool for your own personal enjoyment, I say go ahead…live a little! Just know that you are doing it for yourself and not to enhance the value of your property. And, like anything else in your home, be sure to maintain it.