If you are trying to decide whether to install a swimming pool in your backyard, the potential value it could add to the home can be enticing. However, the benefits are not always worth the cost of installation. Because there is so much uncertainty regarding the actual value a pool adds, the financial considerations should only be part of the decision-making process. The enjoyment you and your family will get out of the pool could make it worth the investment even if the money you spend on it exceeds the value it adds to your home.
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Type of Pool
The type of construction is the most significant factor impacting a pool's value. Above-ground pools rarely add value to a home, but in-ground pools often do. According to the National Association of Realtors, in-ground swimming pools add an average of about 8 percent to the value of a home, while above-ground pools add no value. Some sales contracts even require the seller to remove the above-ground pool before the buyer takes possession of the home.
The condition of the pool's surface and deck will also affect the amount of value it will add to your home. You can expect full value only if the pool is well maintained and built from quality material. For example, a pool with a fiberglass or gunite surface will add more value than a pool with a vinyl liner that will eventually require replacement. You might also gain some benefit from the improvements surrounding the pool, such as a security fence or patio furniture.
The value of a home and its improvements is also dependent on the neighboring homes. If swimming pools are common in your neighborhood, buyers might expect one. Your home could be devalued if it is the only one that does not have a pool. On the other hand, buyers might prefer a home without a pool if none of the other homes on the block have one. In neighborhoods with a lot of children and pets, you might be required to spend money on a safety fence to prevent anyone from accidentally falling into the pool.
Obviously, pools are going to be a more attractive feature in warm climates than in areas where it is too cold to swim for most of the year. In regions with long and scorching summers, a swimming pool is considered standard and fewer buyers will be interested in your home if it does not have one. In these areas, the maintenance costs of the pool are more likely to be seen as a necessary expense. In cold climates, however, paying for pool maintenance can be a hassle when you are not able to use the pool for the majority of the year. Having a pool in one of these areas might actually diminish the value of the home.