While your backyard pool may be the ultimate luxury for you and your family, it doesn’t mean that potential buyers of your home will covet a pool for their outdoor living space. So, if you are considering whether to purchase a pool simply for pleasure or perhaps with an eye toward resale value, you might want to rethink the latter idea, because, when, and if, the time ever comes to put your home on the market, don’t be upset when your beautiful pool is not the drawing card for the sale.
But that said, realtors differ on whether a swimming pool is an amenity which potential buyers might shy away from, while others defend pools as a necessity, especially for homes in upscale areas. A recent study conducted by the National Association of Realtors was done to determine the feasibly of pools increasing the value of a home for resale purposes and here is what was found:
“In-ground swimming pool installations can increase the value of homes from 8 percent to as much as 15 percent. There are some variations by region: in the Southeast the increase in value ranges from 5 to 10 percent, while in the Southwest this ranges from 8 to 13 percent. In addition, in the northern areas, the increase in value range is an average of 6 percent.”
What, if any, are the pros or cons of selling a home with a pool? Now, there are many factors … some pros – some cons, about the resale value of a home where an in-ground pool has been installed. As the old expression about real estate goes, it is all about location, location, location, i.e. the neighborhood in which you live, and, whether you are selling a home in a cold-weather or warm-weather state. But the economy and the type of pool that you install also play a part in recouping the initial expense of the pool.
Let’s look at these factors one at a time
First, it is worth mentioning that the discussion of pools as it pertains to resale value of your home, is relevant to in-ground pools only. An above-ground pool is obviously less costly, and it is not considered a permanent structure in your backyard living space. There is, of course, the option for the Seller to disassemble the pool and take it with them when they move. If the pool is disassembled and simply scrapped in anticipation of putting the home up for sale, restoration of the area where the above-ground pool was located should be done prior to putting the home on the market since the ground will be uneven and may need to be excavated. Then the area should be enhanced by laying sod or putting in concrete to avoid that portion of the yard looking like an eyesore.
For purposes of discussion, this topic pertains to in-ground pools and the pros and cons as relates to selling a home with a pool.
As mentioned above, location is an important factor regarding in-ground pools and resale value for your home. If you live in an upscale neighborhood, then the norm would be that all residences have backyard in-ground pools. Bankrate.com says it best: “In a million-dollar house, not having a pool is a detraction, but they won’t give you much more if you do have one.” So, if you choose to add a pool to a large property in a wealthy neighborhood, the chances are very good that the investment will pay off because home buyers in upscale neighborhoods usually expect every luxury imaginable to be included. If every home in the neighborhood has a pool, and your home does not, potential buyers may just go elsewhere.
By contrast, if the homes in your neighborhood are in the $60,000.00 to $75,000.00 range then an in-ground pool is not a strong selling point, and, in fact, trying to sell your home with a pool could be more of a hindrance than a help. It is unlikely someone would want to purchase a home where the pool is 1/3 the value of the home.
Stepping outside of the neighborhood, and looking at pool use in states across the Union, not surprisingly, there is disparity there as well. People in cold-weather states may consider a pool as a major inconvenience due to the maintenance involved. Pools must be maintained through the warm-weather months, plus, procedures must be done to winterize the pool properly in the Fall, and then once again before using it again in the late Spring or Summer. In the cold-weather states the time frame for outdoor pool use is roughly only half of the calendar year. Not all people are interested in the constant maintenance, nor the costs of maintenance for a mere six months’ maximum swimming pool use.
When pools can be a win-win situation for resale value
Neighborhoods which have no nearby community pools, access to the “Y” or local school pools, might find having a pool is a boost to home selling quickly, especially if the potential buyers are fitness oriented.
But … sometimes pools may not be a magnet for resale value
• Parents, i.e. potential buyers, may see the backyard pool as a safety hazard for their small children or neighborhood children who enter their backyard when there is an absence of an adult in the yard or pool area.
• Additionally, liability issues exist, such as the certain precautions that must be taken when a pool is in a homeowners’ backyard, with fences or locked gates, to ensure children do not enter the yard and drown or suffer other consequences in the pool.
• In cold-weather states, the winterization process for your pool is not always guaranteed. A brutally cold Winter like the 2013-2014 season, or a constant freeze/thaw cycle wreaks havoc with a cement pool, causing deep cracks or fissure and expensive repairs.
Considerations before adding a pool:
Are you adding a pool for the benefit of your family or for the financial benefit of added resale value? Homeowners considering adding a swimming pool to add resale value have to consider the other houses in the neighborhood. Before any project is started, it is important to do some research on the real estate in your neighborhood to see the amenities that other area houses offer and make sure you are not going overboard. If no one in your neighborhood has a pool, chances are that you won’t recoup the cost of adding one when you sell. This is because the average price of a home in your area will likely not include the cost of an added pool, which can require a significant investment. Adding a pool can cost thousands of dollars, but these extra thousands when added to the cost of the home could instantly repel potential buyers. On the other hand, depending on the type of pool you install, some are more of a drawing card than other.
What type of pool is best suited for your property as to resale value?
The three most-popular types of in-ground pools that often will reap resale value for your property when it is time to sell your home are: granite/concrete, vinyl-lined and fiberglass.
• Gunite pools are similar to concrete pools and both are strong and durable so that potential buyers, if they have done their homework on types of pools, will take note that granite or concrete pools don’t require much maintenance or repair, as opposed to their vinyl-lined counterparts. Gunite or concrete pools may be finished with tile, plaster, paint, aggregate or fiberglass and are suited to geographic areas that are prone to extremely high temperatures and/or areas where the soil is known to expand.
• Vinyl-lined pools are structurally similar to above-ground pools and are the cheapest type of in-ground pool available. This is because all that is involved is excavation of the ground to create a hole, then a frame is assembled around the perimeter of the hole. The hole is then filled with sand in the bottom and a vinyl liner is attached to the structure’s wall. For people in cold-weather climates, the maintenance for over wintering the pool is much less extensive – just drain the water and cover it until Spring. However, since this type of in-ground pool is less durable, it is subject to more maintenance costs and upkeep, so the resale value of this type of pool is not as good.
• Fiberglass pools are attractive to potential buyers since they are the least high-maintenance of the three types and require less chemicals, so there is a cost-saving benefit from year to year as well. Because they are factory-built in one piece and molded into the eventual shape for your backyard, you have the ability to stray from a rectangular pool to any shape you want, or wish to fit into your backyard living space. Fiberglass pools’ durability factor is important – there is no vinyl to be replaced due to deterioration or tears and no cement fissures to cause consternation and costs.
Based on the information above, and any research you have done regarding the best pool for your property, you really should consider meeting with a pool installation professional in Stamford who will discuss options and answer any questions you have.
Recapping the all-important reason for buying a pool.
Essentially, you should purchase and install a pool in your backyard to please yourself and not just for resale value. In a down economy, it is probably not a good idea to invest thousands of dollars for a pool, no matter the climate you live in, because people will be looking to pay less for houses. Notwithstanding the pointers on purchasing a pool for resale value delineated above, the purpose of a pool is for enjoyment, so buy the type of pool which best suits your needs and gives you pleasure. Do not discard your individual preferences for the pool, in favor of simply what will have the best resale value.