Summertime is coming, and that means it’s time to get the swimming pool ready. If you don’t have a pool – but are considering one – it’s a good time to ask if this major investment will add value to your home.
Before adding a pool to your home, consider the following:
1) Where do you live? According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, the three most popular states for pools are California, Arizona and Florida, where they can be used all year long. The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals estimates there are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States.
An in-ground pool can add 7.7 percent more value to a home’s market value, according to the National Association of Realtors. But in colder climates, a pool can actually decrease value because of added maintenance costs. In the Carolinas, we can use a pool for approximately half the year.
2) Do you prefer to travel or would you rather relax at home? Reconfiguring your backyard into a vacation spot with a hot tub and pool can be a savings over the cost of a vacation or a second home. The Wall Street Journal estimates the annual cost of having a pool as follows:
- $500 to $800 per year in chemicals
- $100 per month in electricity for the pump
- 10-15 percent (estimated $3,000-$5000) of the initial investment for annual maintenance/service/repair costs and additional liability coverage.
3) Looking for a new way to exercise? Swimming is an excellent, low impact aerobic workout, and ideal for those who don’t run, cycle, or enjoy going to the gym.
4) Want to improve your home’s exterior? A swimming pool can be a pleasing addition to a home. Waterfalls, stone work and grilling areas can enhance the exterior beauty of the home and make it attractive to buyers.
5) Do you have young children? Many buyers with small children – under age 5 – are concerned about accidental deaths by drowning. Most local regulations require some sort of secured area to limit pool access by children or other unauthorized persons.
One final thought: The higher the price of the home, the more likely you are to find a pool. As of May 3 in the Triad MLS:
- Of 10,500 homes for sale, 3 percent (311) had a pool or access to a pool.
- Of 639 homes for sale over $500,000, 14 percent (92) had a pool.
- Of 275 homes for sale over $750,000, 22 percent (61) had a pool.
- Of 125 homes for sale over $1,000,000, 30 percent (37) had a pool.
As with most lifestyle investments, a pool will not provide a dollar-for-dollar return when it’s time to sell the home. And because the value of a pool is in the eyes of the beholder, a pool may help reinforce the selling price of a home, if the buyer wants it; an appraiser, however, is unlikely to see it as value.
So if you think it would be cool to have a pool, be aware that your investment will bring little return, but likely, countless hours of fun and enjoyment for you, your family and friends. Have a great summer!
By Tony Jarrett (Regional Vice President, Triad)