Do Pools Add Value to a Home
February 17, 2018 at 11:33 PM
If you’re thinking of building a pool in your backyard, or even buying a home with a pool there are several considerations you should keep in mind. From the aesthetic design, the pool parts and equipment used to the intended use and your geographic location — realtors weigh in on what home buyers and sellers should consider when it comes to pools.
Naturally, swimming pools are a big sell in hot-weather areas such as California, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, and Arizona, where people can use them year-round. However, pools aren’t just reserved for warm-weather climates, they’re popular in many areas around the rest of the country, such as vacation communities, higher-end neighborhoods, or places with a warm shoulder season (periods between a destination’s low and high seasons).
What attracts people to build a pool or buy a house with a pool? First and foremost, pools allow homeowners a relaxing and fun retreat right in the comfort of their own backyards. Many count time spent with family and friends out by their pool as the main benefit to having a pool. Plus, when it comes to resale, homes with pools can be a big selling point.
High-end homes in the Northeast, where swimming season ranges from 4-6 months, do well with in-ground pools built for entertaining. “Waterfalls and elaborate hardscaping and decking make a difference,” says Linda Chaletzky, a realtor in the Washington, D.C. area. A hot tub should be large enough to accommodate six to eight people.
Jacqueline Lotzof, a realtor in the Chicago region, agrees. “A pool definitely helps sell a luxury or high-end home,” she says. In addition to being beautiful in its presentation, Lotzof says, buyers are also concerned about safety and look for a space to build a fence and mechanical closing system for their pool, if one doesn’t currently exist.
In warm places like Texas, swimming pools are far more prevalent at many homes. One that comes with good landscaping, hardscaping, and features like waterfalls “can make a huge difference in the appearance of a backyard,” says John Cooper, a realtor in the Houston area. “This will help sell the house more quickly and at a higher price.” Not only that, he says, high-end homes in this area are expected to come with a swimming pool and all the amenities, including beach-entry, hot tub, and outdoor kitchens.
Regardless of your location, here a few factors that are important when selling or buying a home with a pool:
- The condition of the pool. Age isn’t so much a factor as much as how well-kept it is. Like buying an old house, an older pool shouldn’t look run-down. While the pool doesn’t have to be the latest style or have the trendiest features, you’ll still want a clean, tidy, smooth-running system. If you’re selling, be sure to repair any cracks, scrub the decks and the pool surface, trim back any trees, and clean up the landscape. Add some new deck furniture and décor, and your pool will entice buyers to make an offer.
- If your equipment is dated, upgrade it to newer, energy-efficient standards. One factor that might scare off a potential buyer is the amount of utilities a pool might require. Today, there are plenty of energy efficient and environmentally-friendly equipment options and products to operate your swimming pool. Even if you’re not selling your house, you can upgrade the equipment to reap the rewards yourself and know that, if and when you do sell, the inspector can only say good things about it.
- If you haven’t built your pool yet, make sure there’s enough space to allow for other activities in the backyard. Avoid turning the entire yard into just a pool – you will want enough room for a dining patio, a swing set, and a garden.
- Make sure the pool style matches the home. “The pool should look like it fits in with the rest of the home’s décor and be an extension of the style of the home,” Lotzof says.
The main thing to keep in mind when considering a pool is the experience and value of family time and time with friends that comes with a pool investment. Swimming pools bring families and friends together, combined with outdoor dining and time outside, rather than in front of the television or tablet. That type of quality time doesn’t come with a price tag.