Does Installing a Swimming Pool Add Home Value?

Does installing a swimming pool add value or just entertainment to your home?

My house has a swimming pool. I never thought I’d buy a house with a pool, but my sons were 3 and 5 and already loved swimming, and the rest of the house was perfect. So we purchased a house with a pool and enjoyed every moment of it. However, now our sons are long gone and we have a big pond in the back yard (no one swims in the pool) that costs money every month. So here is the skinny on pools.

Installing In-Ground Swimming Pools

Things to consider before installing an in ground swimming pool

First and foremost, installing a pool should only be done if you think it will enhance your and your family’s life, not because you think it’s going to add value. The basic rule of thumb is that a installing a pool doesn’t add value. There are a few possible exceptions:

  • The house is in a very high-end neighborhood and all the Jones’ have a pool.

  • You live in a very warm climate and the pool is used year round.

  • There is plenty of room for not only a pool but a yard and garden also.

There is also a lot of added cost to home ownership when you have a pool. There is of course the upkeep of the pool: pool man, equipment, chemicals, water, added insurance, safety equipment, you get the idea. That doesn’t even take into consideration the cost of installing a pool which can run anywhere from the low of $30,000 to the sky is the limit. You will also have to factor in resurfacing the pool every 10 to 15 years. Then there is the safety issue, if you have small children you will NEED to have some safety features. We had a fence around our pool until our children were in high school and now, 10 years later as we get close to becoming grandparents we wish we had left the fence up.

According to HouseLogic, if you sell your home within 20 years of installing a swimming pool, the likelihood is that you will not have recouped your cost. So the bottom line is that if you want a pool get one and know you are paying for the entertainment or exercise value but not adding value to your home.

Installing Above Ground Swimming Pools

Things to consider before installing an above ground swimming pool

There is another option – an above ground pool. The cost of this kind of pool starts much lower but can also get up there.

Some things that can drive up the cost of installing an above ground pool are:

  • Running electric for the pump

  • Leveling the ground if you don’t already have a nice flat spot

  • Building retaining walls (if you dig down to level the ground)

  • Building a deck around your pool

Building a deck is a good idea in colder areas because it will allow you to drain the pool for the winter without harming it.

Depending on the height of the pool, you may not have to have a fence but you will have to have a locking ladder and pool alarm.

Alternatives to Installing a Pool

If you are interested in adding value to your back yard, rather than a pool you might look into an outside living room or deck space. A survey done by National Association of Realtors found that buyers would be willing to pay a premium for this kind of space. These have become increasingly more popular and can be done reasonably (they can also cost as much as you like). The idea is to create an area where there is seating for 6 to 8 people in a conversational flow. A couple of nice elements that can be added are a fire pit and fan. It’s preferable to have the area covered.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it fits your lifestyle because it is your home. Value should be the second consideration.

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