How does having a pool affect the value of your home?
Eric Stewart ● July 26, 2018
The weather is sweltering and the air is still and thick. You’ve just finished some rigorous yard work and the sweat is dripping off of you. Wouldn’t you like to take a cool, refreshing dip in your crystal blue pool? Who wouldn’t? But how does having a pool affect your property value?
Depending on what part of country you live, a pool is either an expectation or a detraction, and there are arguments for and against having one. There are maintenance costs, your insurance premium will likely be higher, and if you have kids, the safety risks may be a deterrent. But in the heat of FL, AZ, CA, and TX, where you’ll find the most pools, they are a welcome respite from the heat and could increase your property value by as much as ten percent.
I live in the Mid-Atlantic, where seasons are short and pools are uncommon because the water is only warm enough to enjoy for about three months of every year. Unfortunately, it costs the same to build and maintain a pool here as it does in Arizona even though you get one-third of the use.
If you live where you can’t use a pool often, the general perception is that it detracts from the real estate value, but I put houses with pools on the market in the middle of February and sell them for more than I would in June. Why? There are bigger drivers to the market. The demand cycle for the Mid-Atlantic region is mid-February to mid-May. That’s when homes sell the fastest, for the most money, with the least competition, whether they have pools or not.
In the big picture, it’s better to focus on selling when the market is hot rather than when the pool is open. Prime selling season and pool season don’t coincide in this area and, when given a choice, I’ll always recommend that sellers use the season to their advantage. In other words, don’t let the pool become a distraction in your home sale.
When you are preparing to sell, be sure to contact a Realtor® who understands local market drivers such as demographics, interest rates, the economy, and legislation. A pool is just one feature of a home, but an experienced Realtor knows how to use the local market to a seller’s advantage.