Do Pools Add Value? What You Need to Know Before Taking the Plunge
Updated May 26, 2023
Everyone loves a pool, right? But, do pools add value to homes? While a pool is refreshing on a hot day, it’s an amenity that will appeal to some but certainly not all buyers. More popular in warmer climates and upper-scale neighborhoods, pools come with luxury and responsibility.
Are you thinking of making a splash before you sell your home? Consider the investment, risks, and advantages before you break ground on this significant addition.
Do Pools Add Value?
While some pools will add value to a home, to what degree a pool adds value will be dependent on several factors. If you are thinking about taking the plunge and adding a pool to your yard, make sure you know how to get the most money back when you sell.
In-Ground Pools vs. Above-Ground Pools
There is a big difference between in-ground pools and above-ground pools. In-ground pools are considered permanent additions and are often more aesthetically pleasing. Above-ground pools can be temporary and may not always improve your curb appeal.
The other big difference between in-ground and above-ground pools is the monetary aspect. Above-ground pools are a good alternative to in-ground pools because they are cheaper to install, but they will often require the same monetary commitment for maintenance. Above-ground pools also don’t have the payoff that in-ground pools may have. In-ground pools increase home value in many cases, but above-ground pools often don’t.
Pools add value to some homes, but not every home. How many months of hot weather does your property experience? A pool will provide entertainment and relief throughout the year if you live in a tropical or subtropical climate and can be in high demand in areas like the South Florida real estate market. A pool is less likely to resonate with buyers in your market if you live in a state with long winters or a lot of snowfall.
Along with the impact of the climate, the value of a pool will depend on your area. Do most houses in your neighborhood have a pool? If your home is in an affluent community, you’re more likely to see a net positive return on this investment. Pools tend to be in greater demand in these areas where homeowners can afford their upkeep and maintenance.
Besides the type of pool and the location, how valuable a pool is will depend on the buyer. Pools could be a dealbreaker for some potential buyers. They could have safety concerns or just not want to deal with the maintenance costs and upkeep that come with it. Other buyers may be in search of a pool specifically and having this feature in your home will be a plus.
How Much Value Do Pools Add?
How much value a pool adds to a home isn’t always straightforward. As discussed, the value of a pool will be dependent on type of pool, the location, and the buyers. In an ideal situation, a pool increases home value by around 7%.1 In other cases, a pool may not add any value or may even be seen as a hindrance.
Another report suggests that the return on investment of an in-ground pool addition is 56%. This return is relatively low compared to other potential updates to the exterior of a home before selling. Standard lawn care services, for example, tend to have a lower price tag and a return on investment of 217%.2 Because of this relatively low return, only 1% of surveyed Realtors® suggested homeowners invest in a pool before putting their home on the market.2
In-Ground Pool Value vs. Costs
While in-ground pools add value to homes in many cases, they also come with several other costs that can eat into your return. If you are thinking about getting a pool, you need to understand the associated costs that come with having an in-ground pool.
In-Ground Pool Installation
Regardless of where you live, installing an in-ground pool can be expensive. According to one expert, the average cost of installation for an in-ground pool is $51,833. This cost can vary drastically depending on location, size, materials, and special features, but the average range in the United States is between $38,719 to $69,599.3
Maintenance Costs of In-Ground Pools
Aside from the initial investment, your pool will also require maintenance. Costs are higher at the beginning and end of each “pool season,” but there are regular maintenance costs as well. You should anticipate expenses related to cleaning the pool, adding the proper chemicals, running the electricity, filtering the water, managing the pumps, and making repairs. In total, you should expect to spend an average of $1,450 a year on maintenance alone.4 Of course, big repairs or larger heating bills can bump up this cost significantly.
Cost to Open & Close an In-Ground Pool
In several places throughout the United States, pools are not open year-round. When it starts to get cold, people will drain and cover their pool. Once the weather gets nice again, homeowners will have to refill and open their pools. This seasonal opening and closing add another expense for the homeowner. The average cost to open a pool is around $200 but will depend on where you live as well as the state of the pool.5 The average cost to close or winterize a pool is $240.6
Pool Safety & Insurance
Although a great source of entertainment, pools present some risks. Be aware of any legal requirements for swimming pool safety in your area. Standard requirements can include fencing, self-closing gates, and safety alarm specifications that can add to the cost of owning a pool. Your homeowner’s insurance will likely need to change as well if you own a pool to protect yourself from liabilities. In general, homeowners who get a pool will see a premium increase between $50 to a couple of hundred dollars a year.7
Thinking about installing a swimming pool to add value to your home before putting it on the market? While pools add value to homes in some cases, there are likely other updates you can make that are better for your resale value.
At Curbio, we can help you make smart home improvement decisions to maximize your profit when you go to sell. Since there is no money due until closing, you also do not need to worry about financing upfront. To get started, talk to your agent about working with us, or contact us and we may be able to connect you with one of our partner agents.
- Investopedia (2023). 6 Home Updates the Don’t Add Value at Resale
- National Association of REALTORS® Research Group (2023). Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features
- bob vila (2023). How Much Does an Inground Pool Cost?
- Forbes (2022). How Much Does It Cost To Maintain A Pool?
- The Pricer. Cost to Open A Pool
- The Pricer. Pool Closing Service Costs
- AgileRates (2023) How Much Does Pool Insurance Cost?