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Swimming Pools – Added Value Or Limited Appeal?

June 30 2008

Many Americans look back fondly at the years they spent in their youth lounging in their parent`s backyard pool, but does having a pool on your property help or hinder when it comes time to sell your home? The answer is neither simple nor straightforward. Truthfully, investing in a pool can benefit one homeowner while not adding an ounce of value to the next.

Swimming pool

Pool Market

Experts say the biggest market for pools consists of buyers who skew toward middle age with teenage children. However, there are some homeowners, specifically those with younger children, who might view a home with a pool as an accident waiting to happen. Experts say pools increase a property’s desirability if the home is in an area that has a large number of pools.

However, in recent years, pools have become part of a trend that places more emphasis on backyard landscaping, including fencing, walkways, decks, and other options.

Pool Myths

There is a longstanding belief held by many that pools don’t add value to one’s property when you are selling your home. That may be the case in some instances, experts say, however, there are plenty of examples of pools adding value to your property, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). NAR statistics show that pools add approximately 7.7 percent to the average property value, and more than 11 percent to homes in the Southwest U.S.


The Wall Street Journal reports that while some companies in the United States advertise in-ground pools at prices around $16,000, the real price is likely double that. But costs don’t stop with the pool. Landscaping a backyard through a landscaping service can add anywhere from $3,000 to more than $100,000. While in-ground pools return approximately 50 percent of their initial investment, be sure to keep service records that show it’s in good working order.

Location, Location, Location

Before installing a pool, consider where you live. If your neighborhood has a community pool that can be easily accessed, you’ll likely struggle to attract buyers for your home with a backyard pool.

Above-Ground Alternatives

If you are concerned about the cost of a pool versus the amount it adds to your property’s value, then consider an above-ground pool. These pools have become increasingly easy to install and maintain, and cost only a fraction of the tens of thousands of dollars that a homeowner must pour into an in-ground pool. Most pool companies now say they install significantly more above-ground pools versus their in-ground models.