I have been seeing a lot of Pool Construction Trucks driving through town this week. The hint of warmer weather and lack of rain are starting the itch to get a pool built before those unbearably hot days of Sacramento heat. If you are like me without a pool, you may have pool envy.
Let’s face it, pools are expensive to build. The initial build for an in-ground pool will cost approximately $20,000 to over $100,000 depending on size, construction materials, your property’s soil conditions (pray you don’t have a lot of rock) and the quantity of bells and whistles you choose to add. With that kind of price tag, you are sure to wonder if you will get any return on your investment, besides obvious summer enjoyment.
If you talk to any appraiser or real estate agent, they will tell you a pool will not return the money you invest. That is not to say it will not add monetary value to your home. How much value really depends on a variety of factors. And, as the world of appraisal and real estate are not an exact science, the weight of each factor can vary greatly. In general, the following are factors that can affect your return.
- The Local Weather
If you live in a warmer region with a long swim season, like Sacramento as opposed to Vermont (maybe 2 months of swimming), a pool will add value to your home. In Vermont, it may decrease the value.
The Quality of Construction
The quality of construction for a built-in pool can vary from the reputation of the builder to the construction type. A fiberglass shell or vinyl liner pool is on the lower end whereas a gunite construction is a much higher quality and will add greater value to your home.
Location of the Pool
Does the pool take up the entire yard or does it allow for other activities and seating?
Bells and Whistles
The quantity of additional features you add on increases the initial cost but does increase the return as well. Rock features, waterfalls, waterspouts, deck space around the pool, salt water, solar heating, spa, lighting, swim up bar, ect.
Do you live in higher end neighborhood or one in which most homes have pools? I was told by an appraiser to take a look at an aerial photo of the neighborhood when determining if apool will add value. If a good majority of the homes have pools, it will certainly add value to the home due to the demand. On this note, adding a $50,000 pool to a home in Carmichael will give you much less return than adding a pool to a home in El Dorado Hills. An aerial photo of El Dorado Hills is heavily polka dotted with blue. Demand.
If you do have the pool built, you definitely need to maintain it properly. A pool in disrepair at the time of sale not only will turn buyers away but will lessen the value it gives to your property.
We can’t discount the individuality of the appraiser who assigns a market value to your home. Although most appraisers do all they can to give the most accurate value to a home, that value will still fluctuate due to a wide variety of factors from individual opinion to lack of comparable homes.
In essence, a pool in a warm climate that is well maintained and built with good workmanship and materials will add value to your home. Will you get back every penny? No, but hopefully the years of enjoyment will make it an investment worth making.
Thanks for reading.