Is a Pool a Good Investment?

A beautiful modern swimming pool and home on a sunny day with outdoor living area
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Scorching temperatures are ravaging parts of the U.S. and Canada. On June 28, Portland hit a sweltering 116 degrees. In Lytton, British Columbia, the temperature reached an eye-popping 118 degrees Fahrenheit. With temperatures soaring to triple digits and beyond, you might be thinking it’s time to install that pool you’ve always dreamed about. But as tempting as it may be, there is an important question you always must ask yourself: Is a pool a good investment?

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There is more to think about than whether that pool will help you escape the summer heat that is becoming unbearable in some parts of the country. You must also consider maintenance costs, how much it affects your home’s value and if you ever sell your home, whether the future owner will also want a pool.

These are just a few of the things you must consider when deciding whether a pool makes sense for you. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to think about.

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How a Pool Affects Your Home’s Value

A pool can be a good idea because it may increase the value of your home. In fact, it may increase the value more than the price of the pool itself. Of course, if that is the case, it is a sign a pool may be a good investment for you.

Loren Howard, a strategic financing advisor at Real Estate Bees, gave his thoughts on the cost versus value equation. “A pool can be beneficial if your home is over a certain price point. Pools can cost about 10K to put in and can be a deterrent for some buyers depending on the area. A pool can also add about 12K in value, so should not be installed right before you sell.”

However, you will have to look at the nitty-gritty details of your situation. According to HGTV, installing a pool will increase your home’s value by about 5% to 8%. Thus, if you know your home’s value, that can give you a rough estimate of whether the math works out favorably.

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Are Pools in Demand in Your Area?

How in demand are pools where you live? The answer to this question has a big impact on whether installing a pool is a good idea. The impact is an intangible one, but it’s still important. If every house on your block has a pool, and you don’t, that could affect your selling situation. If that is the case, having a pool may not increase your home’s value much, but not having one could decrease the value.

Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum. If you have a pool but no one else on your block does (and you live in a relatively hot climate), then a pool will likely have a big impact on the positive side. Again, it’s all about the “climate” for pool installations in your area.

Make Your Money Work for You

Jose A. Rodriguez, a strategic real estate advisor at Real Estate Bees, agrees with this sentiment. “In general, investment is good when the market supports it,” Rodriguez said. “More in depth, ‘good’ means when the investment cost represents an increase in value to a property. In short, a good look at the vicinity should give an idea of whether an investment is accepted in a particular market.”

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Not Everyone Wants To Take a Dip

Although America undoubtedly loves pools, there are those who will cool down when you mention them — and not because they are eager to take a dip. “You’re losing a segment of the resale market by adding a pool or buying a house with an existing one,” said Liam Hunt, financial writer at SophisticatedInvestor.com. “To demolish a pool and fill it in with dirt and topsoil, you’re looking at a $10,000 project. Plus, you have to factor in the liability risk that can affect your insurance premiums, as well as maintenance costs that typically several hundred dollars per season.”

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Once again, it’s important to know your market. If you have friends and family in the area who had a pool installed, find out how it affected their home’s value. If most of them agree with the above sentiment, perhaps a pool isn’t the best idea where you live.

Therefore, taking a look at your own real estate market is crucial when deciding whether a pool is a good investment. So take a drive around the neighborhood, ask family and friends — you can even check the satellite view on Google Maps. Just be sure you know your market before diving in, so to speak.

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Last updated: July 5, 2021

About the Author

Bob Haegele is a personal finance writer who specializes in topics such as investing, banking, credit cards, and real estate. His work has been featured on The Ladders, The Good Men Project, and Small Biz Daily. He also co-runs Modest Money and is a dog sitter and walker.

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