While the decision of whether or not to buy a home with a pool
is a personal choice for homebuyers, there are several factors to
consider which will have a serious financial impact over the short
and long term.
Beyond deciding whether or not you want to own a pool, there are
additional issues to consider, such as the insurance, maintenance
and safety costs associated with pool ownership.
"Owning a pool can be a wonderful experience and can add to the
beauty and desirability of your home," says Doug Hill, a real
estate agent at Coldwell Banker in
. "But, we recommend that buyers consider the pros and cons of pool
ownership before they dive in."
Does a pool add value?
Data on what a pool adds to a home's value is scarce, but it
mostly varies depending on location. So if and when you sell your
house, a pool could help or hurt your cause depending on your
"A pool adds aesthetic value as well as a gathering place for
entertainment and relaxation," says Summer Greene, regional manager
with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1
in Fort Lauderdale. "Pools in South Florida are more of a commodity
with the expectation a home will have a pool. In fact, homes
without pools take longer to sell and hurt overall market
"You must look at a number of variables," says Joseph Dionne, a
real estate agent at RE/MAX Town and Country Realty in Winter
Springs, Fla., "from the pool being screened or enclosed, being
heated, having water features, as well as general condition of the
pool. A general guide, would be $8,000 to $10,000 for a home valued
at $125,000; $15,000 for a home valued at $250,000, and
approximately $20,000 for a home valued at $500,000." Dionne
recommends you check with a local appraiser for more exact
Back in 2003, the National Association of Realtors said an
in-ground swimming pool added about 8 percent to the value of your
house while an above-ground pool added none.
"The biggest drawback is the necessary weekly maintenance, but,
if you look hard enough, there are an abundance of pool companies
that service pools for about $50 to $75 a month," says Greene.
Those monthly costs are about the same in Arizona, says
In addition, take into account hidden costs, like fencing, pool
suction devices, self-closing doors, safety alarms and additional
. Combined, all add thousands of dollars to your home purchase.
Get an inspection from the right source
Just as a home inspector conducts thorough due diligence on your
home, a pool expert should do their own due diligence before you
sign on the dotted line.
"Don't use a general home inspector for a pool inspection, says
Sabine Schoenberg, founder of SabinesHome.com, a luxury real estate
development firm in
New York City
. "Instead, get a pool company to inspect the pool -- you want an
Talk to the pool's servicer
shouldn't hesitate to ask the seller for the name of the company
that serviced the pool while they lived in the home. The service
company knows the pool best and can analyze the pool's quality and
potential upkeep costs.
"Call them up," says Schoenberg. "Generally speaking, the pool
service company will be happy to speak with you since it is their
chance to continue the account." Reviewing the pool's service
records can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of the
pool's overall condition and what service and maintenance costs
you'll encounter each year, Schoenberg adds.
Hill says buying a home with a pool should not negatively impact
your mortgage qualification. If you're concerned, you can determine
your monthly payment by using a mortgage payment calculator. If
anything, he says, it might help you sell faster.
"Homes with a pool usually appeal to more homebuyers than homes
without a pool," he says. "This can mean a faster sale later and
may add some value to the final sale."
It's also a good idea to check your local municipality's rules
on home pool use (known as a Certificate of Occupancy).
"Municipalities are constantly changing pool regulations and if
such a C/O is missing you likely have to meet today's much more
stringent regulations," says Schoenberg.
Having a pool can be great fun and add value to your home. Just
don't dive in head first before knowing what it all costs.