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August 29th, 2022 at 11:00 am

Does a pool add value to your home?

There’s nothing quite like a swimming pool to help you beat the heat of a summer day. Perfect for family get-togethers, pools are also ideal places to get in your daily exercise (even when that exercise is just lounging on an inflatable raft), and can be the buyer’s preferred amenity when it comes to what to look for when buying a house. But beyond summer fun, does a pool add value to your home?

If you live in California, the answer to that question is probably yes. However, when asking how much home value does a pool add to a house, things can get more complicated. Let’s dive into the deep end of pools to get an idea of how much property value they can provide.

How much value does a pool add to a house?

When determining how much value a pool can add to your house, the first question is the same one that dominates all of real estate: What’s your location?

If you’re a Los Angeles resident, good news! Pools add more property value to homes in Los Angeles than anywhere else in America. 

Essentially, if you have a backyard pool in California, it’s likely to raise the value of your home. Still, California is a big state, so the exact value added can vary quite a bit. Some examples of what you can expect are:

As you can see, in California, having a pool is a major selling point for a potential buyer. And it makes sense when you factor in the weather of the state, especially the desert climate you might find in SoCal. It is worth keeping in mind that these valuations are all approximate, how much a pool will affect your specific property can still vary widely.

To get a better idea of how pools will affect your property, you should probably first appraise how much the property itself is worth. The median price of a home in Los Angeles is in the high six figures, which explains why a pool can add nearly another six figures by itself. But that’s the median, if your home is worth more or less than that, the value added by a pool will also be affected.

But there are factors beyond location which can affect how much a pool will add.

Types of pools

Much like the type of house you own will affect its market value, so too will the type of pools you have. While there are many different types of pools, in terms of value, we can break pools into two main categories:

When comparing the two types of pools, there’s a clear winner when it comes to value-added. In-ground pools add more value than above-ground pools. So why opt for an above-ground pool? The costs associated with adding an inground pool can range between $20,000 and $100,000. The nicer the pool is, the more value you’re likely adding to your house, but with a price tag that high, there’s no guarantee the added value will cover the construction costs.

Construction costs may outrun the value added on above-ground pools as well. But construction of an above-ground pool is likely to come in somewhere between $794 and $4,438. So, if your main goal is summer fun and not resale value, an above-ground option may be more budget-friendly.

Valuable pool types

While in-ground pools are a large investment, they can pay off in the long run. The most appealing pools will add the most value. That means to maximize a pool’s worth, it will need to be more than simply a water-filled hole in the backyard. Pools that integrate into your home’s architecture or have eye-catching features like attached hot tubs, infinity pools, or waterfall elements will be more attractive to buyers and add more value to your home.

Yard considerations

Another thing worth thinking about when you consider whether a pool will add value to your home is the property itself. Is there room for a pool? Will adding a pool make your backyard more of a waterpark than an actual yard?

If your yard isn’t a size that can comfortably fit a pool, then adding one can subtract value from your home during resale. The pool needs to fit your home both in an aesthetic sense and a literal one for it to truly add value.

Pool costs

Another thing to consider when deciding whether to add a pool (or purchase a home with a pool) is the continual costs of owning a pool. While the construction costs of a new pool are one thing eating into the value it adds, so too are the costs of maintenance and upkeep. If you’re flipping a home for quick resale, this may not be an issue, but if you plan on living in the home for any period before selling, you’ll need to take this into account.

The average maintenance costs for owning a pool will average around $1,500 annually. These costs include things such as:

There are also fees such as electricity and water fees, not to mention any repair costs you may accrue over time. It’s worth considering these costs when deciding whether a pool is a worthwhile investment for your home.

California costs

In addition to the pool costs listed above, there are some California-specific costs worth considering. In California, there are laws designed to combat accidental drownings. They stipulate that if you have a pool, you also need to have two of seven safety measures in place. These measures can include:

The costs of these safety measures should also be accounted for when considering your maintenance costs in California.

Neighborhood considerations

Another thing to think about when deciding if a pool is the right choice for your property is to look at the type of neighborhood you’re in. If yours is the only property around without a pool, you may find buyers looking in your area have a pool as an expectation.

Generally speaking, the types of properties that are best suited to having a pool are the types that will already fetch a high price on the market. Affluent buyers will be more likely to look at the aesthetic and lifestyle advantages that a pool offers and won’t be hung up on the costs of maintaining it.

Pool value beyond money

When we talk about value, we often focus on monetary value. And, if you’re thinking of selling your home, the monetary value may very well be the thing you’re most focused on. But for home-buyers, pools can add value beyond potential resale:

Other ways to add value to your house

A pool can certainly be a smart addition to your home. However, installing a pool is a big project, and you’re not guaranteed that the value a pool will add will be more than the cost of installing one. However, there are other, smaller ways you can add value to your home that you may want to consider if pool construction is giving you sticker shock:

These are just a few examples, but they show that even if a pool isn’t an investment you feel comfortable with, there’s still plenty you can do to maximize the value of your home.

The most for your home with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

When you sell your house, you want to get the best possible price for it. After all, it’s one of your most valuable possessions. While adding a pool may be one way to add value to your home, the smartest way to add value is to work with one of the expert agents at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. We can also assist in the buying process, for example, answering questions that can help you navigate the procedure of buying a house for sale by owner.

By working with a licensed REALTORyou’ll be sure to get the most value for your home. Our agents will help you every step of the way, from determining the best listing price to negotiating your final sale. We know real estate. We know California. We can’t wait to get to know you!

Sources: US News and World Report 1, 2, 3, LA Times, The OC Register 1, 2

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