Does Owning a Pool or Hot Tub Increase the Value of Your Home?
- Matt Giovanisci
When researching the answer for this article, I spoke to a few real estate agents and residential property appraisers in South Jersey. And from my many conversations, the unanimous answer I received was, “depends.”
Depends on Market Trends
When you put your home up for sale, an appraiser is called in to assess the monetary value of your home. They look at the entire property and compare there assessment to the surrounding area’s previously sold homes. Combined, this gives them the market value for your home.
If there are homes in the area that are selling at a higher price because of the pool in the backyard, then that may increase in value of your home, because the market dictates that people want pools.
I asked this hypothetical question:
If there are 10 IDENTICAL homes in one area that are all for sale, and one of those homes has a pool, would that home be appraised at a higher value?
The answer is still unclear, because outside those 10 homes, there would be research done to see what other homes have sold for in the recent based to compare to.
NOTE: You should take into account where you live. In areas where you keep your pool open year round might have a better chance in increasing the value of the property versus areas where you only use the pool 3 months out of the year.
However, that doesn’t mean that an pool or spa can’t increase the value to someone looking to purchase your home.
Depends On What The Buyer Wants
Some folks who are looking to purchase a home may tell their realtor that they are looking for a house with an existing pool or spa, and thus would increase the value of your home to that particular buyer. They may choose your home over another simply because of the pool or spa.
However, you have to realize that the odds may be against you in today’s economy.
When some house hunters see a swimming pool or hot tub in the backyard, they don’t see the parties, the hanging out with friends, the relaxation, and the envy of their neighbors. Instead they see a giant money pit. To these folks, your home has less value to them.
An article in the Wall Street Journal title, Taking a Bath on Your Pool, estimates that pools can add $3,000-$5,000 in maintenance a year. However, those numbers are exaggerated in favor of the article.
The article states,
Sales director of PoolSupplies.com, Sean Corrigan says chemicals may run to $500 a year. Dave Cook, group vice-president at Supplies Company Pool Corp. in Covington, La., says it’s typically “a range from $500 to $800,” but if you live in a northern state and need to open and close the pool at the start and end of each summer, both men said, that may cost you at least another $500.
Ok, so we agree that the annual chemical cost of owning an inground pool is about $700 on average. Which I will agree with.
Then, the added cost of electric and gas to run the pool and heater (if you have one) is about $100 a month, according to the article. That leaves us with $1,000 to $1,500 a year for as long as your pool is open.
They also factor in repairs, but if you take good care of your pool and hot tub, those repairs will not occur as frequently as they suggest in the article.
HOWEVER, this is what some home buyers will be looking at, not the added joy of pool or hot tub ownership, which cannot be measure in dollars. Pool and hot tub owners will know what I’m talking about here.
Depends On Appearance
If you want someone to buy your home with the pool or hot tub, you better make sure that it looks fantastic. That means, when you’re staging the house, make sure the water is clear, everything is in working order, and the landscaping compliments.
You can decrease the perceived value of your home to potential buyers when your pool is filled with leaves and debris or your hot tub cover is brittle and smells like mildew.
My suggestion, before you start showing off your home, make sure the hot tub area and pool look their absolute best.
Tips On Selling Your Home with a Pool or Hot Tub
- Replace the hot tub cover if it’s looking old, cracked, and smells. Also, if it’s very heavy to lift
- If you are selling a pool during the winter, invest in a safety cover to make the pool look nicer instead of using ugly tarps
- LANDSCAPE around your pool and your hot tub if possible
- Make sure the water is crystal clear and I mean CRYSTAL!
- Remove any debris from the water surface before inviting potential buyers
I hope that if you’re reading this you own a pool or a hot tub and looking to sell your home. I don’t want you to think that pools and hot tubs don’t add value – the absolutely do, depending on the buyer and the market trends.
I’m not a professional real estate agent or residential home appraiser, but if you have any questions, I will be happy to find the answers for you through my many contacts in the industry. Just ask your questions in the comments below.