When we decide to invest in home renovations, our main goal may be to make a property more functional our family or more in-keeping with our personal preferences. But it's also important to consider whether these changes will actually add tangible value to the home itself. For example, a recent Zillow analysis revealed that homes with blue bathrooms sold for $5,400 more than expected -- proving that a can of paint may be more impactful than a full demolition project. In the end, if it doesn't help the potential selling price by offering an enticing ROI, you might be better off forgoing a given change.
Arguably, one of the most polarizing features one can add to a property is a residential custom pool installation. Even though the U.S. swimming pool construction industry has grown by 3.8% during the last five years, many homeowners are still wholly unsure as to whether having a pool will help or hurt their ability to fetch a fair price for their property. Whether you plan on selling your home in the near future or simply want to make smart home improvement decisions that will allow you to fetch higher offers years down the line, you might be wondering: is a fiberglass pool installation really worth it?
Experts are often divided in their opinion of swimming pools and their impact on property values. The costs of installation can range from $30,000 to $60,000, while the upkeep will represent another $1,500, on average. If you use concrete (the top used manmade material in the world) as your pool material rather than vinyl liner or fiberglass, the costs might vary -- but you'll still end up paying quite a bit for an in-ground installation. Conventional wisdom says that many buyers aren't looking to take on that responsibility or pay more for a home with a feature that may not be eligible for year-round use (depending on location). Homes with pools also come with higher insurance rates, though the increase may not be much. And ultimately, there are areas wherein the cost of a pool won't even come close to the market value of a home that has one. In those cases, it simply doesn't make sense to add a pool in an effort to sell a property for more -- especially when you consider that 37% of U.S. adults can't even swim farther than the length of a standard pool to begin with.
However, new data shows that a pool may be more valuable than some people realize. A new LendingTree analysis found that homes with swimming pools actually have higher median prices than those that have no swimming pool. In fact, the median home with a pool is valued at $469,187, compared to a non-pool home valued at $305,152. That 54% difference is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider that the higher home-with-pool trend continued even in areas that aren't particularly known for their balmy weather. Even in Seattle and Portland, homes with pools had higher median prices than those without. Of course, homes with pools in Phoenix were valued far higher than those without pools due to the region's soaring temperatures. A separate analysis by Redfin found that homes with pools in Los Angeles sell for an estimated $95,393 more than homes without, although the majority of homes sold in areas surveyed did not contain pools.
Ultimately, the takeaway here is that whether or not a pool will add value to your home is dependent upon a number of factors. Location plays a key role, as is often the case in real estate matters. Both climate and relative wealth of your area will determine whether buyers are looking for a home with a pool and how much they're willing to pay for it.
LendingTree notes, however, that even if a pool does add value, it may not be substantial enough for some. The site says, "At most, your home's value might increase by 7% if all circumstances are right when it comes time to sell."Not everyone looks for a pool when buying a property. There is more economics to be taken care of, for example, the pool cleaning costs. Best Pool sweepers in the US cost a minimum of $1000 for a basic model and a lot of time investment on top of that.
So is installing a pool worth the effort? Probably not if your sole aim is only to sell your home for more money. Installing a pool can allow you to get more use out of your property and may be an in-demand feature in certain areas. But if you're more concerned with home improvements that will definitively add substantial value to your property and impact the offers you receive, you might want to consider more tried-and-true renovation options instead.