Does a swimming pool add value?

Does having a swimming pool increase the market value of your home?

The answer is “most of the time.”

If you create a beautiful oasis in your backyard, including a swimming pool, your home will be more appealing to more people. You will have increased the market value of your home.

On the flip side, if your pool is old and in disrepair, it is more of a liability than an asset. You will have decreased the market value of your home.

A pool is not an investment in the purest sense of the word. You don’t see investors make money by putting in a new pool along with the granite countertops in the kitchen. A pool costs more dollars today than the increase you will see in market value.

However, there are different ways to measure the quality of an investment. If you spend $30,000 on a new pool and it increases the market value of your home $15,000, you haven’t wasted $30,000. You essentially put half of that money in your savings account (you now have more equity in your home if you decide to sell). The other half is an investment in your wellbeing and offsets the costs of joining the neighborhood pool or the Busch Gardens memberships for the family. If you live in the house for a long time, say 30 years, it is only costing you $500 per year. Combine the increase in equity and the savings from other memberships and your pool cost you nothing!

Except maintenance…

There’s always the maintenance. So at the end of the day, the pool will cost you more money than the gain in market value. But if you plan to live in your house a long time, it could be a very good investment.

If you are in the market for a new home and absolutely positively must have a pool, it will generally be more economical for you to buy a house that already has one. Aside from the fact that the value of a pool drops as soon as the backhoe leaves the yard, you are financing it with tax deductible interest. This makes it far more affordable than if you were to put one in after your home purchase.

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