Will adding a swimming pool to your property add value to your home? Some realtors say that swimming pools are an amenity that potential buyers may shy away from, while others argue that they are a necessity - especially when it comes to homes in upscale areas.
A recent study published by the National Association of Realtors maintains that inground swimming pool installations can increase the value of homes from 8 percent to as much as 15 percent. There are some variations by region: In the Southeast the increase in value ranges from 5 to 10 percent, while in the Southwest this ranges from 8 to 13 percent. In addition, in the northern areas, the increase in value range is an average of 6 percent.*
Before adding a swimming pool, you should consider a few questions: What type of pool is best suited for your property? Will the current housing market allow you to recoup all of the money you have invested when it comes time to sell? How will your home compare to others in the area once you have added a pool? Are you adding a pool for the benefit of your family or for the financial benefit of added resale value? Homeowners considering adding a swimming pool to add resale value have to consider the other houses in the neighborhood. Before any project is started, it's important to do some research on the real estate in your neighborhood to see the amenities that other area houses offer and make sure you are not going overboard. If no one in your neighborhood has a pool, chances are that you won't recoup the cost of adding one when you sell. This is because the average price of a home in your area will likely not include the cost of an added pool, which can require a significant investment. Adding a pool can cost thousands of dollars, but these extra thousands when added to the cost of the home could instantly repel potential buyers. On the other hand, when you add a pool to a large property in a wealthy neighborhood, chances are that the investment will pay off. Homebuyers in upscale neighborhoods often expect every luxury imaginable to be included, so if your house doesn't have a pool and every other home in the neighborhood does, you might have problems when it comes time to sell.
If you decide that adding a swimming pool is necessary to improve resale value, it is important to evaluate which type of pool is best suited for your particular property whether it is above ground, inground or even indoor. Consider which size and shape of pool best suits the area you have set aside for it and which materials you would like used.
Above ground pools can be a good alternative for people who don't have an excessive amount to spend on pool installation. Above ground pools are typically less expensive than inground pools and require less of a commitment so if the new homeowner decides they can do without this amenity it can be easily removed. Keep in mind however, that because above ground pools are less expensive to install they will also often result in less of a return or no return in terms of resale value. They come several different sizes and shapes with a variety of decking options and they are easy to install. They can be made with resin, aluminum or steel siding and they can fit into smaller lots that can't accommodate inground structures. Though most people have their pools installed by professionals, above ground structures are made from prefabricated swimming pool kits so you do have the option of cutting out the cost of professional installation and doing this job yourself.
Inground pools on the other hand, are more expensive, but they often pay when it comes time to sell a home. These pools come in four basic varieties: vinyl-lined, fiberglass, concrete and gunite..
Can be finished in paint, plaster or pebbles and custom-built to suit the space they will be occupying so they can be quite an attractive addition to any backyard. Because this type of pool can be customized, potential buyers are often attracted to their uniqueness.
Are similar to concrete pools and can be finished with tile, plaster, paint, aggregate or fiberglass. These pools are often well suited to areas that are prone to extremely high temperature and areas where the soil is known to expand. Pools made from concrete or gunite are generally strong and durable so potential buyers often take comfort in the fact that these structures usually don't require much in terms of maintenance and repair.
Are structurally similar to above ground pools. When this type of pool is installed a hole is dug in the ground and a frame is assembled around the perimeter of the hole. Sand is then laid in the bottom of the hole and a vinyl liner is attached to the structure's wall. Vinyl-lined pools can be attractive to people who live in colder climates because the winterization process is quite easy. The pool is simply drained and covered at the end of the summer and reopened in the spring. This type of inground pool tends to be the least expensive to install but this also means that it can be less durable. Maintenance costs can add up, so keep this in mind before you install a vinyl-lined inground pool to improve resale value.
Can be quite attractive to potential buyers. These pools are built in a factory in one piece out of fiberglass-reinforced plastic that is molded into a basin-shape that resembles a giant bathtub. Fiberglass pools can be initially higher to purchase, but the maintenance cost is generally lower than it is with other inground pools. Unlike the vinyl-lined variety, this type of pool doesn't have a liner that needs to be replaced. In addition, fiberglass pools usually require fewer chemicals than are necessary in the maintenance of a concrete pool. These factors might entice potential buyers because maintenance costs are always a concern when it comes to large investments.
No matter which pool you choose to install, the improvements may not pay off if the current housing market is slow, so it's important to take this into consideration before you start digging. It is essential to look into current market and property values before adding a pool because the slower the housing market is, the less money you will recoup from the addition, mostly because people will be paying less for houses.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when adding a pool is your purpose. Keep reminding yourself that the pool you are adding should be for personal enjoyment, not to exclusively improve resale value. If you add a pool just to improve resale value, you will put your individuality aside and instead concentrate on what can sell, which is not always most appealing. Doing necessary research before taking the plunge and adding a pool to your home will make your backyard experience a positive one as a homeowner.
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