Does a pool add value to your home?

A smiling family sits on the edge of a pool dangling their feet in the water.Image: A smiling family sits on the edge of a pool dangling their feet in the water.

In a Nutshell

If you're thinking about adding a pool to your property, the good news is that it may add some value to the home. But it's important to weigh that additional value against the upfront costs and ongoing maintenance expenses.
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Building a pool on your property can create opportunities for recreation and relaxation for the entire family, but you may be wondering about the value it adds to your home.

As with most home improvements, the answer is yes — some added value is possible. But the amount can vary based on a few factors, and it’s important to think about both the upfront costs of building a pool and the ongoing expenses of maintaining and insuring it.



Does a pool add value to a home?

Adding a pool to your property may add some value to your home, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a positive return on your investment. It’s important to think about the costs that go into such a project and how likely it is that you’ll recoup your expenses.

That said, if having a pool is an important lifestyle upgrade for you, it may be worth the cost — even if you don’t get that money back when selling your home in the future.

How much value does a pool add to a home?

Experts agree that a pool can add some value to your home, but they do not necessarily agree on how much. Most estimates fall within a 5% to 8% increase in your home value.

Redfin performed an analysis in 2019 of 19 metro areas with warmer climates and found that a pool added between $11,590 and $95,393 in value on average, depending on the location.

In some locations, a pool could reduce the value of the home, particularly in more affordable areas where prospective buyers may not be interested in the ongoing maintenance costs, according to Redfin’s analysis.

If you’re thinking about adding a pool to your property, do some research to get an idea of how it might affect your home’s value based on where you live.

Cost to install a pool

Just installing a pool can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and that’s not the only expense you’ll need to keep in mind. You’ll also need to pay for ongoing maintenance, repairs and insurance.

Installation costs

A lot of factors may affect the cost of installing a pool, such as the size and design of the pool and whether it’s in-ground or above-ground. According to HomeGuide, a company that connects people to pros they can hire for home improvement projects, you can expect to pay between $28,000 and $55,000 to install an in-ground pool and between $1,850 and $4,977 for an above-ground pool.

Insurance

Your swimming pool might be covered under your homeowners insurance policy as an “other structure.” But you’ll want to be sure to read your policy to find out what’s covered and what isn’t.

Note that your premiums could increase. This is because a swimming pool is considered an “attractive nuisance” in the sense that it may be dangerous and an insurance liability.

As a result, you’ll want to consider increasing your liability coverage on your homeowners insurance policy as well as adding an “umbrella policy” for more liability coverage in case someone is injured in your pool. Consult with your insurance provider to get specifics on how much more this may cost.

Future expenses

Once you get the pool installed, you’ll need to prepare for ongoing expenses, including maintenance, utilities, repairs and more. HomeGuide recommends setting aside between $1,030 and $2,500 each year for monthly service, cleanings, opening and closing of the pool and repairs.

You’ll also want to think about how much the pool will increase your water and electricity bills and how the added value may change your property taxes.

How to finance a pool

If you don’t have the cash on hand to pay for a pool installation, you might consider pool financing options.

HELOC or home equity loan

Depending on how much equity you have in your home, you may be able to apply for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a home equity loan.

These loans typically have lower interest rates than personal loans, but there may be some upfront costs.

Personal loan

With an unsecured personal loan, you don’t need to worry about collateral. Repayment terms typically range from one to seven years.

This can be an attractive option if you have strong credit but not enough equity in your home to qualify for a HELOC or home equity loan.

Contractor financing

Some pool contractors can help you arrange financing with a lender they work with, but this option may be more expensive than others. Make sure to compare financing options before you commit.

Is adding a pool a good investment?

Having a pool installed can be a good lifestyle investment, but if you want to know whether it’s a good financial investment, you’ll need to consider the installation costs and the ongoing expenses.

As for whether you’ll get all the money back that you put into a pool, the answer is likely no, at least in many areas. It’s a good idea to carefully consider the expected costs for your specific property and compare that to data on pool values in your area.


What’s next?

If you’re ready to get started on a pool, begin by requesting estimates from multiple contractors. You’ll also want to read reviews of the contractors to set expectations and make sure they’re licensed, bonded and insured.

Do some research on how much it’ll cost for pool upkeep and whether you can afford it. Once you have the numbers in hand, compare different financing options and determine how you want to proceed.

© 2022 Zonda Media, a Delaware Corporation. Complete data from the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.


About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.