As we head into summer I'm reminded of a question we're asked just about all summer long: Does a swimming pool add value to a home?
Swimming pools add many benefits: an amazing way to cool off on a hot day and aesthetics to the landscape. A shimmering body of water lit up at night is striking -- especially if you entertain outdoors in the summer.
Before you consider installing a pool in your North Oaks backyard, however, read on.
Who is Attracted to Pools and Who Isn't?
The typical homebuyer that has a swimming pool on his or her wish list is middle aged with teenage children, according to Better Homes and Gardens. The National Association of Homebuilders February study found that homebuyers that want one, however, will usually settle for a community pool.
Busy families that spend weekends away from home generally feel like they wouldn’t get enough use out of the pool to justify the expense of owning one. Then there are those green-thumb folks who would rather have a fabulous garden than a hole filled with water. Finally, families with young children tend to shun homes with pools because of the safety hazard they present, according to Tara-Nicholle Nelson, writing at Trulia.
She goes on to suggest that if you already have a pool, plan on targeting the niche market of buyers looking for one. Ensure the pool is fenced and has a cover and stage the rest of the yard to showcase other activities families might enjoy aside from swimming.
One final note: If you own a luxury home in North Oaks, a pool is almost a must.
Geography Plays a Role
We just can’t seem to get away from “location, location, location” in any discussion of real estate and whether or not to install a pool has a lot to do with where you live. If we were having this discussion in Phoenix instead of North Oaks I would tell you that, yes, a pool will add value to the home.
Residents of the country’s warmer regions, such as Florida, Hawaii and the desert Southwest are more inclined to want a pool than those who live in Minnesota. Here in North Oaks, a pool is typically seen as a bigger expense than it's worth.
How Much Value will a Pool Add?
A pool adds about 7.7 percent to your property value, according to the National Association of Realtors. Folks who live in the Southwest get an 11 percent bump in value and we here in North Oaks probably get less than the 7.7 percent nationwide average. Overall, experts agree that whether or not you should install a new pool should be based on your lifestyle, not how much or how little value it adds to the home.
Image: "Backyardpool" by Vic Brincat from Keswick, Ontario, Canada Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons