Adding a swimming pool can increase the value of your home and make home for saleable. However, like most upgrades, sellers most likely won’t capture the entire cost of adding a swimming pool.
In my experience, there are usually three profiles of buyers looking at homes with swimming pools. Some buyers specifically want a home with a swimming pool and make this an important factor in their home search. Other buyers will not consider a home with a pool due to cost of maintenance and or fear of liability if they have small children. The most common buyer may not be looking for a home with a pool in a home search but end up choosing a home because it has a swimming pool. So, the swimming pool can be a feature that sells the home. In this scenario, a buyer chooses the home with a pool because it stood out from other properties.
Higher priced homes have a better chance in recovering the cost of adding a swimming pool. In fact, if many homes in a subdivision have a swimming pool, it can be a real advantage for the seller. Homes in these neighborhoods without a pool may actually be at a disadvantage when competing with other listings that have swimming pools.
Resale values will also be higher for pools in subdivisions where there are many pools. When appraising a home, the appraiser will search sold comps for homes with swimming pools in the subdivision. If there are multiple sold comps with pools, seller most likely will capture most of the cost of adding a pool. It becomes more difficult to capture the cost of adding a pool in neighborhoods where there are few or no homes that have sold with swimming pools. Most appraisers will use sold comps within 90 days and no more than 180 days. If there are no sold comps with swimming pools, Fannie Mae will only credit seller about 25% of the pool cost. So, if the seller paid $40,000 for a new swimming pool, the appraiser most likely will add a $10,000 adjustment to each sold comp.
In summary, adding a swimming pool should not be considered an investment. Adding a pool will make the property more saleable and most likely will help owner sell property quickly. However, only higher end homes will capture a large percentage of the cost of adding a pool assuming there are sold comps in the neighborhood with pools. More importantly, a swimming pool will provide many years of entertainment, relaxation, and an enhanced lifestyle. These benefits are more important than recovering the cost of adding a swimming pool.
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