Swimming Pools – Do They Add Value?

Do swimming pools add value to a house?

The short answer is… it depends. Pools can be a polarizing issue, at least in this part of the country. I’ve worked with Guelph home buyers who are determined to buy a house with a pool (or at least with a lot suitable for one,) and I’ve worked with others who wouldn’t consider a Guelph home with a pool. In all honestly, the latter far outweighs the former.

So, do swimming pools add value? 

  1. It depends on area. If a swimming pool is so common as to be expected, yes. For example, you might find it difficult to sell a house in Arizona without one. In the Guelph area, the most practical of home buyers will point out that even outdoor heated pools can’t be used for at least half the year, making the expense and upkeep questionable from an investment perspective. 
  2. It depends on the buyer. Some buyers will come to the house-hunting experience specifically wanting a home with a pool. Maybe they’ve had pools in the past, or for some lifestyle reason they see this as a real ‘need’ vs. just a ‘want.’ Other buyers adamantly do not want pools, either for the expense they perceive or for safety reasons.
  3. It depends on the pool. There is quite a spectrum when it comes to quality, size, and overall features of swimming pools. A relatively low-cost above-ground pool may have one impact on value, while an in-ground pool with custom stone patio work or other higher-end features is sure to yield more ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhhs’. Whether or not it translates into good return-on-investment is still another kettle of fish.

If you are thinking about installing a pool in your Guelph home, be sure to do your research. And most importantly, be sure to have realistic expectations about the potential return on investment. Virtually every expert agrees that this is the kind of investment you make for your own purposes, but not as a means to ‘make money.’ Not all renovations and improvements yield strong returns on investments, with pools being a classic example.

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