Have you ever considered having a pool in your backyard?
Imagine yourself lounging poolside on a hot summer day with a book in one hand and a cold drink in the other. If you have children, it’s easy to picture them splashing around in the safety of your backyard. Sunshine, summertime, burgers on the grill: Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Especially nowadays, when public pools are completely off-limits, the idea of a backyard pool probably sounds pretty good! As an idealist, it seems like a perfect plan. But as a realist—and a homeowner with a budget—you need to consider the value of your investment.
Does a backyard pool improve your home’s value? You’d like to think so, considering the amount of time and effort that goes into planning, designing, and installing one. But what you hope for isn’t always what you get.
Let’s take a look at the numbers. We’re going to calculate whether a pool can offer your home a solid return on investment that will make it worthwhile.
When the Price is Right for a Backyard Pool
Here are some factors that may make a pool a good fit for your home:
- Do you live in an upscale neighborhood where many or most of the other homes have pools?
- Is it warm all year round where you live?
- Would you be able to fit a pool in your backyard and still have space for other things, like a garden, play area, and a barbeque?
Even if you answered “yes” to these questions, it still won’t guarantee a good return on investment. Conversely, if you answered no, that doesn’t mean a pool can’t work in your favor. The questions simply indicate that the conditions may work to your benefit, but they’re not the only factors at play.
A pool is a significant investment of time and labor. After all that effort, you want to be sure that you can use it more than a handful of times a year. That’s why pools typically make sense for homes in warmer states like Florida, California, Arizona, and Hawaii. However, that doesn’t stop homeowners nationwide from getting pools installed. It’s just likely that you’ll get more bang for your buck in warmer states.
Average Costs for a Backyard Pool
According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of a pool is $27,887. However, this number can fluctuate significantly based on several factors. The range for a typical in-ground swimming pool can be anywhere from $14,415 to $41,573. However, you can easily spend as $100,000, depending on your tastes.
An above-ground pool can have a price tag of $1,500 to $15,000. Meanwhile, an average in-ground swimming pool made of vinyl or fiberglass can cost anywhere between $20,000 and $60,000 for labor and materials. Keep in mind, though, a vinyl-lined pool will need to be replaced every ten years.
The cost of installing a pool actually varies widely from state to state, and of course, depends on the contractor, labor, and materials used. Use HomeAdvisor’s cost calculator to see how much this project is likely to cost in your home state.
This doesn’t even account for additional purchases like enclosures, pool covers, diving boards, filtration systems, lighting design, landscaping, et cetera. And on top of the hefty installation costs, there are associated fees for pool maintenance that can set you back between $500 and $4,000 annually.
Is Installing a Pool Worth It?
It’s clear that a pool can be a financial sinkhole. But if you want one and have backyard space and resources to make it work, don’t let the numbers deter you. However, we do caution against installing a pool with the singular goal of increasing your home value and recouping your financial loss.
While a pool can increase the desirability of your home to prospective buyers, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to earn back the money it cost to install it in the first place. Installing a pool may only increase your overall home value by seven percent, and that’s the best-case scenario.
But just because the payoff doesn’t quite balance out doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile. You simply can’t beat the enjoyment a backyard pool can bring. Maybe you feel that investing in a pool will enhance your quality of life and the satisfaction you get from your house. If that’s the case, go for it!
Enjoyment of your home is especially pertinent these days, as COVID-19 still has a massive hold on our society. You may find yourself longing for the fun and relaxation a pool can offer. If you’re considering putting a pool in your backyard, the lasting impact of COVID may be a good enough reason to go ahead with the project.
Tips to Maximize Return on Investment
If you are determined to have a pool in your backyard, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your investment.
- Maintenance. Take care of your pool! Doing a little bit of work will save you from grief in the long run. For a pool to be a good investment for your home, you’ll need to put effort into maintenance. A pool that’s dirty or in poor condition won’t do anything to increase your home’s value.
- ROI is not just about money. Remember that there’s no definitive rule that can guarantee you a return on investment. Consider some of the factors listed above, but keep in mind that only you can determine what’s best for your home.
- Feature your pool when you list your home. Not all prospective buyers want a pool, and that’s okay. However, the right buyer may be willing to spend more to get a pool, so advertise accordingly.
- Build with longevity in mind. A 20+-year-old pool isn’t going to be a significant selling point, so consider if and when you plan to sell your home before installing a pool.
At the end of the day, a backyard pool is what you make of it. If you do decide to make the investment, you’d better also be ready to enjoy it! Pool or not, when you’re ready to list your home, call REX. We do things differently, and you can save up to 70 percent on agent fees.