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Does a Pool Increase the Value of a Residential Home?


 


In many sunny East Bay cities, a private pool can be a delightful addition, perfect for entertaining and summer family fun. However, for homeowners focused on their future, it's crucial to consider whether a pool truly increases the value of a residential home or if you're better off enjoying the YMCA pool.


Cost of Owning a Pool


Owning a pool involves various ongoing and one-time costs that should be carefully weighed against the convenience and luxury it offers. Here are some of the recurring and major expenses associated with pools:


Recurring Costs:


- Weekly Cleaning and Maintenance: Regular upkeep to ensure the pool remains clean and safe.

- Monthly/Quarterly Maintenance: This includes changing and cleaning filters, among other tasks.

- Homeowner Insurance: Pools can increase your insurance premiums.

- Utilities: Additional costs for gas, electricity, and water to maintain the pool.


One-Time Major Costs:


- New Pump Installation: Approximately $1,500.

- Pool Liner Replacement: Around $10,000 every 10 to 15 years.

- Replastering: Could cost about $15,000 every 20 years.


Does a Pool Increase Home Value?


Despite these costs, the critical question remains: does a pool increase your home's value? I have never seen a professional investor add a pool as part of the upgrades when flipping a home. That speaks to the high cost of installation and the maintenance costs of a pool versus the return on investment. 


Homes with pools often have fewer potential buyers. However, the demand remains stable due to the limited number of homes with pools. The chart below shows that homes with pools generally sell for more, but they are also larger. This raises the question: is it the pool or the increased living space that drives the higher prices? Other factors could also play a role, such as larger lots, desirable neighborhoods, or the pool's features and size.






Homes with Pools vs. Without Pools:



 

With Pools

Without Pools

 

Average Price

Living Space

Average Price 

Living Space

Concord

$998,564

1896

834,179

1609

Martinez

$1,134,635

2179

861,966

1678

Pleasant Hill

$1,343,347

2148

1,180,661

1832



When comparing homes with similar living spaces, the results vary. For instance, in Concord, homes with pools sell for about $63,000 more than those without. However, in Pleasant Hill, homes with pools sell for about $37,661 less than those without. This variability suggests that while pools can add value, they might not provide the highest return on investment. Living space is a more significant driver of home value.



 

With Pools

Without Pools

 

 

Average Price

Living Space

Average Price

Living Space

Winners

Concord

897,111

1,631

834,179

1609

Pool:  $62,932 more

Martinez 

868,667

1,655

861,966

1678

Pool:  $6,701 more

Pleasant Hill

1,143,000

1,785

1,180,661

1832

No Pool: $37,661 more



Concord, Martinez, and Pleasant Hill all have luxury neighborhoods, but they are not cities consisting of many or mostly luxury neighborhoods.  What would happen if we compared homes with a pool and homes without a swimming pool in a city known for luxury housing?  In this case, we will consider Danville, California.  The chart below shows that homes with pools in Danville, a city known for luxury homes, sell for significantly more but the homes with pools are significantly larger.  Is the higher price a product of the living space, the swimming pool, or other factors? We are only looking at the living space and the pool in this article.






 

With Pools

Without Pools

 

Average Price

Living Space

Average Price

Living Space

Danville

2,820,307

3604

2,116,716

2700



Homes with Pools in Luxury Markets:


In luxury markets like Danville, homes with pools are significantly more expensive, but they also have larger living spaces. When comparing similar living spaces, homes with pools in Danville sell for about $181,238 more, roughly 8.5% higher. For context, staging a home costs around $3,000 and can increase the sale price by 16%.



 

With Pools

Without Pools

 

 

Average Price

Living Space

Average Price

Living Space

Winners

Danville

2,297,954

2,723

2,116,716

2700

Pool: $181,238 more



Conclusion


A pool can add value to your home, but it depends on your location and the specific market. In some East Bay cities, installing a pool might not be practical or cost-effective, especially on sloping lots or in areas near the Bay. However, if you're inland, a private pool can be a fantastic feature during hot summer days. Ultimately, while pools are fun and luxurious, they might not guarantee your home's highest return on investment.








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