Real Estate Q&A for July 27, 2014
We have lived in our home for 5 years, of course we purchased at the height of the market, and thus are not in a position to sell. We really love our home and can certainly live with it the way it is, but we have been considering putting in a pool, along with a few other updates. What is your recommendation about putting in a pool? Is it smart to add a pool? Is it a waste of money?
We have heard over and over from family and friends, “I would never have a pool, they are expensive and too much maintenance”. We know we will sell in a few years and do not want to add a pool if it is something that will make our home harder to sell or be a detraction to buyers when that time comes. We know our kids will love it and we will enjoy it as a family. Any advice would be appreciated.
— Ashley, Grand Junction
Let me start by saying, “I am biased, because I love pools!” You have touched on a lot of different aspects in the decision making process for adding a pool. First, you can expect an investment return, on average, of 70%, but I think this varies depending on where your home is and what price range it is in and your setting. I can unequivocally tell you that we see more and more buyers who are wanting, not just casually, but really wanting a pool and it is one of their primary “wants” when searching for a home. A National Association of Realtors study revealed that the average “value add” to a home with a pool in the Southwest area of the United States is 8 to 13 percent. It is a fact that buyers want pools — not all buyers, but enough to make it a value add in my book.
A few things to consider before “jumping in” to adding a pool. Your home’s price range, area and setting. By this I mean, if you add a $50,000 pool to a $150,000 home in a standard neighborhood, you may not see as great of a return on your investment. Also keep in mind that there are virtually “zero” homes in the under $200,000 price range that have in ground pools and you must always remember it only takes “one butt for the saddle” and all you need is one family in that under $200,000 price point that has dreamed of having their own pool, but could never afford it. If you find that buyer, you will get a better bang for your buck. Adding a pool to a family home in the $300,000+ price range makes sense to me. More and more families are wanting pools. Families today see a pool as a social gathering place and more and more parents are wanting to have their kids and their kids friends hang at their home, because they know where they are and what they are doing. People are looking for the opportunity to make their home into the social gathering place and there is becoming a much higher buyer priority on entertaining and outdoor living space. If you have a home in the $700,000+ price range and it is a family style home, a pool is becoming much more of an expectation for those buyers.
Also remember your setting, if you have great views or privacy and can create an oasis type set up, then it just magnifies the potential. One of the more undervalued aspects of real estate is consistently the setting. Views add to a setting, but a view with a poor setting can mean very little. Combine a view with an incredible setting and you can hear the cash register ring as buyers will swoon over the thought of entertaining in such a wonderful setting. A good setting brings out the emotion and buying a home, or virtually anything for that matter, is emotional.
Last but not least, do not necessarily listen to me, but I would recommend you not listen only to the nay-sayers. If your friends moved here from Ohio, then they probably hated their pool, because they could only use it 3 months a year and it seemed like all they did was clean it, care for it and spend money on it. I have personally had a pool and would love to have another and I know many people who love their pools. We are a high desert climate and you can use your pool for up to 6 months each year and our summers are hot! We have more and more people moving here from the Southwest area and California and they love their pools. All kids love pools and adding a pool will create family memories you will all remember forever. Not everything is about money and return on investment, sometimes we spend money on our families that we know are not good investments, but many times that is where the real fun lies! Hope this helps.
The Kimbrough Team
REMAX 4000 Inc.