IT'S POOL SEASON! - Does a pool enhance property value?



It’s summer and you know what that means around here – heat and humidity! Some like it hot, some not so much, and some want options for cooling off. Of course, you could stay indoors with the air conditioning on, but with a pool, you can cool off while still enjoying the summer weather.
I’m often asked if a pool really enhances the value of a property. The answer isn’t as cut and dry as one might think. Generally speaking, it comes down to whether a buyer actually wants a pool – some do and some don’t. Those that do might enjoy their “backyard oasis” the way one might enjoy a cottage, but without the expense and maintenance of another property, or the traffic getting to and from the cottage on the weekend.

Of course, pools come with expenses, too. Today, the cost of installing one – and all the landscaping and hardscaping that goes with it – can very easily get well into six figures. Then, there’s the ongoing maintenance, repairs, and opening and closing expenses.

LIFESTYLE, COVID & FLUCTUATING DEMAND

Therefore, the concept of value – or a pool adding to property value – is more of a lifestyle decision. Those that want a pool will value one more than someone who doesn’t or is indifferent, and those that don’t want a pool will likely only look at houses without one. In the days before COVID, a house with a pool really only appealed to those who wanted a pool, so they’d focus on seeing either houses that already had one, or houses where the yard could accommodate one. But, if installing a pool, they also needed the budget for one and that wouldn’t be rolled into the mortgage like a house that already had a pool.

Once the world was faced with lockdowns and travel restrictions due to COVID, pools became much more attractive to a larger set of buyers and that was adding value to properties with pools. It also resulted in long wait times to get one installed as pool companies were inundated with demand for new pools.



However, COVID is largely behind us now and, thus, the demand for pools has subsided. Yet, with inflation, the cost to install one is still quite high. Combine that with a higher than usual number of homes currently available for sale, and odds are it may be a better deal to simply buy a house that already has an attractive pool and yard instead of installing a new one. While I do believe the exceptional examples where a lot of money has been spent creating a resort-like
environment in the backyard will add some value, I don’t think the return on investment is all that good. And, homes with older pools and more average landscaping and hardscaping around the  pool aren’t likely to sell for much more than the neighbours without a pool. In some cases, it could even be a detraction.

So, if lounging poolside at home is what you’re after, my recommendation is to find a house that already has a nice one that’s been well maintained.

GET IN TOUCH

To help you find the right house – pool or not – get in touch as I’d be happy to help! And, remember, the market changes daily, often with notable variations from one neighbourhood to another. To ensure you’re getting the latest market information for your neighbourhood and the best advice on how to navigate the current market, I’d be happy to review your plans with you whenever convenient. Want a better real estate experience? Let’s chat.
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