Actual Property: Will a Pool Assist or Damage Your Property Worth?

Real Estate: Will a Pool Help or Hurt Your Property Value?

Q: My wife and I own a large house in Morristown, N.J., on a fairly large lot. I look out over our yard and see a perfect spot for an in-ground pool with a cabana. My wife also likes the idea of ​​a pool, but is concerned that it is not a sensible investment. But wouldn't a well-designed pool add value to our property? We have the space for it and who doesn't like a pool?

A: You might love the idea of ​​a pool in your yard, but not everyone else does, especially in a part of the country where summers are relatively short and weather unreliable, as this summer has proven so far.

"I've always viewed a pool as a polarizing asset – people either love it or have no use for it," said Jonathan J. Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants. “Just because it's beautiful and you use it often doesn't mean that it adds to the value” of the house.

If you lived in the sun belt where pools are commonplace, the lack of a pool could be the problem. If buyers are expecting a pool and yours is the only home on the block without one, the value of your property could go down. “Pools don't add value in these markets, they're embedded in existing value,” Miller said. "It is part of the package of what is expected, just like electricity and plumbing."

But you're in a market where a pool could be a deal breaker – some buyers will simply view it as a security liability and money pit and won't even show up to the open house. Buyers who like it might see it as a nice added bonus, but not necessarily a must have.

Does that mean you shouldn't buy a pool? No. This is your home – if you want to live in it for the foreseeable future and have the money to spend, install a pool. However, get into the project knowing that there is a good chance you will not get your sizeable investment back.

Installing an in-ground pool typically costs between $ 39,000 and $ 70,000, according to HomeAdvisor. But this is just the beginning. Talk to your homeowner insurance broker about how a pool can affect your rates. Consider your community's permit fees and other requirements, such as: B. Fences. Your property taxes can go up too, so ask your tax advisor what to expect. Pools can require significant maintenance, so get estimates based on design. If you still want your pool after this expense report, then by all means get one and go for a swim.

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