A Backyard Pool Isn’t Just A Great Way to Exercise Anymore


When you were a child, most likely the people in your life with a swimming pool would have been the coolest, the ones you wanted to be like. As adults, however, the reviews are more mixed.

Certainly, there’s a ton of appeal to having a pool to exercise in, to relax in, and to hold pool parties for family and friends. But when you’re the behind-the-scenes owner of the pool, you have to contend with another aspect of pool ownership: maintenance can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year!

It’s easy to tip the scales if everyone in your family enthusiastically participates in maintenance and swims all summer long, but it gets harder when you’re trying to decide whether you’re better off joining a pool or having your own.

Well, the pandemic threw another wrench into the question, one related to real estate values and how the pool affects your house sale. Top agents weigh in on the ways ROI has changed.

Before: Pool Owners Finding Disappointment When They Went To Sell

When families see the price to add a luxurious in-ground pool to their homes, it can be shocking: prices are often over $40,000! One justification, though, for those who don’t do a lot of research on the subject is that, of course, this will make the house more valuable, so it’s an investment.

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For the longest time, this didn’t turn out to be true: homes with pools do go for more money, but usually only something like $16,000 on average. The reason is that not every seller will get a set of prospective buyers that includes someone who wants a pool very badly. If they are only neutral about having a pool, they won’t be willing to pay $40,000 more to have one. What’s more is that, in the past, there were buyers who would decide not to buy a home because it had a pool, which reduced the potential offers further.

During: A Huge Pool Demand Spike Grew the Prices for Homes With Pools

During the pandemic’s distancing and social isolation, many people who were shopping for a home were looking for more space to feel more comfortable at home. Having an in-ground pool went from being an occasional benefit to a nearly-universally popular option when you are selling your home. Homes with pools were now going for $27,000 more on average compared to homes without pools. While this doesn’t recover the entire investment of the average home pool installation, it makes a much bigger dent in the costs.

After: Uncertainty About Long-Term Real Estate Values

As socializing has gone back to normal cautiously in mid-2021 in the United States, it’s unclear whether the interest in home pools will be sustained or not. On one hand, a bigger percentage of the population may permanently enjoy having in-ground pools at home, but when the current sellers market cools off a bit, in-ground pools may fetch a premium closer to the old $16,000 rather than the high $27,000. In either case, the real lesson to take away is that investing in an in-ground pool should be primarily an effort to enjoy your time at your home and get good low-impact exercise, not an investment in your home’s value – price boosts from pools are just too inconsistent to be something to count on. 

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