How Much Is That Swimming Pool Worth?

Written by Posted On Sunday, 20 February 2005 16:00

With Realtors across the country gearing up for spring sales, swimming pools are an important consideration -- do they add value to a home? And if so, how do you determine how much they're worth?

Like any other unique feature, swimming pools either thrill homeowners or leave them cold, leaving their real value to the pocketbook of the buyer.

On the plus side, swimming pools are part of the overall outdoor fashion trend which has given new emphasis to backyard landscaping, fencing, walkways, decks, weather-proof kitchens, fireplaces, covered and open patios, arbors, ponds, and play areas. Raining day concerns are safety, increased maintenance and insurance costs.

A visit to reveals the sizeable issues that revolve around ownership of a pool. From what to do about those pesky frog eggs, to how to make a pool safe for children, such questions indicate the level of angst surrounding pool ownership. Yet there are new building materials and shallower designs in pools that can relieve the mind of even the most accident and maintenance-wary homeowner.

According to , pools "use a combination of filtration and chemical treatment to continually clean a large volume of water." A typical swimming pool has seven components: basin; motorized pump; water filter; chemical feeder; drains; returns; and PVC plastic plumbing connecting all of those elements.

As with any mechanical components, age is always a factor.

Pools come in five styles, according to the site, in order of the least to most expensive type of basin:

  • Above-ground pools are the cheapest construction option, as well as the easiest to build.

  • Fiberglass pools are made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic, which has been molded into a basin shape.

  • Vinyl-lined in-ground pools are a lot like above-ground pools, structurally, but they look more like conventional in-ground designs, but liners need to be replaced every 10 years or so.

  • Gunite pools are currently the most popular design in much of the United States, a highly durable sprayed mixture of cement and sand over a mesh grid.

  • Poured-concrete pools are similar to Gunite pools, but they're a lot harder to build. Instead of spraying concrete material around a rebar framework, concrete is actually poured into conventional wooden forms.

As a Realtor, you may be trying to gauge how much or little a pool will add to a home's list price. Consider the following questions:

  • Demand -- Are pools popular in your area?

  • Style -- Is the pool area appropriate in look and function to the home and the neighborhood? Does the pool eliminate room for a play area or augment a play area? Is there an outdoor cabana with an extra shower and WC?

  • Condition -- Does the pool appear as well-maintained as the home? Are there any visible cracks, broken tiles, or cloudy water that would telegraph large expenses to the buyer? How old are the mechanical components? Do they need to be replaced? Have the tile surround or concrete walkways been updated?

  • Staging -- Do the homeowners use the pool? Have they staged it with tables, chairs, barbecue pits and other accoutrements to outdoor fun to appeal to residents and guests?

  • Age -- How old is the pool and does it look outdated? If so, it can make the home appear tired, too.

While you can certainly entertain the seller's purchase price of the pool, it's unlikely that the seller will get back what they invested unless, the property has risen enough to lift the pool's cost, too.

Encourage sellers to have pool maintenance records handy so you can go over them and decide what needs to be done for your marketing. Obtain recent prices from local pool companies on similar pools and see where your seller's pool compares. Most pool companies are happy to oblige in order to get the maintenance, repair, or redesign business from the new owner.

You really have no choice but to market the home as if the pool were a major attraction, because it is a major consideration. A move-in ready home with a swim-ready pool can be very attractive to the right buyer, so the more you can encourage the home seller to stage the pool, the better.

Start by having the seller "shock" clean the pool to make the water sparkle, remove debris and old or broken toys and loungers. Clean the windows, open the curtains and blinds to show off the pool and bring the outdoors in.

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Blanche Evans

"Blanche Evans is a true rainmaker who brings prosperity to everything she touches.” Jan Tardy, Tardy & Associates

I have extensive and award-winning experience in marketing, communications, journalism and art fields. I’m a self-starter who works well with others as well as independently, and I take great pride in my networking and teamwork skills.

Blanche founded in 2008 as a copywriting/marketing support firm using Adobe Creative Suite products. Clients include Petey Parker and Associates, Whispering Pines RV and Cabin Resort, Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS®, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Prudential California Realty, MLS Listings of Northern California, Tardy & Associates, among others. See:, and

Contact Blanche at: [email protected]

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