This is one of those questions like the chicken and egg type debates. It depends. It depends on where you live, what type of pool it is, the condition, and a couple of more small details. Understanding more details about pools will help evaluate what value it brings to your home. Whether you are looking at purchasing or selling a home with a pool, it is good to ponder this question and see best how to manage the answer.
Where you live makes a big difference in the value added of a pool to a home. Obviously, the longer “swimming” season you have, the more value a pool can have. A pool as a part of a home in Florida is much more valuable than a home with a pool in Minnesota. Some areas like Arizona seem to almost require a home to have a pool. The climate can also affect the cost of a pool. The warmer the climate the less energy used to heat the pool. Also sunnier climates can utilize solar panels to heat the pool.
The type of pool construction affects the longevity and upkeep costs related to the pool as well. Vinyl covered pools typically last about 10 years. A gunite pool can last 20 years if well maintained. Concrete pools can take a great deal of upkeep in areas with seismic activity as cracks must be kept up with on a continuous business. Fiberglass pools can also be a good choice for longevity but may not be available in a custom shape. Hence the reason why many home owners choose gunite so that a pool can be made to fit the landscaping shape of the yard.
The condition of the pool and the pool pump should be evaluated any time a buyer is looking to purchase a home with a pool. A pool inspector can evaluate the overall condition of the pool and pump. The pool inspection is somewhat limited as the inspector can not look under the ground at the pipes. A pool inspection is normally $100-$200 dollars and worth the peace of mind it can offer. When you are purchasing a home with a pool, find out who the current owner have been using as a pool service and ask to see maintenance records. This will tell you a lot about how well the pool has been maintained.
Other factors can play a role in determining the value added by a pool. If the pool takes up the entire back yard, there is less value added by the pool. If you are thinking about building a pool in your back yard, consider the property tax increase for the reassessment. Some California counties consider the value of a pool to be between from $10,000 to $20,000 additional value. As we all know, the county tax assessor value of a home is not always what a buyer is willing to pay.
If you are looking for a home in San Jose, recognize about 10% of the active listings in San Jose have a pool. What if you don’t want a pool but love the house? Then you can look at removing the pool. The cost of removing a pool depends a great deal on the construction of the pool. If it is a concrete pool then the ability of a bobcat digger to get in and out of the yard will save money. If the workers have to take concrete out in a wheel barrow, the labor cost can be high.
For most of the Bay Area, we normally consider a pool neither a value added or value reduced. Ultimately, the value of a pool comes down to the owner of the home. The value it adds may not be measurable in dollars. It may be the pure enjoyment of watching your family splash and laugh. If you have a pool, maintain it well. It you are thinking about adding a pool, make sure you check out the State of California’s web site for information about pool contractors and questions to ask.