Real Estate: Will Pooling Your Property’s Value Help Or Damage It?


Q: My wife and I own a large house in Morristown, New Jersey, on a large plot of land. I look at our yard and see the perfect location for an underground pool with a gazebo. My wife also likes the idea of ​​a pool, but she is concerned that this is not a smart investment. But wouldn’t a well-designed pool add value to our property? We have a place for that, and who doesn’t like the pool?

BUT: You might like the idea of ​​a backyard pool, but not everyone else, especially in a part of the country where the summers are relatively short and the weather is unreliable, as this summer turned out to be so far away.

“I’ve always viewed the pool as a controversial asset – people either love it or don’t use it,” said Jonathan J. Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants. “Just because it is beautiful and you have benefited so much from it does not mean that it contributes to the value” of the house.

If you’ve lived in Sunbelt, where swimming pools are common, not having one could be a problem. If buyers expect a pool, and your home is the only home on the block without one, then your property value could be hit hard. “In these markets, pools do not add value, they are built into existing value,” said Mr Miller. “It’s part of the expected, just like having electricity and running water.”

But you are in a market where the pool can violate the terms of the deal – some buyers will simply see it as responsible for safety and money pit and will not even show up at open days. Customers who like it may see it as a nice added bonus, but not necessarily a must.

Does this mean you shouldn’t buy a pool? Not. This is your home – if you plan to live in it for the foreseeable future and you have money to spend, install a pool. But get started with the knowledge that there is a good chance that you will not recoup your significant investment.

Installing an underground pool typically costs between $ 39,000 and $ 70,000. according to HomeAdvisor… But this is just the beginning. Talk to your insurance broker about how pooling can affect your rates. Pay attention to your municipality’s permitting fees and other requirements such as fencing. Your property taxes may also go up, so ask your tax officer what to expect. Pools can require significant maintenance, so calculate based on the design. If, after calculating these costs, you still need a pool, be sure to grab one and go swimming.

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