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Does a Pool Increase a Home’s Value? Experts Weigh In

USA Real Estate 1569

If you live where palm trees thrive, a pool might be an expectation for your property, not a bonus. However, in other parts of the country, pools are a perk, not a necessity. So does having a pool improve your home’s property value?  It depends.

“In Southern California, where access to mostly endless sun has made backyard water life the norm, a pool most definitely increases the value, but that may not be the case across the country,” says Andrew Pasquella, a realtor at Sotheby’s International Realty. 

Learn the pros and cons of owning a pool and how installing one might affect resale value. Experts also weigh in on whether having a pool can increase your home’s property value. “Pools are polarizing,” says Christa Kenin, a real estate agent at Douglas Elliman. “Buyers either insist upon a pool or refuse to have one.”

  • Andrew Pasquella is a realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty in Malibu, California. 
  • Christa Kenin is a Connecticut, New York, and D.C. real estate agent with Douglas Elliman.
  • Andrea Saturno-Sanjana is a broker at Coldwell Banker Warburg in New York.
  • Bryson Taggart is an Opendoor agent partner and realtor.

Consider the Environment

“In areas where pools are rare and seen as a special perk, a pool can increase the value of a property,” Pasquella says. “In cold climates, where a pool can’t be used for several months of the year, the added value proposition decreases and gives buyers pause to carefully weigh the pros and cons of owning a pool.”

If you live in a part of the country with few swimming months, a pool might not be worth the hassle to the average buyer. 

“In markets with warm climates year-round, such as Los Angeles and Miami, a swimming pool can often be a must-have for buyers,” says broker Andrea Saturno-Sanjana of Coldwell Banker Warburg, who works in both New York City and Washington, D.C. “In the markets where I work, private outdoor pools—even if heated—can only be used seasonally, so homebuyers in those markets give greater thought as to whether the benefits outweigh the concerns.”

Perks and Drawbacks of Owning a Pool

As with any home feature, there are both pitfalls and bonuses when it comes to home pools.

The main perk of having a pool is that it offers a place for rest, relaxation, and gathering with friends and family. Pools can also be considered luxury items that give the owners a sense of pride. Plus, adding a pool can often add to your overall property value. 

Of course, that’s assuming your pool is in good shape. “After multiple years, an unmaintained pool can be too expensive to bring back to life,” Kenin cautions.

Other drawbacks include:

  • Many buyers cite the added cost and maintenance of having a pool, keeping it full of water, treating the water, and repairing the pool’s pumps, filters, and surfaces. 
  • Having a pool can be dangerous for those with pets and children. Kenin points out you may need to pay for additional insurance when you add a pool. 
  • A pool takes up precious real estate in your backyard, meaning less room for sports equipment, pets, and toys, like swingsets for the kids, Kenin, says.

“It can feel luxurious to have your own pool steps from your door, to be used whenever and however you want. It can keep children busy and entertained for hours on end and is a great location for social gatherings. A pool can add to the aesthetic and architecture of a home,” Pasquella says. 

“On the flip side, a pool can be dangerous, where slips and falls occur, or worse. The maintenance is an added cost, and depending on the property size, a pool can eliminate precious outdoor space,” he adds. 

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Considerations for Adding a Pool

If you’re trying to decide whether to add a pool, consider your wants and needs first; then consider resale value.

“Adding a pool to a property can be a costly endeavor, so it’s imperative the homeowner weighs the reasons to do so,” Pasquella says. “If the owner desires a pool for themselves to enjoy and is less concerned about immediate resale value, it can be a great addition that can add a new and fun dynamic to a property.”

A pool can be a welcome addition to the lifestyle of the homeowner who uses the pool—‘uses’ is the key word.


The National Association of Realtors Remodeling Impact Report for 2023 also shows that adding a pool gave homeowners a “joy score” of 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, indicating that it had a significant impact on a homeowner’s sense of enjoyment and accomplishment after the project was completed. 

“The primary consideration should be if a pool is an amenity you will enjoy while you are living in the home,” says Saturno-Sanjana. “Whether for a daily swim or simply as an elegant feature for outdoor entertaining, if you would enjoy having a pool, then go for it!”

When it comes to adding a pool for the sake of boosted resale value, Pasquella cautions homeowners. “When adding a pool to increase resale value, it’s highly important to make sure it is done right,” he says. “The worst thing I see as a realtor are upgrades that are done poorly, which quickly become downgrades that saddle a potential buyer with extra costs to redo or fix.”

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How Much Do Pools Boost Property Value?

With all that in mind, how much will a pool increase your property value? 

Homeowners who add in-ground pools to their properties can expect to recoup about 56% return on their investment, according to data from the National Association of Realtors Remodeling Impact Report1 for 2023.

“The value of a pool has somewhat diminished over the past decade—pools used to be considered a luxury item,” says Bryson Taggart, Opendoor agent partner and realtor. “Now, many homes feature a pool—from starter homes to high-end residences—which has lessened the appeal and the resale value. However, it depends on the region and the availability of contractors in that market.”

Importance of Staging and Landscaping

When adding a new pool or planning to sell your home that has a pool, staging should be a key consideration to maximize impact.

“A seller can accessorize the pool with tasteful and neutral outdoor furniture,” Pasquella says. “Ensuring the landscaping around the pool complements the pool in both style and design can be a huge benefit for a seller.”

“A pool setting should have multiple lounge areas, ideally in both the sun and shade; a dining area; and even open space to accommodate other recreational activities such as swing sets, large sporting equipment, and grass spots for pets,” Kenin says. 

For an elevated look, she suggests blue slate or brick decking, which is more appealing than plain concrete around a pool. Kenin also recommends power washing your painted fence around the pool to improve the look and feel. 

You can sometimes speed up the sale of your house by having the pool pre-inspected and either making repairs or providing the inspection report to prospective buyers for peace of mind.

“The biggest consideration a buyer will have for a pool property will be the condition of the pool,” Pasquella says. “If the pool and the accompanying equipment have not been maintained and will require costly repairs, then it could be a turn-off for a buyer.” 

Should You Install a Pool?

“Private outdoor swimming pools can increase a home’s value in the markets I serve,” Saturno-Sanjana says. “But sellers are advised to be prepared that their home could stay on the market longer to find a buyer who loves the pool as much as they do and who are willing to pay for the privilege of owning it.”

If you currently own your home and are considering adding a pool, be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. “Because the cost of adding a pool can be more than any increase in resale value, homeowners should make sure it’s something they really want and will use,” Taggart says

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