A common question our valuers are asked is “Do pools add value to a home or not?” and unfortunately there is not a simple yes or no answer. Location, type of pool and the socio economic status of the area all have a bearing on whether or not improving a property with a pool will lead to an increase in value.

Many people (often those with children) cannot understand how the addition of a pool could not add enormous value to a home. However, there are those who believe a pool is simply a lifestyle preference not shared by all potential buyers. Many are put off by the inconvenience of regular cleaning and maintenance as well as the added expense of ongoing servicing.

Some will argue that a pool detracts from a property’s value. Owning a pool requires annual pool inspection fees, ongoing costs with pumping, cleaning and chlorinating as well as possible structural maintenance on older pools.

To really discern whether or not a pool does add value to a property, it’s important to consider the location of the property, the socioeconomic status and the demographics of the area. There are many high end suburbs where a pool is common place and the installation of a new pool would be beneficial and a common demand of potential buyers. However, in suburbs with low median values, a pool may be an over-capitalisation. At the end of the day a pool is a luxury item and in many cases will not immediately see the full return on investment.

One area where a pool is a negative is when the pool is in poor condition and has not been well maintained. A deteriorated pool can severely detract from a property’s appeal and will reduce the property’s marketability.

Adding a pool to a home should be approached in the same way as adding an extension to the home taking into consideration the design features and quality of construction. The best extensions are those which are well planned and constructed. Additions of this nature will usually add commensurate value to the property. Important design features
for a pool include things like safety concerns, access to other open areas on the dwelling and compatibility with the look of the house.

So does a pool add value or not? You can’t please everyone and it’s impossible to predict exactly what features potential buyers are after. Properties in high end suburbs will normally benefit from the addition of a pool in the long run. Additionally, if the intent is to stay in the home for years to come with the family benefiting from the use of a well designed, constructed and maintained pool, then the issue of over capitalisation and the immediate recovering of the cost of the pool is irrelevant. A pool can bring immense joy and enhance the lifestyle of the occupants.

However, if the aim is to add considerable value to a property for immediate gain then the extensive planning, design and construction costs are rarely immediately recouped.

Written by Jonathan and Sacha Millar. Find them at www.jdma.com.au

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