Installing a new above-ground pool on your property is an exciting prospect. However, before you get too attached to the idea of dipping into its cool waters on a hot afternoon, you should consider the implications of the pool on the value of your home. Will your above-ground pool add value to your home?
While in-ground pools are known to increase the value of a home, above-ground pools are a little more complicated. Whether they add value will depend on factors such as the permanence of the structure, the quality of the pool, and the location of the home. The buyer may simply not want a pool.
A pool can be a very expensive addition to your home, so it pays to explore its value in the long term. You should weigh the cost of installation and maintenance against how profitable it makes your home in the future. Let’s take a look at the impact installing an above-ground pool has on the resale value of your home.
Does an Above-Ground Pool Add Value to a Home?
A gorgeous new pool in your backyard not only provides enjoyment during warm weather, but it also represents a lavish lifestyle. This is because pools, both in-ground and above-ground, cost a lot to install and maintain.
In-ground pools are, however, regarded as more upscale and sophisticated than their above-ground counterparts.
While social capital is important, financial value — especially when it comes to selling a home — is more crucial. The truth is, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a return on your investment. It’s not every buyer that will want an above-ground pool on their landscape.
How Above-Ground Pools Are Valued
When you decide to sell your home, appraisers will give different outlooks on what value your above-ground pool adds or even takes away from your home.
It’s not as simple as assigning a certain dollar figure. Several factors will have to be considered in the assessment. These include:
Is It a Permanent Structure or Personal Property?
An above-ground pool can be classified as either. If the pool isn’t part of the house and can be removed, it is classified as personal property. Personal property is typically not included in the home appraisal.
The pool can be considered a permanent structure if it’s partially underground and permanent decking, landscaping, and outdoor lighting is added to the pool area. Writing the pool into the contract to be conveyed with the house should also get it included in the appraisal.
Quality of the Pool
The type and quality of above-ground pool determines whether it’s classified as an asset or a liability. An old pool that’s in poor condition and doesn’t fit the style of the home is a turnoff for potential buyers and would need to be removed so that it doesn’t lower the value of your home.
Higher-end above-ground pools that serve as an extension of the house are more valuable, especially if they have underground drainage and pipes. Such pools are usually considered to be relatively valuable assets during an appraisal.
Location of the Home
Above-ground pools are typically found in older neighborhoods and rural settings. Many homeowner’s associations, especially in high-end neighborhoods, do not allow such pools.
Your pool has a better chance of adding value to your home if other homes in the area also have such pools since this provides buyers with an apples-to-apples comparison.
Residents of areas that experience warm temperatures year-round will find more value in above-ground pools. In areas where it’s a nonessential amenity, however, there is little chance the pool will add value to your home.
Is an Above-Ground Pool a Good “Investment”?
An above-ground pool can be a good investment for many reasons. The first and arguably the most important is the investment in your own enjoyment.
Personal enjoyment should be a stronger driving force to install an above-ground pool than the need to drive up the price of your home. After all, the fun times and memories you create with your family in your pool are priceless.
An above-ground pool is a good investment because it makes better financial sense compared to an in-ground pool. While an in-ground pool may be more likely to increase the value of your home, it only does so by about 5% to 10%.
Installation Costs for an Above-Ground Pool
The cost of installing an above-ground pool varies depending on several factors including the size, shape, material, and add-ons. The average cost of buying and installation is around $2,500. The cost can be slightly lower if you do the installation yourself.
Enhancements such as decks, additional equipment like an automatic pool cleaner, and professional services may raise the overall costs of installation quite significantly.
In addition to the cost of installation, you may need to make home improvements to comply with the local regulations. Additional expenses of pool installation include:
- Fencing around the pool or yard
- Increased home insurance premiums due to the risk associated with a pool
- Electrical installations
Costs of Maintaining an Above-Ground Pool
Owning an above-ground pool isn’t cheap. The pool will require regular maintenance throughout its life. You can either do the maintenance yourself or hire a professional pool service. Monthly utility and repair costs can add up to between $5 and $15 for DIY and $80 and $150 for a professional service.
Maintenance costs include the labor cost if you hire help, the cost of chemicals used to balance the water chemistry, the cost of water and electricity, and the cost of repairs and replacement parts.
Above-ground pool maintenance entails:
- Regular skimming
- Regular cleaning and vacuuming
- Testing the water chemistry and adding chemicals to balance it
- Pool repairs
How Long Do Above-Ground Pools Last?
Above-ground structures are temporary structures that eventually break and demand to be repaired or replaced. They can last for an average of 2 to 6 years. The length of time an above-ground lasts depends on several factors including pool type, brand, frequency of use, climate, and maintenance.
A high-quality pool receiving the right care and maintenance can last for up to 10 years.
Above-Ground Vs. In-Ground Value
An in-ground pool is thought to be a desirable asset and since it’s a permanent installation, it tends to add to the value of a home. It is, however, much more expensive than an above-ground pool.
While it may be smarter to spend more on an in-ground pool that will add value to your home than less money on an above-ground pool that is unlikely to add any value to it, the situation isn’t always that simple.
Even after checking all the right boxes, an in-ground pool will only contribute an average of 7% to the home value. This is usually less than half the actual cost of the pool. It’s possible to recover your investment on the pool but you will have to wait for your home to increase in value over time.
Ways to Make an Above-Ground Pool More Appealing To Buyers
An above-ground pool may not be as upscale and sophisticated as an in-ground pool, but steps can be taken to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Here are several ways to turn your above-ground pool into a selling point:
Incorporate Attractive Landscaping
Landscaping is one of the most effective ways to spruce up your home and improve its value before putting it on the market. Adding an attractive landscape around the pool can make it more visually appealing and, consequently, more valuable. Some landscaping ideas include:
- Planting trees and shrubs around the pool
- Building a concrete patio to create a custom, permanent look
- Adding rocks or gravel around the perimeter of the pool
- Placing decorative potted plants around the pool
Add a Functional Pool Deck
Most potential home buyers will find an above-ground pool standing in the middle of a backyard unsightly. A pool that is a seamless extension of the home is more valuable.
One of the best ways to add some permanence to an above-ground pool is to add an attractive and functional pool deck. A pool deck creates an outdoor living space that connects the pool to the house and provides easier access.
Make It Comparable
As mentioned earlier, potential buyers prefer having apples-to-apples comparison with other properties in the neighborhood. If other homes in your area have above-ground pools, you should make yours comparable. Create an appealing outdoor space around the pool but avoid making too many additions that far exceed those found in the rest of the neighborhood.
Prospective buyers at houses in your area already have an idea what they’re comfortable with, and if you spend too much trying to outshine your neighbors you’re less likely to recoup your investment when you sell.
Add a Fence
Parents with young children may view a pool as a safety hazard and prefer having the extra yard space as a play area. Installing a safety fence around your pool complete with a locking gate will go a long way in reassuring parents.
Is Getting an Above-Ground Pool Worth It?
Value is subjective and where some see a feature, others see an obstacle. The reality is that buyers may love or hate your above-ground pool.
It all depends on preference. If investing a lot of money on an above-ground pool is not a guarantee that your home will have added value, you may question whether getting the pool is worth it to begin with.
To determine the worth of installing an above-ground pool, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.
Pros of an Above-Ground Pool
Let’s first look at several reasons that make above-ground pools a worthy investment. These include:
- It is an investment in your personal enjoyment. The desire to take a dip in the cool waters of a pool in your own backyard is a good enough reason for many people to install an above-ground pool.
- The pool offers excellent entertainment for your family, friends, and visitors. It provides a private and convenient way to stay cool during the hot summer months.
- Installing the pool earns you a lot of social capital in your neighborhood. You will be very popular among your neighbors, especially if you’re one of the only pool owners in the area.
- Above-ground pools are more affordable, safer, and easier to install and maintain than in-ground pools.
- If your home appraiser decides that your pool isn’t adding value to your home, you can easily remove it and relocate with it, or resell it and recoup some of the cost of setting it up.
Cons of an Above-Ground Pool
Some of the reasons that may make you feel like having an above-ground pool isn’t worth the hassle include:
- Pool maintenance is labor intensive and expensive.
- If you don’t live in an area that experiences warm temperatures year-round, you may only get to use the pool for a few months each year. This makes the pool a nonessential amenity that takes up valuable yard space.
- If there are children using the pool, the risk of accidents may be too high, making the pool not worth having.
- Above-ground pools may not provide adults with as much enjoyment as the kids.
- The pool may deter some buyers when you decide to sell your home in the future.
To determine whether getting an above-ground pool is worth it or not, you have to weigh between the value you will gain from it and how much you stand to lose.
Your home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, so it’s only natural to be concerned about what increases its value. While installing an above-ground pool is not by any means a cheap investment, it is better to consider it as an investment in your personal enjoyment rather than a home improvement option that will drive the price of your home up.
This is because even if the pool increases the value of your home, you’re unlikely to recover the cost of installing and maintain the pool.