Does Having a Swimming Pool Help or Harm Your Home Value?

Nothing says summer more than relaxing by a pool, and wouldn’t it be nice if that amenity was right outside your back door? No need to pack up the towels and pool toys. You could just dive right in whenever the mood strikes. But before you start breaking ground, make sure you know the pros and cons, and how a pool affects your home value.

Consider the costs

Costs can vary depending on the type of pool you choose. It ranges from $20-50,000+ to install, and fill an in ground pool. However, that is just the pool. Once you add in the costs of items like safety fences, pool covers, lighting, landscaping, or extras like slides and waterfalls, you could be looking at much more.

There are also the costs of the equipment, like a filtration pump and a heater, and continued maintenance. Expenses can add up almost.

You may also want to contact your homeowner’s insurance provider before committing to a pool. Typically, there is no extra cost, but extras like a diving board or slide may add to the monthly premium. Many experts also suggest increasing your liability insurance.

How Do Pools Affect Home Value?

Doug Petroff of Petroff Appraisals says just like with most home improvements, don’t expect a dollar-for-dollar return on a pool.

“When it comes to appraisals, a swimming pool is definitely considered an amenity,” he said. “However, we have a short season in Michigan, so sometimes pools aren’t given that much value. It really depends on the appraiser, the type of home, and how the pool fits with the neighborhood.”

Terry Frewen, REALTOR® and owner of Coldwell Banker Frewen Realty, says in-ground pools are a plus for many buyers, but the condition is critical.

“Buyers want to see a pool that is open, clean, and well maintained,” he said. “If a pool is dingy, or there are cracks in the concrete around the pool, that will be a red flag for buyers, especially for buyers who have little experience with pool maintenance.”

Frewen says many pool service companies keep records on the pools they maintain. Prospective buyers should consider asking about those records, and sellers can also include the information when listing the house.

“A pool won’t be desirable for every buyer, and some are hesitant mostly because of the maintenance issue,” said Frewen. “But, I always remind you that it’s not as difficult as it seems, and there are many videos and tutorials online that can help guide you through it.”

Is a pool for you?

When it comes down to it, only the homeowner can determine if a pool is truly worth the expense.

“I think it depends on your lifestyle and your goals,” said Petroff. “If you plan on staying in a home for several years and will get a lot of use out of it, then it’s probably worth it to you. If you spend your summers traveling, or know that you will move in the next few years, it may not be the best financial decision.”

If you are considering a pool and would like the opinion of an area professional, visit the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® website at for a listing of local REALTORS® and appraisers.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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