Investing in a pool doesn’t necessarily mean homeowners land in the deep end

According to Showhomes franchisee Carol Ackerman in St. Petersburg-Clearwater, a pool can positively affect a home’s value. But owners shouldn’t plan on seeing a full return on their investment.

There are a lot of advantages to owning a pool. The most obvious is that it’s a great place to entertain—pool owners can guarantee that their house will be jam-packed with a bunch of neighborhood families on any given Saturday in the summer. But is owning a pool really worth the investment in time and resources? Is it worth the upkeep?

Carol Ackerman, a Showhomes franchisee who operates out of the North Pinellas and Pasco counties on Florida’s Gulf Coast, has experience determining a home’s value with and without a pool in the backyard. Having grown up in Minnesota, she’s well-aware of the attention a pool can draw. But the upkeep may not make the investment worth it in an area where the pool will be closed four or five months out of the year. However, it’s different in a state like Florida where nearly 40 percent of homeowners also own pools.

According to Carol, homeowners in warm weather states can recapture up to 50 percent of the cost of a pool since the heat lingers year-round. That means residents are getting more bang for their buck, and they’re recouping that initial investment. But it’s still important for homeowners to consider if adding a pool will boost the overall value of their home.

“In Florida, for example, outdoor living space is so popular that we feel it needs to be staged,” said Ackerman. “It’s almost like adding additional square footage to the home. We want the buyers to picture themselves having a great time entertaining their family and friends.”

In a state like Florida with so many pool owners, in her experience, she believes prospective buyers find the pools worth the upkeep, even if they have small children around.

She adds, “It differs from client to client, but some are concerned about maintenance and safety precautions, and some are concerned about the cost. But I’ve found that my clients feel the benefits of owning a pool supersede the cost.”

The most important thing to consider, according to Ackerman, is the debate between an in-ground pool and an above-ground one.

“An in-ground pool is much more valuable than an above ground one. An in-ground pool is aesthetically pleasing. An above ground pool, on the other hand, well has very little value.”

Whether you live in Florida or Minnesota, homeowners should steer clear of installing an above-ground pool in their backyards if they’re looking to improve their home’s value. And while residents may not see a full return on investment for their pools, a well-kept, in-ground pool could certainly boost the appeal for prospective buyers.

At the end of the day, homeowners don’t have to wade into the deep end by adding a pool to their property. And for someone like Ackerman who operates in a state with a pool in every other backyard, it’s important for owners to maintain the aesthetics in the pool area so prospective buyers can envision themselves enjoying the area. That’s ultimately the key to upping a home’s value.