There’s one backyard amenity that is helping homes to sell faster than ever this year. A pool!
Prior to the pandemic, potential buyers of your house might have viewed an in-ground swimming pool as either a perk or a maintenance hassle. But now, everyone is clamoring to have a relaxing oasis and a private place to cool off and enjoy a vacation-like amenity. The pool is a summer property buyer’s new “number one essential.”
Obviously, if your home doesn’t have a pool we don’t recommend putting one in. Pool construction is time-consuming and costly! (And with the pool installation industry so hot right now, the wait list to get it done is an especially long one.) But if you do already have a pool and thought this would be a concern when looking to sell, know that your pool is one of the first things potential buyers are bringing up when they approach agents expressing interest in buying a home.
Why are pools so popular right now?
In the past, pools have often been polarizing for buyers. Some buyers love them, but many thought the heating, cleaning, and other maintenance costs and efforts probably weren’t worth it. Community pools were also becoming a more common feature.
But now, private backyard pools have experienced a resurgence in popularity for reasons that obviously have a lot to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year’s limited travel opportunities, coupled with continued caution to gather and lounge in public spaces, mean that both families and individuals are spending much more time at home this spring and summer — and they know they may need to stay closer to home for some time.
Being able to go swimming offers a freeing sense of being on vacation. It also offers an opportunity for exercise that wasn’t possible when many gyms and personal trainers were not available.
What pools are most attractive?
It doesn’t appear to matter to potential buyers as much whether pools are curvy, have rock work, or feature a grotto, though rectangular shapes with light tile do appear to be the most coveted as these allow for both recreation and swimming laps for exercise.
Buyers looking for homes with pools are also diverse than ever — though young families and downsizing grandparents remain the largest sectors wanting this hot backyard commodity.
Pools can increase your home’s value
As any homeowner with a pool will tell you, pools are a commitment! An average home pool can cost anywhere from $900 to $1,800 annually to maintain, and the presence of a pool usually necessitates increased liability insurance.
But right now, contrary to any advice an agent may have offered before the health crisis, pools can immediately make a home more attractive to prospective buyers — as well as renters. It’s true! A pool could increase your list price by as much as 7% depending on the age and condition of your pool and where you live.
It doesn’t have to be an Olympic-sized pool, but anything that can fit more than two people at a time is definitely adding value to homes for sale.
There is also a growing interest in using backyard pools as separate rental income, with apps like Swimply allowing homeowners to rent their pools and private backyard spaces by the hour.
Is this trend going away anytime soon?
The pandemic changed many trends in real estate, and the importance of swimming pools, yards, and other outdoor amenities have become better selling features than perhaps ever before, and we don’t see the increased demand for backyard pools going down anytime soon.
Everyone wants a resort in their own backyard these days, and while this might have deterred buyers previously — knowing that there are safety issues involved and maintenance required — buyers are actively seeking out homes with pools right now.
And since the waitlist to add a backyard pool is long and swimming pool construction costs are higher than usual right now, homes with existing pools are being snapped up almost as soon as they are placed on the market.
If you are considering selling and thought your backyard pool might have made the process more of a hassle, think again! List With Elizabeth would love to show you how to maximize your pool’s value to the sale of your home.