With summer rapidly approaching, pools are an appealing way to tolerate the Texas heat. But adding a pool to a property can affect the value and the appeal of the house to potential buyers.
“I feel like swimming pools add value to the property,” Jeff Sharer, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Benton-Luttrell in Van Alstyne, said. “It’s an amenity; people like them.”
Sharer said that buyers are usually upfront about whether or not they are looking for a home with a pool, and roughly half of buyers are in favor of seeking a home with the added amenity. Real estate agents then select which homes to show buyers based on their preference.
Peggy Jackson, a real estate agent with Century 21 Dean Gilbert Realtors, said based on her 42 years of experience, as well as being pool owner, a pool can limit the number of potential buyers.
“It cuts down on 30-40 percent of the showings if you have a pool in your backyard,” Jackson said.
Jackson broke down the clientele factors that affect whether or not a house with a pool will sell. She said the popularity of pools peaked 10-20 years ago, but clients with a higher price range will not likely be influenced by the presence of a pool. Those who can afford maintenance on a pool tend to settle on their ideal house even if it comes equipped with an unwanted pool.
However, Jackson said houses with pools likely won’t sell if there are small children in the buyer’s family and the parents are concerned about safety. Pools are not ideal, Jackson said, in households with two working parents and small children. In such cases, the expense of the pool, maintenance, upkeep and safety factors likely outweigh the benefits.
Another demographic who Jackson believes a pool would burden are elderly couples, who would likely prefer to use the space a pool occupies for alternative activities such as gardening.
“Retired, older couples who are maybe moving back to the area prefer not to have a pool due to the maintenance, upkeep and chemicals,” Jackson said.
Jackson added that pools are usually a selling point for families with older children who will enjoy the pool in their teenage and college years.
“Pools are becoming a lot more popular nowadays, but in the upper price ranges,” Jackson said.
She noted that she advises buyers under the $200,000 price range to not consider adding a pool to their house search.
While a pool can serve as a family-friendly outdoor oasis, common concerns often involve maintenance as time and money factor into the equation.
Don Hicks from Texoma County Pools and Spas in Sherman said if the pool is built properly and has the right equipment, it is not hard to take care of. He cited electricity as likely the biggest maintenance cost, though he said that upkeep rates differ per pool depending on aspects such as size.
“There is no hard, set number as to what it costs to maintain a pool,” Hicks said.
Hicks said if the pool is built with the correct equipment and filtration from a good quality company, maintenance should only take about 30 minutes a week. This process should involve testing and adding chemicals to the water, as well as brushing the pool.
“It’s really not that expensive to maintain a pool yourself, or you can pay a pool service to come in and maintain the pool each week,” Hicks said.
Texoma County Pools and Spas offers free water testing to help homeowners maintain proper chemical balances, allowing for people to take care of their own pools in a low-cost and low-maintenance way.
Jackson said that every 10-15 years pools often have to be redone, and filters likely have to be replaced every 3-5 years, which add costs.
“You have to like a pool in your backyard because it is maintenance,” Jackson said.
As a tip to sellers, Jackson said that above ground pools absolutely bring down the value of homes, though homes with in-ground pools can appeal to wealthier clientele if the pools are properly updated.
“Fix it up, fill it in or don’t buy a house with one,” Jackson said.