Is It Worth It to Put in a Pool?

You can’t imagine going through another Arizona summer without a pool. You’ve spent the past few summers mostly at friends’ houses with pools and making use of the pool passes at local hotels. It would be pretty nice to have your own pool, though, so you didn’t have to keep using everyone else’s.

Unlike that pack of gum at the supermarket, putting in a pool is no impulse buy. It’s a commitment and requires a lot of thought — or at least a pros and cons list. If you’re considering adding a pool, you might be trying to figure out if it’s worth it. Here are several things to consider before you call the pool installation company.

4 Good Reasons to Get a Pool

The average cost of an inground pool is between $35,000 and $65,000, according to HomeAdvisor. This is just the initial cost and does not account for the monthly and yearly costs that come with having a pool — like maintenance, increased water usage and higher insurance rates.

In warm climates like Arizona, the return-on-investment value of installing a pool is much higher than the national average of 43%, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Remodeling Impact Report. Here are a few factors that contribute to the high demand.

  1. It's HOT — The Valley is no stranger to 120-degree temps in the summertime, making pools a common and coveted commodity.
  2. You'll use it a lot — Residents in Phoenix can use their pools for eight to nine months out of the year. This means, especially here in the valley, installing a pool could potentially raise the value of your home.
  3. It's entertainment — Having a pool of your own can mean inexpensive entertainment for you and your children all summer. It’s a way to keep busy, make sure the kids are getting some physical activity, and cool off without sitting in front of the air conditioner vent all day. Just imagine the get-togethers you’ll have, especially if you install features like a slide or hot tub!
  4. Homes tend to have them — The biggest pool markets are Florida, California, Texas and Arizona — all states that can use pools year round and which have particularly hot summers. If yours is the only house in the neighborhood without a pool, this could be to your detriment when selling.

The Cost of Staying Cool

There are many ongoing costs of having a pool. HomeAdvisor estimates that beyond the initial purchase, pools can cost homeowners between $3,000 and $5,000 each year.

Maintenance — Whether you have a chlorine or saltwater pool, testing the water and treating it will be part of your weekly or monthly maintenance routine. You can do this yourself, but many residents opt to hire a pro, which typically costs between $80 and $150 each month.

In addition to ensuring your pool water stays clear instead of green, you need to consider the cost of repairing any cracks or replacing damaged pool lining. Vinyl, fiberglass, and concrete pools all come with different types of maintenance. While an above-ground vinyl pool will have a lower instillation cost than an inground concrete one, it will require vinyl replacement every few years, which can cost between $2,500 and $3,500. No matter the type of pool you choose to install, keep in mind that eventually it will require more maintenance than just its monthly cleaning.

Insurance — For an insurance company to cover a home with a pool, they're inherently taking on more risk. If you're installing a pool, expect your premium to increase. Many cities, including Phoenix, have specific fencing or home lock requirements to keep kids safe and prevent drownings.

Water and electricity — HomeAdvisor estimates that a pool uses $300 a year in electricity. After the initial pool fill, you'll pay very little — about $.0004 per gallon — for water.

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Tip: If you choose to design a custom pool complete with water features like fountains or waterfalls, you’ll be spending much more upfront.

Does Taking a Swim Mean Your Equity Takes a Bath?

There's no algorithm for whether a pool is worth it or not for YOU. It depends on where you live, how much you'll use it and whether you're willing to maintain it all year. Evaluate what you're willing to do for those lazy poolside Sundays. Though home equity is a perk to certain home renovation projects, make sure you're putting in a pool because you want to use it, not because you think you can add the cost right back on to your listing price.

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The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.