What’s the value of a pool in my neighborhood?

This is a question you may have asked yourself at some point.  Have you ever dreamed of having one built but don’t know it’s value in your area?  Every neighborhood is different, and some areas will give you a bigger return on your investment than others.  Swimming pools are always used by appraisers as examples of amenities where cost does not always equal value.

Because every area is different, and the value of a pool varies, I don’t plan on telling you exactly how much a pool will add to the value of your home if you decide to install one.  I do want to give you an idea of how the market (other buyers) may perceive it.

Take a look at the pictures below.  The first picture is from a neighborhood that has only two pools, and they’re above ground pools at that.What's the value of a swimming pool

The second picture is from another neighborhood that has 10 in-ground pools.What's the value of a swimming pool 2  Which neighborhood do you think will give you a better return on your investment?  The fact that there are so many pools in the second neighborhood should give us a pretty good indication that homeowners here desire them and will most likely pay more for them.  If you build an in-ground pool in the first neighborhood you may not get as much of a return on your investment because pools are not expected or possibly  desired here as much as they are in the other neighborhood.  When a feature of a home is popular, buyers are willing to pay more for it.  So if you added a pool to homes in both of these neighbhorhoods you might expect to get more money for the pool in the second neighbhorhood.

What I have shared with you here is not the be all and end all of determining a pools value.  It is a simple tip on a way for you to gauge the “popularity” of swimming pools where you live so that you can make a better informed home improvement decision .  Do you have an interesting story about building a pool at your home?  Leave me  a comment below, I’d like to year from you.

If you have any real estate appraisal related questions you can call me at 205.243.9304, email me, or connect with me on Facebook., Twitter, or Youtube.


  1. Lawrence Fenimore/Appraiser says

    Tom I just called you and you were in a bad area for cell calls and the call dropped- I could hear you but you did not hear me.
    My question is why does Zillow or Realtor.com not put a separate calculation for above grade and below grade square feet of homes. Since this is the norm for the entire nation. It seems to me that this causes much confusion to homeowners thinking there home is bigger than we appraiser do. I called them to get that changed and they did not do anything. With you being famous maybe they will take your advise.

  2. Janet Watson says

    Hi Tom. Interesting topic. Here in NJ you might be able to use the pool for two months. I talk to people all the time. They bought the house because of the pool, first few years everyone loves it. As the kids get older, nobody uses it. I appraise many houses in the summer months with an inground pool. Even if it’s hot out, the water can be quite cold. Unless of course you have a heater – extra expense. It’s a rear sight to see anyone in it. But I always see someone cleaning it

    • Thanks Janet for sharing what happens in your area. I would think it would be hard to justify the cost of a pool when you only get to use it for 2 months out of the year. I know the cost isn’t going to change that much so the cost to benefit ratio would be a lot less. Down in the south they can be used more months out of the year.

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