BuyingCommentarySelling February 27, 2024

It’s February in New York, so Let’s Talk Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are probably the last thing on most peoples’ minds but we are still selling homes that have them, and this thought is a bit overdue.

Swimming pools are an improvement, so they add value to a property. They can’t not add value presuming they are in working order, but there’s a but. The “but” is that while pools do add value to a property as an improvement and amenity, they also reduce the number of prospective buyers. There are two chief reasons for this.

The first reason is that, simply put, some folks aren’t pool people. It’s not their thing. They therefore aren’t interested in the added work, expense, and maintenance of a pool. And believe me, pools are all of those things. They represent an additional layer of duties, they come with extra costs, and they require maintenance from the homeowner, a pool company, or both. If you aren’t into having a pool, you will never want that additional layer of headaches like pool furniture, pumps, chemicals, safety precautions, and 100 other joys of ownership.

The second reason is safety. In 2007, when we were looking for a larger home with a 4th baby on the way, we did find one home that checked all the boxes in New Castle out by Millwood. It was an awesome colonial, it had wooded acreage, a woodburning fireplace, a 2 car garage and a full basement. But my kids’ mom vetoed it immediately when she saw that large inground pool in the back yard. Our son had just been diagnosed with autism, and there was no safety precaution in the world that would give us more peace of mind than the simple absence of a large drowning hazard in the back yard. We passed on it.

There is a lid for every pot, so I’m not down on pools despite their smaller “pool” (sorry) of buyers. I’ve never not been able to sell a home due it is having a pool. But over the years the question has been asked, and I think buyers know that the arguments against a pool may not justify a lower price, there are still enough pool people out there to find them worth the money and the additional responsibility.