Resale Value of Homes with a Pool

Several homeowners have asked me recently whether installing a pool is a good investment in terms of adding long-term value to their homes. It really comes down to which neighborhood you live. In San Diego, neighborhoods vary greatly in terms of lot size and climate. For example, in Rancho Santa Fe where the average lot size is about two acres, not only do homes have enough space to accommodate a pool, but they’re also inland and more removed from the ocean breezes. So, buyers generally want and oftentimes expect a pool when they’re looking inland in neighborhoods such as Kensington, Poway, Scripps Ranch, Escondido, and Alvarado Estates where temperatures average at least 10 degrees warmer than coastal areas.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are neighborhoods like Point Loma, Coronado and Mission Hills. In Mission Hills, the average lot size is 5,000 square feet so buyers usually want to take advantage of all the space they can for entertaining guests, gardening, etc. More than half of the homes in these coastal neighborhoods don’t even have AC, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the demand for a pool west of Interstate 5.

One thing we haven’t yet covered is the cost of a pool. For starters, it will cost anywhere from $25,000-$50,000 for an in-ground pool. You then need to factor the cost of general up-keep which can amount to $500/yr. If your pool’s not solar powered, you’re probably looking at over $1,000/yr in utility costs. And then there are the insurance premiums. When all is said and done, it’s not unreasonable to budget yearly “maintenance” costs of $3,000 to your pool. Are you going to get that investment back when it comes time to sell? Definitely not.

Another thing to keep in mind when considering a pool addition is young children. Some buyers with children under the age of five will not consider a home with a pool for obvious safety reasons. If a pool is on their list, it must have an attractive, secure fence surrounding it.

To recap, unless you’re a long drive from the ocean and/or have a sizeable lot, adding a pool in San Diego isn’t always the best investment. In those communities where it might make sense, just know that your financial commitment may be a sunk cost when it comes time to sell.

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  • Janna Hernholm,
  • CA BRE # : 00841932
  • Melissa Hernholm,
  • CA BRE # : 01253708
  • Matthew Hernholm,
  • CA BRE # : 01874558
  • 810 W. Washington Street
  • San Diego, CA 92103
  • P: 619.299.4272
  • E: janna (at)

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