If you live in an area where the climate is always nice and toasty, then having a swimming pool can be a wonderful addition to your home. In a situation like this, a swimming pool could possibly add some decent value to your home when you decide to sell it.
However, that begs the question: if a swimming pool can increase your home’s value, then can removing it decrease its value? The answer to that question is it depends, but generally speaking, no, removing a swimming pool probably won’t decrease your house’s value. That said, there are certainly instances where it could affect your house price.
In this article, I will go over the factors that affect when a swimming pool might increase or decrease your home’s value, and why removing it might not be such a bad decision after all.
How removing a swimming pool can affect home value
If you aren’t sure whether removing a pool will increase or decrease your home value, ask yourself these questions:
How much space is in the backyard?
How much space the swimming pool takes up in your backyard can affect whether it is desirable or undesirable.
If you have a small yard and a swimming pool takes up a good portion of it, then there will be little if any yard space left for other outdoor activities. In this scenario, the swimming pool could decrease the home’s value.
Conversely, if you have an absolutely massive yard and the swimming pool only takes up 10-20% of the space, then it may be seen as a positive thing if a buyer enjoys the pool and still has the yard space to do other activities.
Many buyers want a usable backyard for entertaining or for gardening purposes. They may have little to no interest in maintaining a swimming pool. You are hoping that there are enough buyers who want a pool versus buyers who don’t want to deal with one.
Therefore, if the swimming pool gets in the way of the other activities they want to do in the yard, they will simply look for a home without a swimming pool.
What is the yard’s condition like?
Another consideration is whether the swimming pool has caused the grass around it to die.
Obviously, the grass an above-ground pool is placed on has long since died. But I am talking about the grass surrounding it.
When chlorinated water or saltwater splashes out here and there it probably won’t cause any serious damage. However, over a long period of time, it could cause patches of grass to die.
Additionally, if the pool owner carelessly drained the pool into their yard without first diluting it or letting the concentration of chemicals decrease, then the grass and plants in the yard could be permanently damaged.
Even after removing the pool, if the yard itself is not fixed, then the value can still be lower.
How many swimming pools are in the neighborhood?
If most people in the neighborhood have a swimming pool, and removing your pool makes you the odd one out, then that can be perceived as a negative to your home value.
Nobody wants to be the odd one out. We all want to keep up with the Joneses or be better off than them.
Plus, if everyone in your neighborhood has a pool then that likely means that you’re living in a favorable location where it is sunny year round.
This also means that there will be more pool stores and pool services available at affordable prices. Should anything go wrong, it’s very easy to get pool chemicals, equipment, and repairs and not have to worry about availability.
People will also want to talk about their pool with neighbors or invite people over for a pool party, and not be the person who awkwardly has to admit that they don’t have a pool.
What is the climate like?
If you live in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, or any other state where sunshine is abundant, then removing your pool could decrease your home value.
A good rule of thumb is this: if your home is situated in a geographic area where it can be in use for at least half of the year, then removing the pool from your home may decrease its value.
However, if there are only three months or less of swimming weather, then a pool will be seen as undesirable since you barely have time to use it but still need to throw money at it to maintain it.
In this case, removing a pool from your yard may even increase your home value.
What is the pool’s condition?
Even if the other points above are true, there comes a point where if the pool is in poor enough condition where major repairs need to be done, then removing it may be the best option.
Again, not all buyers want to own a pool. And if they find out that major repairs need to be done, then they will simply look for another home that has a pool in better condition or doesn’t have a pool at all.
At the very least, by removing the pool and backfilling the hole so that the new owners have a blank slate to work with, then your home will be seen as more desirable over one with an extremely old pool (30+ years).
Conversely, if your pool and pool equipment are in good condition, the neighbors all own a pool, it’s sunny most of the year, etc., then these are idyllic conditions where owning a pool would be a blessing.
Therefore, removing a pool in good condition from a home in a good climate would probably decrease your home’s value.
Is it an inground or above-ground pool?
An above-ground pool is not seen in as much of a positive light as an inground pool.
Unfortunately, above-ground pools are typically viewed as a negative. If you have one in your backyard, your realtor will probably tell you to take it down if you want your home to sell.
Above-ground pools do not add any value to your home, and at worst, can decrease its value. Therefore, it will not lower your home value to pre-emptively remove the above-ground pool, and may even benefit it.
The reason is that above-ground pools are seen as “trashy” whereas an inground pool is seen as a status symbol.
Furthermore, many of the negative points made in this article with regards to inground pools also apply to above-ground pools, whereas few of the positive points apply to them.
It’s not all bad, however. There are some additions to your home that you may have made with an above-ground pool in mind that can increase your home value.
For example, above-ground pools and decks go hand in hand. If you built a deck that attaches to your home at ground level, then the deck can certainly improve your home’s value unless the deck encircles the above-ground pool.
Any additional lighting you installed may also increase your home’s value. The point is, if these additions look great and are still usable even after the above-ground pool is removed, then they can increase your home’s value, but NOT the above-ground pool itself.
As for how inground pools affect your home’s value, well, that was what the rest of the article was talking about. You can scroll up and re-read it, but generally speaking it is perceived much more favorably than an above-ground pool.