Diving in the deep end
16 July 2012
The debate over whether a swimming pool will increase the value of your home or detract from it is not a new one, but getting it right is crucial in these cost-conscious times. Paul Harris from Fine & Country Cambridgeshire dives in to the debate.
Adding a swimming pool to your property is not a decision that should be taken lightly. With warm summer temperatures a home pool may appeal, however, pools are an expensive addition to a home and may or may not add value. On the plus side, swimming pools are increasingly more than just somewhere for swimming. They have evolved into entertainment centres of the modern home, with an emphasis on style and functionality. On the down side, pools can be seen as a liability due mainly to running costs, the effort of maintenance and safety issues for families with children.
It seems the deciding factor is the condition of the pool, rather than whether one exists. A pool in a state of bad repair or in the wrong location in relation to the house adds no value to a property, however, a pool made from attractive materials in the correct location can help sell a property and boost the price.
A major factor is whether the pool is indoor or outdoor. Although indoor swimming pools are a lot more costly the decision on whether to have one or not is a lifestyle choice and is likely to enhance the value of a property provided it doesn’t emit a strong chlorine smell and blends well with the house design.
While the costs of building an outdoor pool are lower, they are not always seen as adding value to a property. The pool design and location becomes even more key in this case. An outdoor pool should be placed at the back of the house, perhaps in a walled garden surrounded by plants to offer privacy. Modern infinity pools with wonderful views are likely to appeal.
There are a number of considerations as to whether a pool will add value to your property. Firstly, swimming pool installation is an expensive undertaking. Be aware that the removal and disposal of rocks and other materials can be costly. There are regulations around pools, so make sure you refer to your local council to determine who can approve the plans. Also consider the need for child safety, including requirements for a child-resistant barrier.
The size and design of the pool are key factors. Ensure designs complement the property. The pool should not overwhelm a space, and should be functional and aesthetically pleasing. Take into account the ongoing physical and financial commitment entailed in maintaining a pool, as your potential buyers are likely to consider this. Choose the safest and lowest maintenance approach using as few chemicals as possible.
Once you have tested the water, if you are certain the pool complements the lifestyle aspect of your property, by all means jump in.
For advice on buying or selling a property, please contact Fine & Country Cambridgeshire on 0845 6032825 or visit www.fineandcountry.com
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