by guest author Anica Oaks.
Just about everybody fantasizes about owning a pool or spa when the temperatures rise. But how does the fantasy of owning a pool or spa stack up to the reality? The answer is, "It depends." Here are some things to consider if you're thinking about adding a backyard pool to your property.
Type of Pool or Spa
Do you want an above-ground pool or a built-in one? This can make a difference in how much value added you get from the pool. Typically, above-ground pools won’t do much for the value of your home, even in warmer climates. However, an in-ground pool made from concrete and stone may add value. One HouseLogic study suggests an increase of 7 percent, at most, under ideal conditions, while HGTV reports that the average inground pool can up your property's value by 5 to 8 percent.
Similar advice can be given to homeowners who want to install a hot tub or spa. A portable hot tub really won't add value to your home. It's actually just considered a piece of personal property. However, a hot tub that's built into the ground, with nice landscaping around it, could add some value to your home. In this respect, it could be considered a landscaping project rather than a home pool project.
According to www.fool.com, Fixr.com sets the average price of an in-ground pool at $31,500 for a standard 12-foot-by-24-foot pool with concrete apron, pool safety fence, and vinyl retractable cover. That's for a fiberglass pool. One made of gunite -- the kind of spray-on concrete widely used to create "cement ponds" -- would be about $1,500 less for the equivalent size and shape. Vinyl lining is another option. Add in diving boards, a sloped entry, and other amenities, and the bottom line could easily exceed $70,000.
Now, make that $8,300 for a 19-foot (in diameter) above-ground pool with concrete sidewalk, safety fence, and retractable cover. That's about $3,700 for the pool itself and the rest in the other features and labor. Fixr.com fixes the price of decking to $4 to $24 per square foot based on the size and design of the feature and the materials you use.
Scheduled Maintenance Costs
One of the reasons why a pool or spa may be a drawback to a new homeowner is the fear of the potential maintenance costs. According to homeguide.com, the average cost to maintain a pool is $80 to $150 monthly or about $960 to $1,800 yearly. For a first-time pool cleaning service, expect to spend $150 to $350 on average. The annual cost to own a pool is $3,000 to $5,000, which includes maintenance, repairs, electricity, and water. It's good to note, however, that you can usually get a good deal with a local pool and spa company if you become a regular customer.
Noise and Other Considerations
Noise and the danger factor can be a detraction from getting a pool or spa. Many people are worried that the sounds of kids splashing in the pool will be too noisy. Additionally, any time you have a spa or pool, there is the potential for water dangers like drowning. This is a big concern for home buyers with small children. There are ways around these drawbacks. The homeowner can instruct the builder to place these items farther away from the door so that noise will be less of an issue. Safety fences can also be installed around these areas to keep small children out of them.
Pools and spas can add value to a home, but the amount of value they add varies. According to the SF Gate, landscaping can add as much as $38,100 to the value of a home priced at $300,000. Some pool and spa projects that feature natural stones and plants could be sold as landscaping features, which may increase the value. Additionally, most pools are features for homes in the suburban areas. The closer your space gets to the city, the more likely a potential home buyer will want the extra space and not the pool.
Many factors go into determining the value of the home. However, water features like pools and spas can increase its value, especially if that feature is a complement to the property. The question of pool or no pool rests largely on location. Homes that are farther away from the center of town and which are located in hot climates will probably get a financial boost from having a pool or spa.
How to Pay for a New Pool
If you're looking to buy a home and install a hot tub or pool, consider a renovation loan. This flexible loan program allows you to buy a home - or refinance your current mortgage - and get the extra funds you need to cover the costs of renovations and upgrades - and pay for it with just one monthly mortgage payment.
Want to learn more? Download our Ultimate Guide to Renovation Loans.
Author Bio: Anica Oaks is a freelance writer and web enthusiast. Read some of her published work on her Google+ page.