Cost of having a home with a pool in Fort Lauderdale

Yesterday I wrote a post about what today's home buyer wants.  I finished the post by saying "you would think everyone wants a pool.  However, those that have paid the electric bill to run one, or paid the insurance premiums, aren't always so quick to want another home with one."  This prompted a phone call and 2 emails so far today from readers.  I'll elaborate a bit on the topic in this post.  Please keep in mind, I write posts based on my own experiences.  I don't pull data compiled nationwide as it's not always applicable to South Florida.Fort Lauderdale Pool home

You won't get back the cost of building a pool when you decide it's time to sell.  There's a difference between cost and value.  As with a number of renovations and home improvements, you should never expect you'll get your costs back dollar for dollar.  When I'm pricing a home and recommending a listing price I do make an adjustment in the valuation for a pool.  The adjustment to value can vary depending on a number of factors.  Does the pool take up the entire lawn?  Is the pool in good condition?  Are all pool parts in good working order?  Is the pool area properly fenced in?  The list goes on and on.  Point is no two homes, or pools, are the same.  The main point of this article is for both buyers, sellers, and current homeowners to consider all aspects of having a pool.

Let's assume you have a large yard and want to build a pool.  I've seen costs range from $25,000 to $55,000 for in-ground pool installation.  Again, each pool is different, each level of design is different.  Get a number of estimates and work with a reputable pool company.  Don't try to cut corners on costs as a poorly built pool will cost you a mountain of money to fix.  If you're going to install a pool I would implore you to build a heated pool.  When buyers see a pool their first question is whether the pool is heated or not.  If you've taken a dip in an unheated pool during the Florida winter you know why they're asking!  If you're trying to sell a home with an unheated pool please note, savvy buyers will factor the cost of adding a heating pump into their decision.

If I were representing a seller I would urge them to consider adding some form of heating to the pool before we list the property.  Again, the goal is to find buyers willing to pay top dollar.  If they're paying top dollar they'll want all the bells and whistles already installed.  In my spare time I'm always walking around Home Depot, kitchen and bath showrooms, and talking with contractors and builders.  I always want to know about the latest and greatest products out there.  Lately that's had me looking at solar heaters.  We have all of this sunshine down here, if you're home isn't taking advantage of that it's a waste!  The solar heaters I've seen cost between $3,000 and $7,000.  However, if they cut the portion of the electric bill allocated to the pool in half, then it's well worth it!  Renovators and home owners, I would definitely look into these if you are upgrading your pool.  I would also look at solar blankets which only cost a couple hundred dollars, but can save you a bundle of money.  I've seen gas heaters, and for those that have the space the geo thermal heaters which are really cool.  There are a number of options and I would consider you to explore them all.  Also consider a salt water pool.  From what I understand they are less corrosive than chlorine and wear pool pumps down at a slower rate.

If you have an old pool heater, replace it!  Buyers, any buyer I represent anyways, are going to ask how much your pool costs to operate.  I will guarantee that if you have an old heater it's sucking up a ton of energy.  As with most technology, the newer it is, the more efficient it is.  This leads us to the discussion about operating costs.  I've had home owners tell me the electric bill alone for their pool costs $400 a month.  I've also had owners tell me their bill is $100 a month.  Either way buyers need to consider the added expense of a pool in their budget.  No matter what price point we're talking about you need to know what you're expenses are!

Are you going to service the pool yourself of hire someone to take care of the pool?  Depending on how often the pool company comes, and if you buy the chemicals yourself, it's safe to assume you're going to spend between $50.00 and $150.00 on monthly maintenance.  Sellers should be able to provide proof of monthly maintenance costs to prospective buyers.

If you have a pool your home owners insurance policy will cost more than if you don't have a pool, as a general rule in my experience.  Insurance is on everyone's mind in Fort Lauderdale as the costs have been skyrocketing.  From an insurance standpoint pools are a huge liability.  It would be really reckless of me to post insurance quotes on this post.  There are way too many variables.  Buyers should obtain insurance quotes prior to purchasing a home with a pool.

Candace and I went to go look at a piece of property.  The first thing out of my mouth was "we need to fill in the pool".  She loves pools and didn't see the logic in my thought at all.  She see's the fun, entertainment value, and sun soaking pool deck.  I see expenses, liability, and upkeep.  There are people that see pools like I do, and there are people that see pools like Candace does.  Let me close by saying this, a lot of this depends on what you really want, and how much you're willing to spend on it.  On the higher end a pool is relatively standard.  In the first time home buyer market a pool is by no means standard.  Everyone has a different wish and want list when buying a home.  I just want buyers to fully understand the expenses of a pool, and sellers to fully understand their pool may add little to the overall value of their home, prior to sale.

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I work as a Realtor in Southeast Fort Lauderdale. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home, condominium, or townhouse (townhome) in: Rio Vista, Victoria Park, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Sailboat Bend, Tarpon River, Croissant Park, Collee Hammock, or Las Olas Isles, please feel free to contact me at (786)443-7203 or through my email caseyprindle@gmail.com. I am a Realtor that works on Saturdays to accommodate those with busy schedules.

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Written By Casey Prindle