What's a pool worth?

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Real Estate

When is it beneficial to build a pool?  I know I've heard over the years that you get about 30% back on a pool so everyone wants to buy with a pool rather than build due to that perception.  But is it true?  I decided to spend a few hours and crunch the numbers here in Collin County to see if this a Fact or Myth.  So today I'm playing Mythbuster.

I know that it's hard to read charts and analyze numbers so I'm not going to bombard you with that.  I'll go straight to what I found.  I analyzed all the sales in Collin County over the last 6 months.  The first thing I found was that homes that don't have pools are smaller than homes that have pools.  It's a 900sf difference with the smaller homes that don't have pools averaging 2,452sf and the homes that had a pool averaging 3,326/sf.  But I kept diving into the data and I found that a smaller home with a pool, say 10% of the average size of a home that didn't have a pool and I found a benefit but a small benefit to the pool.  In this case, a smaller home with a pool has the kind of return that you expect from our earlier assumption about receiving back about 30% of your build cost. 

However, and this is where it got interesting, I ran the data for homes over 3,700sf and found a big difference to the pool benefit.  Additionally, if the pool is gunite rather than fiberglass, if the home is in a community without a community pool, then the return is the absolute highest.  How high?  When I compared it to a home, without a pool, over 3,700sf, also in community without a common pool, try $48/sf higher!

So on my 3,705sf home in Prosper, I would receive about a $178k return for building a gunite pool. I think I may have just sold a lot of pools.