David Airey is president of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia.

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David Airey

12 December 2012

Does a swimming pool increase a property's value?

As we enter the long, hot Australian summer, many people will be attracted to the delights of a backyard swimming pool.

They can certainly be enjoyable, but a question often asked of agents is, “does a pool add value to a home?”

It seems there is no clear answer to this because it really depends on a range of factors.

Some people will say that a pool is a lifestyle preference not shared by all potential buyers of your property, and so it won’t really add value. Others might even see it as inconvenient because of the  ongoing servicing. For other people it might be exactly what they want, and they’re prepared to pay for the luxury.

Owning a pool requires annual pool inspection fees, ongoing costs with pumping, cleaning and chlorinating and possibly occasional structural maintenance on older pools.

As water becomes more precious, it seems likely that the future costs of owning and filling a pool will be greater. For some home buyers these outlays and responsibilities are unwanted and homes with pools will be avoided.

However, this should not diminish the general value of a pool, or more precisely the entertainment features of a home sought after by other buyers.

Perth enjoys a Mediterranean climate ideally suited to outdoor living. It’s hardly surprising that the external appearance and features of a WA home do affect its value and generally provides greater ease in selling.

In deciding if a pool really does add value, it’s important to consider design features and quality of construction. REIWA agents tend to find that if pool is part of a well designed outdoor living area and complements the house by creating a better aspect to the property, then it adds some value to the home.

Important design features for a pool include things like safety concerns, access to other open areas on the property and compatibility with the look of the house.

Legislation is in place which ensures that all enclosures for pools built between 1989 (the first year of mandatory fencing), and 1992 need to comply with the Building Amendment Regulations Swimming Pool Safety Laws.

So, owners and buyers of properties with older pools need to be aware of these legal changes to fencing and should contact their local council or shire for clarity.

Installing a new pool should be approached in a similar way to building an extension. In most cases an extension is made to accommodate a growing family or to provide for a lifestyle improvement.

The better extensions are those which are well designed and constructed. This will add value to a property for the right buyer who’s specifically looking for what you might have to offer.

David Airey is president of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia. This article was originally published on reiwa.com.

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