Will Adding a Pool or Solar Panels Affect the Value of My Home?
Many people think that adding a pool or solar panels automatically increases the value of their home when they come to sell. However, things are not always that clear-cut. Both improvements cost thousands of dollars, and they may or may not pay off, the same as other home renovations. Before taking the plunge, it’s worth considering a few factors.
Pools are more likely to add value to your home if you live somewhere where they can be used year-round. The longer pool season, the more worthwhile a pool is.
Heating the pool to extend pool season is worth considering in borderline climates. An in-ground pool is seldom worth the investment if you can only use it for two months out of the year.
Some areas have more of a “pool culture” than others. If you are the only home on the block with a pool, you may be very popular with the neighborhood kids and your home will stand out as unique.
However, it can be even more important to invest in a pool if every other home in the neighborhood has one. In this case, not having one is likely to decrease your home’s price.
Solar panels also give a larger or smaller payoff depending on the location. Solar panels save more money and are a better investment where energy costs are high. They also may be a good investment in areas where the utilities use fewer renewables.
However, they are often perceived (inaccurately) to be less valuable in colder parts of the country and can be harder to maintain in areas that get heavy snow. Some HOAs ban solar panels (and some states make it illegal for HOAs to ban them, but the HOA may hope you don’t notice). You may also get financial incentives, although most of these are for purchased panels, not leased.
Pools can come with significant maintenance costs. It’s always worth considering a saltwater pool, as these are cheaper to maintain and better for your skin and hair if you use the pool regularly. They may also be more attractive to buyers concerned about their health and the environment.
Your pool needs to be well maintained. If you do sell, buyers may ask you to do some small upgrades, such as replacing the liner.
Another expense: Pools raise your home insurance costs. A swimming pool is considered an “attractive nuisance,” that is likely to attract children onto your property. This can increase your premium and your insurance company may require you to take specific measures such as lockable gates and a non-climbable fence around the pool.
In most cases, with pools, you will not make back the cost of the pool when you sell your home.
Solar panels are less expensive to maintain but come with a high up-front cost. Leasing panels is an attractive alternative, but the new buyer will have to take over the lease. This is potentially unattractive to some buyers and can cause issues with their lender as the lease payments change their debt to income ratio.
Thus, homes with a purchased system are more attractive, but this is a high up-front cost that not everyone can pay. Remember that If you take out a loan, that remains your responsibility.
Not every yard has space for a pool, and some homeowners make the mistake of filling their entire yard with the pool and its surround. This might be attractive to the current owner, but it will put off buyers who have other things they want to do, such as gardening, or who own dogs that need space to run.
When installing a pool, take into account the size and shape of your yard. Make sure that the pool matches the style of your house and the neighborhood. This can sometimes mean putting in a pool that is an unusual shape. If everyone else in the neighborhood has oval pools, you may want to get yours to match.
Additionally, as already mentioned, your pool should be well maintained and have a usable surround. In most cases, the pool area should be fenced to keep out children and pets and have enough space for a couple of loungers and for people to put stuff. If your pool is not year-round, make sure you have storage space for pool furniture and a good cover.
Don’t install an in-ground pool just to sell your home unless you live in the one place in the neighborhood without one. Get a pool because you want a pool, not for some hypothetical future buyer. It’s a better investment if you plan on staying in your home for a long time. If you are buying an investment property, install a pool only if it will help you find tenants or charge a higher rent.
On solar panels, leased panels are likely to make your home less desirable to a potential buyer who may not want to take on the lease obligation. Leasing is a great option but is better if you intend to stay for the entire term of the lease. Purchased panels can make a home highly desirable, but you should still consider energy costs and the like before deciding if it’s worth the investment.
In both cases, you are better off getting upgrades like a pool or solar panels for yourself, but both can add value to your home depending on your location and situation.
If you are looking to sell your home quickly and don’t want to mess with all of the hassle of a traditional realtor, contact Offercity today. We can arrange for an investor to buy your house cash, as is, with no hassles.