Swimming pools add value to your Florida home


Trying to determine the likelihood of getting a return on investment after building a pool for your home in Florida?  This question comes up often, and more often than not I believe the answer depends on several key factors.  

Key Factor #1:  LOCATION of the Pool Home

Obviously you are researching info about building a pool for your home and you’ve landed on a Jacksonville Florida real estate website, so we are slightly biased to the value of a pool home in Florida.  I personally do not believe the impact of a pool is as great in the more northern / temperate climate states such as Tennessee, North Carolina, etc.  Florida on the other hand is nearly a year long pool use location.  

Even here in Northeast Florida, our pools are never winterized.  Our personal pool stays running year round - and it stays very clean and beautiful because of this.  From about mid-October through February, our pool goes largely unused albeit there is an occasional “polar” plunge from some brave neighbor kids. Even though it’s unused during those months, it’s still the major focal point when entertaining.  

Could we use our pool in the winter months in Jacksonville Florida?  Sure, but we’d need a pool heater to make it comfortable.  More likely than using the entire pool, would be using a hot tub / spa part of your pool.  (Make sure you add this to the new-build, or retrofit later on).  

Key Factor #2:  Quality of Pool Build

On a scale of 0-10, a standard, no-frills above ground pool lands about a “0” for adding value to your home, and I might even go as far to say it would negatively impact the value of your home.  Sure - probably still a nice to have, but at the end of the day we are looking at added value and it is our opinion that above ground pools are not adding any substantial value.  

A no-frills, standard in-ground pool with basic amenities and basic features like concrete pool deck, low / mid quality finishes will still add value to your home.  An appraiser may give it $20k or more, but it’ll cost you more than that to install.  The good thing about this style pool:  You can always do upgrades in the future. You can change out the pool decking, you can upgrade landscaping, you can re-finish with better materials.  Don't snub this style pool - you'll have a good "base" to work with.  

Going up from the standard “production quality” pool, you get into higher quality pool builds with higher quality amenities like water features, sunning platforms, and higher quality finishes like brick pavers and better pool finishes.  This style pool is probably the most sought after.  They are typically in the $50k - $80k build price and I’ve never met anyone that was not surprised at the cost to build these pools.  Will they add value?  Certainly!  It’s what most home buyers are thinking of when they say “I want a pool home”.  

At the top of the market is the more specialized / custom pool.  This is almost certainly in the $100k++ cost to build and could include features such as zero edge, swim up bars, large or exceptionally deeper than standard pools, top quality components, top quality materials such as travertine, quartz or pebble materials and of course landscaping.  This top tier pool is usually fully integrated into the backyard with both hardscaping and landscaping.  These are your “tropical oasis” type setups and are most common in your top of the market price points.  

Key Factor #3:  Buyer Expectations for your Neighborhood to have pool homes

For the price, does your future home buyer expect your home to have a pool?  In some neighborhoods pools are more prevalent than others, such as golf communities, waterfront homes, or upper scale communities or some gated communities in JacksonvilleI’ve had customers say “at this price, the home should have a pool”.  

On the flip side, a pool home in a predominantly non-pool home neighborhood (like a new construction community) will absolutely increase the value of your home here in Florida.  We are starting to see this more often in the post-covid days of people staying longer in their homes and making more upgrades. 

Key Factor #4:  Pool Landscaping

When we are showing prospective buyers a home that has a pool and has installed a great landscaping package, it makes a world of difference.  The pool can even be a more basic pool, but quality landscaping can really bring the backyard to life!  

Do not skimp on the landscaping - even if you need to install the pool first and then save up / recoup some of the savings before doing the landscaping.  I’d highly advise you to work with a landscape architect to create a full plan including irrigation and lighting layout.  You’ll not only increase the overall satisfaction of your day to day life at your pool home in Florida, but also heavily increase the value.  

Key Factor #5:  Buyer Demand for Pool Homes in Florida

Home Buyers almost always start with requiring a pool home in their search.  They'll often start with "Pool Homes For Sale in Jacksonville".  They may quickly realize they can’t afford the premium at which pool homes trade, but they certainly would prefer a pool home.  That alone should help you make up your decision to install a pool at your house!  

We’ve found that not only local residents but also relocation home buyers want a house with a pool.  Something about Florida, just makes sense to have a nice pool and enjoy the nearly year round use.  The relocation home buyer knows it will be hot and they want the full Florida experience if they are Moving to Jacksonville Florida.  

The Final Key Factor to building a pool for your home in Florida…. 

Will you enjoy a pool?  Do you want a pool?  Life is short - get a pool and start enjoying living in Florida! 

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Posted by Brad Officer on
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