The Cost of Happiness: Should I Buy a Home with a Pool?

Mon, Sep 14, 2015 @ 08:09 AM Karina Gafford Renting/Buying a Home

Supposedly you can’t put a price on happiness, but I say that’s nonsense.

For military families who PCS to sunny locales such as Camp Pendleton and Hurlburt Field, that happiness quite frequently comes in the form of a swimming pool.

If you’ve put a swimming pool on your happy housing search wish list, then you may want to find out how much it will cost you!

Before we delve into that, let’s make sure that you can find it. If this is your first time checking out MilitaryByOwner’s site, or if you haven’t had to research homes since your last military relocation, then a good place to start your search is with our Home Search Tutorial. In less than five minutes, this video will show you how to optimize your search so that you can efficiently find the right home for your next move.

In your search, you’ll find that there are many homes with pools on MilitaryByOwner. When I did a quick search of all of the houses for sale and for rent near MacDill AFB in Tampa, 49 of the 167 available at the time featured pools. Rents for these homes ranged from as low as $950 to $4,000 per month, while home sale prices ranged from $150,000 to $775,000.

Let’s say, however, that none of these homes meet your criteria; you’d rather purchase a new build or pre-existing home and add your own pool. What costs might you be looking at?

  • An economy vinyl liner pool: $25,000.
  • Patio pavers, a diving board, a slide, lights for night swimming, or any other feature you might want to add. Cost varies widely.
  • Replacing the liner in 5-10 years: $5,000.
  • Chemicals and additional electricity costs annually: $3,000 - 7,000.
  • Fence for your pool (your homeowner’s insurance company may require it): $500 - $3,000.

The big question that remains is whether you’ll recoup your investment when you try to sell or rent your home. If you live in a pool happy area, then not having a pool may make your home less desirable on the market; if you live farther north, then a pool may make your home a more challenging sell. Houselogic reports that adding a home to your pool can boost the value of your home by as much as 7%, but again, it depends entirely on whether the pool is a good fit for your home and your neighborhood.

If the cost of the pool is worth the entertainment and lifestyle value for the duration of your military assignment, then the investment value of a pool is less of a concern. In this case, then yes, you can definitely put a price on something that brings you happiness!

One recommendation: before buying a pool home, please check out these tips in our post Why You Should ChildProof Your Childfree Home for more information about water safety and children.

Home Search Tutorial