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HomeExpert AdviceBanking

Will a pool leave you swimming in cash, or drowning in debt?

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The hot Australian summers are perfect pool weather, so it might not be surprising to learn that Australia has the highest pool ownership per capita – there’s around 1.2 million private pools currently installed and thirty thousand new pools being installed each year1.

But, aside from the countless hours of enjoyment you and your family could experience with a pool, is it a good financial investment for your property, or is it money down the drain? There are advantages and disadvantages to installing a pool at your current home or purchasing a home with a pool already included, so it’s important to review all your options.

Pool for thought

Before installing a pool, consider what the potential market value increase could be. Statistically, a pool adds an average of around 8% to the value of a home, which increases to 10% in hotter climates, such as the Northern Territory1,2 – some figures estimate it could be even higher, at around 30%3. However, your location could be the deciding factor. If your property is in a cooler climate, a pool may be seen as a burden, not a benefit; people could even lament the fact that space has been taken away from their backyard. Conversely, a pool in a consistently hot environment could be seen as a welcome treat for the family and could attract buyers who are willing to pay a higher price3.

While the overall cost of running a pool has decreased in recent years, they could still be expensive to maintain1. The initial outlay for the pool, plus monthly costs for chemicals, running the pump, cleaners, lighting, heating and the mandatory safety fences could all detract from the overall value.

A watered down investment

If your property’s primarily for investment, consider your renters. Will people look after the pool properly? Is the cost of installation going to be outweighed by the potentially higher rents you can charge? There are also issues around public liability that could raise your insurance premiums4.

Think and swim

While investing in a pool could be seen as a cool way to add value to your home, there are many who could see a pool as just too much effort. It’s important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages before diving in and finding out too late that you’ve been caught in the deep end.

Disclaimer: The information is in summary form and does not purport to be complete. It is intended as a general guide only and is not a substitute for professional advice. The information does not take into account your personal needs and financial circumstances and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you.

Sources: 1. “Pool lovers go with the flow”, afr.com, Accessed 9 September, 2014 2. “Does adding a pool increase value?”, mohuandi.com.au citing Real Estate Institute of Australia Statistics 2013, reia.asn.au, Accessed 9 September 2014 3. “How much value does a pool add to your property?”, apimagazine.com.au, Accessed 9 September 2014 4. Prandi, Melissa, 2005, “The Unofficial Guide to Managing Rental Property”, Wiley Publishing.

 

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