A great way to increase the value of your home is by adding any outdoor feature. These features can draw in potential buyers and intrigue them into exploring the rest of the house and yard. But do water features really increase the overall value of a house?
When it comes to adding water features to your home, there is no concrete data to absolutely prove that a water feature actually increases the value of your home. Realtors determine the overall value of a water feature depending on the size, purpose, and cost of maintenance.
Though there may be different opinions, it is important to look more into what a water feature means for your home and how it impacts the overall value. Here are some aspects to consider when adding any water feature.
What Does It Take to Maintain?
When it comes to adding a permanent pond or small waterfall to your front or backyard, the average cost of the installation starts around $947, depending on where you live and the cost of help, and can even go up to well over $4,000 with size and help required.
In order to continue to maintain your pond/waterfall, you will also need to purchase cleaners to make sure the water is clear and clean. Some products are as low as $22, while others are around $200 and $300.
When adding up the cost of yearly maintenance for a small pond, it can be around $450 on the lowest, and then all the way up to $5,000. This also entirely depends on what the size of your pond is and what you’ve put into your pond.
If there are fish in the pond, then there is even more maintenance when it comes to making sure the water is at an accurate pH level, enough food for the fish, and if there are added elements for the fish to enjoy their stay in the pond.
It is entirely different to maintain a pool, however. To install a simple pool, with no extra aquatic attachments, can range anywhere from $28,000 to $55,000. Depending on the desired design and added attachments is what will either lower the price or drastically increase it.
When it comes to maintaining the overall wellness of the pool, there are several things you should consider:
- Depending on whether you have a water heater for your pool, your electricity bill could be driven up to $100 or more. If the weather is much cooler, the electricity bill will only increase.
- If you plan on maintaining your pool by yourself, the average cost of chemicals is around $1,800 a year, give or take depending on what chemicals and whether you use your pool year round.
- This also involves basic upkeep if there are repairs and basic utilities needed to keep the pool clean, which can cost around $4,000 a year.
- You might have to add insurance regarding your pool in order to cover any liabilities that happen. It can be found within your homeowners insurance policy information. The average deductible is around $300,000, which is certainly something to consider when it comes to young children and hazards.
Is a Pool Better than a Pond/Water Fountain?
Where you live is what will help you determine what is the best water feature for your home and the potential increase your realtor might see. Pools tend to come with a great deal of maintenance because they are used for either summer time use or all year round purposes.
As stated in the list above, pools tend to come with more essential requirements because of their size and needs. If you live a much warmer climate, a pool may be a necessity because it becomes not only an escape from the heat, but also a place to enjoy as a family.
However, if you do live in a cold climate, there could be a pool for you. The cost of installation and maintinence could increase if you choose to install a heated or covered pool. There are a few more features that would have to be added, of course, such as a winter pool cover and the cost of putting up an enclosure.
An enclosed pool attracts buyers, not only because it is less common in northern climates, but is also an added bonus when it comes to escaping the extremely cold temperatures. Contact your realtor, or even the local Homeowners Association (HOA) in order to keep all of your options open and maintain or increase the value of your home.
A smaller water feature may be easier for someone to maintain. The weather may be drastically different, there may not be enough space for a large pool in the backyard, or a pool could even be considered dangerous if there are younger children living in the home.
If you are adding a water feature for curb appeal, then a small fountain near the front of the home will intrigue neighbors, especially if there are little koi fish living in the pond for children to admire. If there are not as many summer days to enjoy a pool, a water feature could be the best option for your home.
There is not a definite answer when it comes to choosing the appropriate water feature for yourself and your home. Though a pool may come with more strings attached, it could be more enjoyable for the whole family than a small water fountain in the corner of the backyard.
If the weather is not ideal for a large pool, then a small koi pond or water fountain in the front yard may be ideal, not only maintenance wise but also in regards to cost.
Is It Worth the Investment?
If you live in the northern areas of the United States, where the average weather forecast for about 6-8 months out of the year is several inches of snow and near freezing temperatures, then purchasing and installing a pool is most likely not for you.
Anywhere where the average climate and temperament is cold and snowy the majority of the year, it might be best to purchase a smaller water feature such as a manual water fountain in the front yard.
A pool is worth the investment when it comes to having quality family time and maintaining it year round instead of just during one hundred days of summer. If the cost of installation and maintenance is a concern, then a pool may not be what you’re looking for to add value to your home.
A pond is certainly worth the investment just because it doesn’t cost as much to maintain and isn’t a hazard to small children or the overall value of your home. The smaller the water feature, the less it will cost to maintain, especially if it will be covered up for a few months out of the year.
To determine the overall value of your investment, it would be best to get in contact with a realtor in your area in order to decide what type of water feature is best for your home and if it has the potential to increase the value of your home when it comes to selling/buying.
If you are not doing any upkeep and maintaining the initial look and installation of your pool or water feature, it can easily decrease the value of your home.
What Type of Climate is Necessary?
In order for a pool to be functional year-round, the appropriate climate would be somewhere in the south/southeast, and on the west coast such as California. In most places where the summers reach extreme temperatures, pools are not a commodity but a necessity when it comes to escaping the heat and adding appeal to the home.
If it seems appropriate and worth the cost/investment to install an enclosure for your pool, then some homes in the west could have a pool that are bound to attract potential buyers because of the commodity of having their own pool.
A smaller water feature doesn’t necessarily need a desired climate because of its minimal functionality and purpose. Anyone can have a smaller water feature because it doesn’t come with a lot of strings attached and extensive maintenance.
If you live in a climate that is colder in the winter, then it is not as necessary to maintain the water feature during months where the water freezes. It can be as simple as turning the power off of that water source and covering it up for the winter months.
However, a koi pond does require a specific climate to keep the fish alive. Below freezing temperatures are not ideal for fish, so northern climates are not the best for koi ponds.
Each water feature comes with its own constraints and demands when it comes to overall cost and maintenance, which can either increase the value, or detour potential buyers because of the added upkeep of said water feature.
Is It for Aesthetic Purposes or Pleasure?
When it comes to adding a water feature to your home, it is best to consider whether it serves a purpose, or is it simply something to enjoy from afar.
More often than not, a water feature for the front yard is something that is just meant to be enjoyed and maybe even envied by others. Pools come with so many enjoyable aspects for not only children but for the whole family! It comes down simply to whether it can add more appeal and increase to the value or not.
If it detracts from the value, or can decrease the buyer’s interest on your home, that becomes a concern when it comes to choosing whether to add a pool or water feature.
Does it Increase Curb Appeal?
Not only can a water feature add visual appeal, but it can also add auditory appeal. Water features that increase the senses and bring a sense of calmness and meditation can attract potential buyers and make you stand out from your neighbors. Water features can add a feeling of hominess to potential buyers that intrigue them into your home that no other home could for them.
Water features are designed to give some aspect of tranquility that stands out from the homes around yours. The sound of rushing water instantly attracts the attention of others because it may remind them of peace, bring some sort of happy memory, whatever it means to them is what will bring them in for a closer inspection, which is what you want for someone to be intrigued by your specific house.
If your lawn looks overgrown and there’s an excess of algae in your pond, that can easily distract and offend your neighbors, not to mention potential buyers!
Water Features may Spark Competition
Occasionally, neighbors become competitive when it comes to front yards. It can either be for fun, but it can also be to be able to get intrigue for potential buyers. The more extravagant the front yard, in regards to taste and tact, the easier it is to attract people who are intrigued and willing to maintain that type of yard.
The appeal of a front yard is what can make or break a home in the eyes of buyers and realtors. If you are competing to get the first home sold, some homeowners go above and beyond to attract the most attention through their front yard.
On Better Homes and Gardens, some of the best yards include extravagant gardens with minimalistic waterfalls. It intrigues others when the yard has aspects that don’t appear naturally in that specific climate or neighborhood.
It is vital to make sure that even though you are trying to get the most intrigue in your home, keep in mind the climate you live in and the upkeep required to make the yard always look as glorious as you have kept it.
Any potential buyer may love the front yard, so remember that they will want to buy it, but may not want to maintain that same type of effort.