Will Adding a swimming pool or Pond Improve your Home Value?


Even though we Canadians possess a woefully short season by which outdoor water isn't frozen, that doesn't stop us from spending on pools, ponds, and waterfront properties.

If anything – and I think everyone who's enjoying the spring weather as much as I'm will agree – our shortened season makes us treasure our open-water activities even more. It's no surprise that adding a pool or a pond for your backyard might be on your mind right about now.

But before you grab a shovel and begin DIY-ing an outdoor pond oasis, let's talk about the two stuff that ought to be surface of mind whenever you undertake home renovations (company, landscaping more than qualifies): insurance costs and residential values.

Also, don't dig your personal backyard pond, I guarantee you that won't go well. Call an expert.

Will adding water for your backyard impact your insurance rates?

Since I'm no insurance expert, I turned to Jennifer Beck at belairdirect with my laundry listing of curious homeowner questions about water as well as your house. Specifically, I wanted to understand when the backyard water oasis of my dreams would send my insurance costs sky-high.

“Ponds can have an effect on insurance premiums most likely due to liability along with other risk conditions,” she says. “Ponds (much like swimming pools) can have an increased risk of people injuring themselves or drowning, or attracting unwanted trespassers with whom you might still have a responsibility.”

“For this reason, some insurers may choose not to accept the danger at all, while some may achieve this with an increased liability premium.”

Ponds (much like swimming pools) can have an increased risk of people injuring themselves or drowning , or attracting unwanted trespassers

So not simply will my dream backyard raise my premiums, it might disqualify me from insurance altogether? Best to know. I asked Beck to dig a little deeper into what, specifically, could raise the insurance rates I'd hopefully still qualify for, to help obtain a little more clarity.

“The general rule to consider is that the more a product costs when it comes to labour and materials, the higher impact on the premium is going to be,” she says. “The cost to exchange a swimming pool in terms of labour and material is probably greater than the price to exchange a pond.”

This isn't altogether surprising, since just like any renovation, if you're pouring money into your house (or perhaps in this case, a hole in your backyard) it'll are more expensive to replace within the worst-case scenario.

How are you able to protect yourself if you are buying a backyard with existing features?

If you're evaluating a house which has existing water fountains outside, because you're fancy like this, Beck also recommends you get clear on the facts of your new backyard water fountain throughout the home inspection.

She recommends asking the next questions on your home inspection:

  1. Should the pool or water fountain leak, has got the lot been graded to disperse the water from the home as not to cause damage?
  2. If there were to become a leak, where would water flow and just what could easily get damaged consequently?
  3. Are there specific instructions with regards to winterizing the pool or water feature? And, how can you regularly maintain the feature?
  4. When installed, have there been building permits required and have they been signed off through the local building inspector?
  5. Does the installation conform to all current local building codes and bylaws?

And finally, what's going to this do in order to your home values?

So sure, you'll need a pool or perhaps a pond, and can future buyers of your home care enough to pay reasonably limited for your house correctly? To discover, I considered Randy Richardson, a professional home appraiser and who owns Richardson Real Estate Ltd.

“Water features don't add value,” said Richardson via email, wasting virtually no time whatsoever dispelling our dreams of increasing our home's value having a lovely koi pond. But it is not every not so good news!

“They alllow for better salability, and therefore shorter marketing periods. Generally, in negotiations, the buyers are willing to accept its existence but not pay it off, understanding that the owner won't pay the added cost of removing it.”

As for pools, Richardson's most sage advice is to understand your house and it is place in the marketplace prior to making any rash decisions.

Water features don't add value, said Richardson via email, wasting virtually no time at all dispelling our hopes for increasing our home's value with a lovely koi pond

“Pool-fanciers are usually larger families or individuals who have to impress,” he states. ” Most two or three bedroom homes are over-improved by adding a swimming pool, whereas a 4-bedroom home inside a family district may benefit from using a pool – as will a costly custom web design.”

If you are always considering a pool inside your immediate future, Richardson has some further advice when it comes to nobody benefits from a pool.

“My experience has seen swimming pools utilized by children 7 to 13, after which time the kids graduate with other interests and also the pool sits idle – after which the properties generally are sold.”

Bottom line: your backyard is for you, not your resale value

If you're reading this and you're still gung-ho concerning the concept of a backyard pond or pool, power to you!

You're now entering this with a clear idea that yes, your insurance rates will likely go up with the addition of water to your backyard by any means, shape, or chlorine-scented form, and that your resale value isn't likely likely to reimburse you for the cost of your oasis.

And also, since it just snowed in May (in Ottawa, a minimum of), you may be well aware it's only likely to be usable for two months of the season.