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How Your Blue Pool Can Put You in the Green

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How Your Blue Pool Can Put You in the Green
3 min. read

Consider this: owning a pool in Los Angeles will provide you with heightened property value, bragging rights and an added feeling of environmental awareness. Seems too good to be true? Our study indicates that swimming pools increase the property value of homes, and while filling a swimming pool might seem wasteful in light of the Californian drought, we’d be wise to take a closer look at the alternatives.

Making waves: How pools impact property value

Not all pools are created equal… nor are they distributed evenly. In fact, the relative property values vary wildly between areas due in part to these large differences in pool distribution. Inspired by a study presented by The Thrust, we started looking at these value fluctuations focusing on specific areas, and the results speak for themselves.

Swimming pool table 1

Diving deeper: A closer look at LA’s top neighborhood pools

We’ve looked at the median sale price of houses in the top neighborhoods of L.A. simply because it is safer to assume that properties in these famously exclusive areas are on more equal footing when it comes to the amenities and variables which might influence their price.

Let’s take for example two of the top luxury neighborhoods of L.A. – Hidden Hills (home of the Kardashians) and Beverly Hills (which needs no introduction). In the former, as many as 87% of homes have a private pool. Perhaps as a consequence of this, pools are not considered so special in Hidden Hills, and so the median property values there, pool or no pool, seem to be quite similar.

On the other hand, Beverly Hills, while being just as exclusive, shows an average increase of almost 200% for a home with a pool as opposed to one without. This may be due to the overall distribution of pools in the area reaching only around 60%, making them far more rare and desirable than in Hidden Hills.

Property value increases by anywhere between 2% (in Panorama City) to almost 200% (in Beverly Hills) for a house with a private pool, with an average city-wide value increase of 63%. Of course, these numbers are mere guidelines, as there are many variables to consider, but the trend is clear nonetheless.

Swimming pool table 2

Blue vs. Green?

An independent study conducted by the California Pool and Spa Association, optimistic as it may be, shows that a well-maintained pool equipped with a cover uses significantly less water over the span of five years than maintaining an equivalent area of lawn does, even in the case of drought-resistant landscaping.

The study has been summarized in a report presented by CPSA 2014. While this report addresses some specific issues that have to do with the situation in Ventura County, California, most of its conclusions are applicable to L.A. as well. See below a projection of water consumption over five years, comparing pools and landscaping.

Swimming pool chart

Even from a skeptical perspective, the point this research makes is that, in spite of appearances, well-maintained pools do not waste more water than lawns and shouldn’t be avoided or filled-in on principle alone.

Pools are an iconic part of Californian identity and the thing to keep in mind is that just because the water in a pool is highly visible, that doesn’t make the pool itself highly wasteful. Precisely because of their visibility, pools act like highlights and exclamation marks, adding great value and potential to almost any property in Los Angeles.

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