By Shelley Sakala

I know it’s fall, but let’s talk swimming pools. There are two kinds of homeowners: those with a pool and those without. And while we’re safely past the triple-digit temps, there are still plenty of homeowners in the second group with simmering memories of another brutal August. They vowed that never again would they endure a Phoenix summer without a pool. These are the people currently getting bids from pool builders.

From a quality-of-life perspective, this is a great move. Rarely do I meet a homeowner who regrets having a swimming pool. From a financial standpoint, however, it’s a different story. Allow me to cut to the chase: You’re not going to get your money back when you sell the house. No one ever does. Does that mean you should forget about having a pool? Heck no. If you like it, you use it, and you can afford it, then go for it. But before you sign that contract to begin construction, here’s an alternative worth considering: Buy a home with a pool already installed.

Changing addresses for the sake of a swimming pool might sound crazy, but compare these two pool ownership scenarios:

Scenario 1: Your home is valued at $300,000. You add a pool that costs $30,000. Financial experts estimate a pool adds about 7 percent to your home’s value. Your home is now worth approximately $321,000. You’ve got the swimming pool, but you owe $9,000 more than your home is currently worth.

Scenario 2: Purchase a $300,000 home that already has a pool (There are currently 15 homes for sale in Norterra/Deer Valley that include a pool and are priced below $300,000). You get the pool without financing an additional construction project.

If you love your home or your neighborhood so much that you couldn’t bear to leave it, then Scenario 1 is your best bet. Your ultimate happiness will be in the home, and you’ll be there long enough that you won’t even miss the money you spend on the pool. But in terms of dollars and cents, Scenario #2 is the smart play. You get the house, a swimming pool, and you’re not outlaying cash or adding any additional debt.

No matter which scenario you choose, chances are you’ll be a happy camper next summer. And you’ll forget all about whether it was your heart or your wallet that guided your decision.

Don’t forget the sunscreen!

You can search for homes with or without a pool at


Neighborhood Inventory Update

Homes for sale with a pool: 20
Price range: $155,000-$484,000

NORTERRA (85085)
Homes for sales with a pool: 41
Price range: $284,950-$1,649,900