When searching through home listings, those with swimming pools are almost always listed for higher prices than the pool-less homes around them; often leading to the belief that a swimming pool will net the seller a better price. In some cases, this is true, but sometimes, homeowners are unable to recoup the entire cost of pool installation, let alone turn a profit off of it. Installing a swimming pool is a complicated affair and should be thought through very carefully before you decide to take the plunge.

To start, a typical in-ground pool is going to cost anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000, with prices easily reaching the 6-figure mark for fancier varieties. This means that you’re going to need to tack on the installation amount to the asking price of your home just to break even. That doesn’t include the maintenance costs for owning a pool – which can be considerable. For example, if your home sells 30-days after you put it on the market you’re only going to be in the hole for one month’s worth of upkeep costs (increased utility bills, chemicals, and maintenance). However, should your home sit on the market for a while, these costs will begin to add up and can easily leave you under water.

Swimming pools are not standard, and that means that while it will turn some potential buyers on, it’s also going to turn some off. Not everyone is going to want to deal with the increased utility bills, loss of usable yardage, and general pain-in-the-neck-ery of having to maintain a swimming pool throughout the year.

Finally, there’s the market. Do most of the homes around you have a pool? Does the neighborhood itself have a community pool nearby? Ultimately, the market will be a huge determinant to what you can get for your home, whether you install a pool or not.