Want A Pool? Summertime Renovations And Whether They’re A Smart Choice

Thomas Short
Military VA Loan contributor

The warm summer weather can make homeowners’ imaginations run wild. Who wouldn’t want to step outside to relax by the pool or fire pit, enjoying their new patio or outdoor kitchen?

Summertime renovations can be fun and relatively inexpensive. Many renovations or additions can also increase the value of your home and make it more desirable if you ever decide to sell.

Other renovations and additions can end up being costly, and you may even come to regret it.

Here are some of the top renovation ideas for the summer and whether they’re a smart choice:

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In-Ground Pool

Plenty of homeowners would take an in-ground pool. During the summer, the thought of having friends and family over to hand out by the pool is pretty tempting. In some areas, you can even use the pool year-round, which would make this a better investment.

Unfortunately, the total return on an in-ground pool is pretty low. You’ll like be spending around $10,000 minimum just to get the pool installed (the cost of the pool, the labor, the concrete, etc.) – not to mention monthly and annual maintenance that you’ll have to cover. Also, you’ll need to heat the pool, and your insurance might require you to install a fence to minimize the chance of an accident.

The total value added to your home from an in-ground pool will depend on the area you live in; however, it’s safe to assume that you’ll only see about a 7% return when you go to sell your home. Some home buyers might even be deterred since they won’t want to deal with the hassle of owning a pool.

All this being said, if your dream is to have a home with an in-ground pool, then the value it adds to your home may as well be negligible. Just be prepared for the costs of owning a pool.

Above Ground Pool

If you’re dying to have a pool but don’t want the financial burden of owning an in-ground pool, above ground pools are a safe bet. These are typically significantly cheaper than in-ground pools, and they’re significantly easier to install.

Above ground pools do still require the same maintenance as an in-ground pool, but the overall cost of installing – and potentially removing – one is significantly lower. No, they don’t look as nice as in-ground pools, but they’re a smarter financial option.

New HVAC System

In some areas, it can be difficult to make it through summer without air conditioning. Replacing or adding a new HVAC system is a smart decision, both for your comfort and for your home value.

HVAC systems vary in price, but you can expect to recoup roughly half of what you put in when you sell your home. Also, new HVAC systems are a good selling point, and it can attract more buyers.

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Landscaping is always a good idea, especially if the front of your house isn’t looking very fresh. It also can be relatively inexpensive, depending on the size of your project.

Not only does new landscaping look nice, but it’s a project that you can accomplish on your own as well. New plants, ripping out sod and planting new trees are all DIY tasks, and you can save money this way. Not all landscaping can be done on your own, but you can do enough to save money and spend some time outside enjoying the summer weather.

There’s no way to tell exactly how much new landscaping can add to your home value. Some homes will see a modest increase in value while others can more than recoup the entire cost of the project. Landscaping is aesthetic, and tastes will range from buyer to buyer. The good news is that there is probably a home buyer out there who is willing to pay extra just for whatever landscaping you went with.

Fire Pit

If you’ve ever wanted a fire pit, you aren’t alone. Fire pits are very desirable by home shoppers, so you can expect to recoup plenty of the cost of adding one to your backyard.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average fire pit installation costs just over $3,000. However, plenty of homeowners can install a fire pit for less. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Backyard deck/patio

The ultimate centerpiece of the backyard is the deck/patio. This is where you entertain, cook and relax, all while enjoying the summer weather.

Decks and patios tend to add a lot of value to your home – roughly 80% of the cost of installation. They’re also not horribly expensive, ranging around $2,000-3,000 on average. If you’re looking to add something to your home that adds value, a patio might be the best way to go.

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