As summer temperatures start to rise, backyard pool parties are the hottest ticket in town and everyone wants an invite. Thumbs up to those of you with access to your very own pool already, but not everyone is in the same (blowup) boat. To find out where you are most likely to get invited to a rockin' backyard pool party this summer, data scientists at Redfin, a national real estate brokerage, analyzed the listing descriptions of all the homes that have hit the market in the last year and found the cities with the highest percentage of listings that mentioned the word "pool."
It comes as no surprise that the top 10 cities are all in warm climates, as pools in these areas will get lots of use and can increase home values. In fact in all 10 cities on the list, the median asking price of homes with a pool was higher than the median asking price of all homes in the city.
If you don't live in one of these cities or you don't have a pool of your own, you may be swimming towards the idea of installing a pool in your backyard. But before you sink any cash into a personal lagoon, you may want to see if that investment will pay off.
"Between daily heating and filtering, weekly cleaning and yearly inspections, keeping up a pool costs time and money," said MaryDell Penney, a Redfin real estate agent in Orlando, Florida. "Homeowners insurance is also likely to be higher for a home with a pool. In warm climates a pool can add value to a home, but in colder areas it can turn off some buyers."
So, let's jump right in to the list of the 10 best cities to throw a pool party according to our Redfin data analysis:
1. Palm Springs, California
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 78.8%
- Median asking price of homes with a pool: $595,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $569,000
With the hot and dry southern California climate, we are not surprised that Palm Springs made the top of our list for best cities to throw a pool party. It's the perfect destination for lazing by the pool, sipping a cool beverage and listening to some tunes. It also helps that most homes in the area come fully equipped with a private pool. "People love their backyard pools in Palm Springs," said Brian Lopiccolo, a Redfin real estate agent in Palm Springs. "Having one certainly increases a home's value." And why wouldn't it? Summer temperatures can reach nearly 120 degrees, making a reprieve from the desert air and scorching sun a must for any home.
2. La Quinta, California
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 68.0%
- Median asking price of homes with a pool: $629,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $519,750
La Quinta isn't too far from Palm Springs, so residents in this area are dealing with the same hot, dry desert air as Palm Springs. But according to Lopiccolo, La Quinta has a slightly different flavor when it comes to real estate and pools: "Homes located in this area are usually located near golf courses and feature resort-like amenities, which can lead to steep HOA fees for properties with a pool." But, the fees are certainly worth it if you want your pool party guests to stay cool and comfortable.
3. Windermere, Florida
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 67.5%
- Median asking price of a home with a pool: $585,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $512,500
Backyard pools are fairly standard in Windermere, a small suburb of Orlando. That isn't surprising, considering that the average temperature for this city hovers around 71 degrees. "Homes without a pool tend to remain on the market longer than homes with one, since it's such a desirable feature for this area," said MaryDell Penney, a Redfin real estate agent in Orlando. "Many of my clients are people who are relocating from the north to escape those colder temperatures. These homebuyers are looking for a home with a pool since they probably didn't have one at their last home."
4. Davenport, Florida
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 67.0%
- Median asking price of homes with a pool: $210,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $195,885
Davenport is known to be a tourist destination for those looking for some fun in the sun. Because this is such a hot spot for people to travel to for vacay, most of the homes in Davenport serve as vacation rental properties. According to Penney, "if a property doesn't have a pool, it wouldn't do so well in this kind of town, where many of the homes are investment properties for people to rent out to vacationers who are specifically looking for a home with a pool."
5. Bonita Springs, Florida
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 66.5%
- Median asking price of a home with a pool: $449,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $399,900
Bonita Springs is located on the southwest coast of Florida, and offers plenty of sunshine for anyone looking for it. "You can find a pool in most homes on the market in this area," according to Tara Olson, a Redfin real estate agent in Fort Myers. Olson said she gets a lot of pool requests from homebuyers who are relocating from northern parts of the country. "A lot of people coming from the colder climates want the luxury of having a private pool, which is why many people would rather have one in their own backyard rather than visit the local community pool." Olson also said the cost of installing a pool could run you up to $30,000, and quality counts. If you're looking to install a pool in a home in Bonita Springs, she advises that you make sure the contractor you are hiring is licensed and insured so you don't end up paying all of that money to a company that might not be legit.
6. Palm Harbor, Florida
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 65.5%
- Median asking price of homes with a pool: $285,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $249,900
Brian Walsh is a Redfin real estate agent in Tampa and says that while backyard pools usually add to the resale value of the home, it really hinges on the quality of the pool. It can even detract from the value of the home if the pool needs to be updated. Residential pools can be a lot of work. While it may seem like a popular feature in the area of Palm Harbor, it isn't for everyone. "Many clients who are coming from colder weather climates are usually looking for a home with a pool, while other homebuyers who have had a pool before might opt out of a home with one because they know how much work and money goes into maintaining it."
7. Naples, Florida
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 63.8%
- Median asking price of homes with a pool: $468,870
- Median asking price of all homes: $395,000
Naples is located right on the western coast of Florida and was listed as one of the top 8 U.S. cities to attract the wealthy in 2014. So, it's no surprise that most of these homes come with their very own pool for unlimited laps of luxury. "Naples is a place where most homes have a pool," according to Olson. "It's a standard feature and would be unusual if a home didn't have one."
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 63.8%
- Median asking price of a home with a pool: $589,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $560,000
Scottsdale is located in the heart of a desert, which is why a home without a pool could be a deal breaker for homebuyers in this market. "Many of my clients won't buy a home without a pool even if the home meets every other requirement they have," according to Kevin Wachel, a Redfin real estate agent in the Phoenix Valley. While a pool will usually help sell a home, that doesn't necessarily mean you should install a pool in a home without one. "A homeowner might spend up to $30,000 to install a pool, but that might only add about $10,000 when it comes to the appraisal of the home. I would suggest installing a pool only if you are going to be in that home for a few years. It wouldn't be worth it if you are looking to move in the near future." Wachel also notes that a pool can be a deterrent for some buyers, especially if they have young children and safety is a concern.
9. Boca Raton, Florida
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 63.2%
- Median asking price of a home with a pool: $475,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $445,000
Boca Raton is located on the eastern coast of Florida. The daily average temperature for the city is about 84 degrees, making it a popular place for backyard pools. "A pool will generally add value to a home in this area," said Erik Granda, a Redfin real estate agent in Fort Lauderdale. Granda said about 50% of his clients say a pool is a "must have" in their next home. "The other 50% say they don't want a pool because they don't want to be bothered to deal with the maintenance. It costs a lot of money to maintain a pool all year round."
10. Cape Coral, Florida
- Percent of listing descriptions mentioning "pool": 62.8%
- Median asking price of a home with a pool: $251,000
- Median asking price of all homes: $204,870
Cape Coral is known as the "Waterfront Wonderland" because it is made up of over 400 miles of waterways. While the city is surrounded by water, it doesn't stop the residents from wanting a home with a pool to call their own. "There are many options for homes with pools in this area," according to Olson. "It's considered one of the least expensive waterfront cities in the U.S., so it's a desirable area not only for backyard pools but also because people want to be close to the water."
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