Alastair Woodgate, Director of leading St Albans and Watford based Chartered Surveyors Rumball Sedgwick considers the value of swimming pools and home gyms.
“Were you, like me, inspired by the phenomenal efforts of Team GB at the Rio Olympics? With the prospect of witnessing yet more superhuman achievements over the next 11 days at the Paralympics, many of us will be motivated to take up new sports or dedicating the forthcoming months to getting in better shape.
If there’s a budding Adam Peaty or Nicola Adams in your house and you have the resources and space, you might consider adding a swimming pool or a home gym. But before you splash out on a pool or weigh in with a gym conversion or extension, consider whether you will really get the use out of them and whether they would add enhance the value of your home.
Swimming pools can be highly appealing, especially for a family. A home gym can be a stress buster before or after a hard day’s work. But are they investments in anything more than fitness and leisure?
While a pool might, in just a few instances, increase the resale value of your home, it is more likely that your financial outlay won’t be recovered. A pool might be seen as a great selling point, but it can also be a huge expense to maintain and so be a deterrent to buyers. Running costs can be around £10 a day for an outdoor pool, with installation costs of £30-40,000 (and more for an indoor pool). Contrary to what most of us think not everyone desires a pool: a property with a pool might be on the market for longer as it is not always an investment buyers want.
And how about a gym in your home? Does having one increase the value of your property? The short answer is probably not, though, like a pool, it may increase the desirability of your home to a certain set of buyers. The space created for a gym is however more flexible in its uses and if it could be used as additional living space it has a better prospect of adding value.
My view is to think of swimming pools and gyms as a wonderful lifestyle investment: by all means add them if you know you are going to make good use of them over a number of years, but don’t do it in the expectation of adding value. If you are adding a gym make sure the space is fit for other uses.
In the wake of the Olympics and Paralympics, perhaps in the first instance we should take advantage of our great local facilities, such as Westminster Lodge, to test out or show off our sporting prowess!”