Best investment: Pool or Outdoor Kitchen?3/25/2019
With temperatures heating up in Florida, I’ve heard more and more people discussing their home improvement projects. Paver patios, in-ground pools, outdoor kitchens and koi ponds - the choices and options are endless!
For homeowners the decision to upgrade and spend their dollars is complex. On one hand, your home is your castle. You should enjoy it and it should fit your lifestyle. But you also don’t want to invest significant amounts of cash into an improvement the next homeowner may not value.
Which brings me to the pool versus outdoor kitchen debate - a very popular conundrum. I’ll jump right in.
First, let’s look at the pool. The latest National Association of Realtors data states that the average cost to install, equip, and fill a 600-square-foot concrete pool starts at $30,000. That number doesn’t include the pool fence or screen enclosure, lighting, landscaping and hardscaping (pavers and such) around the pool. The total bill can easily add up to $50,000 when all is said and done. Additionally, you have to budget about $100 a month for pump and heater utility costs. And another $500-$1000 a year for maintenance, cleaning and chemicals. You’ll also have to update your homeowners policy to indicate you have a pool. This may increase your annual premium by $50-100.
When it comes to an outdoor kitchen, build-out costs can vary greatly based on size and design specifications. A basic, outdoor kitchen (built on an existing patio) with a cooking grill and 6-foot countertop runs around $3,000. If you want to add additional counters & cabinets, a sink, a refrigerator, a rotisserie, or other features the price tag could run upwards of $15,000. Outside of the initial cost, recurring/maintenance expenses for an outdoor kitchen are pretty minimal.
Taking the personal “enjoyment” aspect of having a pool or outdoor kitchen out of this debate, and strictly looking at this decision from a ROI (Return-on-Investment) perspective - the outdoor kitchen is the way to go!
In terms property values: an outdoor kitchen will provide between 100-200 percent ROI, making the investment a no-brainer. Additionally, from a marketing perspective: every eats so kitchens are always a plus!
A pool on average provides about 50 percent ROI, and that’s because pools are a turnoff for some buyers. Pools are viewed as safety liabilities and require continuous care and maintenance.
- Mabel Perez, Real Estate Maven