During the last five years, the U.S. swimming pool construction industry has grown by 3.8%. While there are certainly some homeowners who would rather bypass the upkeep that comes with having a pool on their property, there are a number of benefits to owning one — chief among them being the opportunity to stay in shape. But particularly in Los Angeles, home buyers (and even renters) are driving demand for pools, to the point where real estate agents and landlords are now seeing them as necessities in order to appeal to interested parties.
Owning a pool, of course, can provide plenty of opportunities to entertain, relax, and prioritize one’s health. Although less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, swimming can be a highly effective and enjoyable workout that will provide welcome relief from spending hours on the treadmill each week. What’s more, swimming can be easier on the body. Approximately 30% of adults aged 15 and over who exercise daily say that they walk for exercise, but exercises that place strain on the joints can increase injury risk, especially amongst people in their 40s and beyond. Swimming is much easier on the joints but manages to combine both aerobic activities and resistance training, making it possible to address strength and fitness in one go. You can burn calories and fat while toning your physique and improving your stamina — which makes it the perfect workout, in many ways.
That’s assuming you have regular access to a pool, though. While a new app called Swimply allows you to rent out a neighborhood pool by the hour, many residents would rather have a pool to call their own. And for wealthy buyers in the City of Angels, having a pool is almost a non-negotiable. According to a top real estate agent interviewed by Business Insider, swimming pools aren’t seen as added amenities; rather, they’re non-negotiables.
As agent Jade Mills explained: “A swimming pool is a must, it’s probably more important than anything else. There are very few homes in our area that will not have a pool. It’s almost like a kitchen.”
Mills’ take is backed up by a recent Redfin study, which revealed that 23% of all homes sold in the LA metro area in 2018 had pools. While that certainly doesn’t encompass the majority, pools are certainly attractive to more wealthy buyers. In fact, LA homes with pools sold for approximately $95,393 more than homes without, according to that same Redfin study. Although a home with a pool could alienate buyers looking in more affordable areas and even other states, not having a pool is almost considered to be criminal in certain parts of Los Angeles.
It’s not only affluent buyers who insist on taking a dip, either. Area landlords are scrambling to add luxury amenities, including opulent swimming pools, to properties in order to attract top-tier renters. Many owners are going the extra mile, including features like dog parks, heated gazebos, barbecue stations, cabanas, expensive appliances, wine tasting bars, libraries, yoga and spin studios, and multiple pools on-site. These amenities don’t come cheap, fetching monthly rent payments of anywhere from $3,000 to $7,500. Shockingly, tenants are finding ways to make it work (for now), thanks to the allure of those added bonuses.
Although living in the lap (pool) of luxury might seem like a total fantasy for many of us, it’s clear that there are certainly buyers and renters out there who are willing to pay top dollar in order to cool off in a convenient way. But if that’s simply not in your budget, you can always get out the sprinkler and put it on the lawn — though that’s about to become more expensive, too. In that case, you might just have to make do with good old air conditioning… or find a friend who loves hosting pool parties.
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