Oakville Real Estate News

Backyard Features To Avoid

Blog by Joette Fielding | August 25th, 2015

Backyard Features.jpgAs the Gen X’ers continue to improve and invest in their homes, luxury-sporting items are again in demand. Whether pools, saunas, or tennis courts, the 40-50 somethings are spending their money on creating outdoor escapes for their houses instead of investing in summer homes or cottages. Unfortunately, not all luxury items increase the value of your home.

Here are a few of the pitfalls to be aware of and some better investment options to consider.


For years, pools have had a stigma surrounding them. Realtors and home evaluation experts preached the idea that a pool investment would reduce the value of your property. We now know, according to the National Association of Realtors (2015), that while a pool may reduce the amount of buyers interested in purchasing your home, they also attract a different buyer who would have otherwise been uninterested.

In Canada, your home value stays constant. Unfortunately, this means that the entire investment of the swimming pool comes out of your pocket with no hope of seeing a return. When deciding if a pool is right for you, make sure to count the total days in the summer that you can use it; multiply this by the length of time you want to be in the home; and divide that into the total installation cost of the pool. You’ll probably realize that it will cost you between $140 and $165 dollars for every day you actually swim.

Does this mean you should definitely NOT get a swimming pool? Not necessarily. Here are some reasons to consider having a swimming pool:

  • If you plan on using it! Think backyard BBQs, friends and family coming over for swims.
  • You want access to a pool for health benefits. Water aerobics is great for health injuries.
  • If you’re living in your ‘forever home’ and don’t plan on selling it. The amount of time you use the pool will give you your money’s worth!


A more economical solution to a swimming pool, saunas have continued to be in demand as a 4-season outdoor water feature. With a marginal return-on-investment, hot tubs, Jacuzzi’s and soakers are more than just the default for homeowners unwilling to spend the money on the swimming pool (we’ll attest to this – they can be costly!). The biggest complaint that sauna-owners consistently make is that after the first year, they use them less and less. The key to use is all about the design of the space. Saunas that are in secluded spaces in the back with easy access to an entry point get used more often. If you want one, plan on some great privacy screens and a way to keep the snow shoveled in the winter.

If your backyard is too small for a pool, or you’re not interested in paying the hefty price tag, consider a hot tub or Jacuzzi! 

Tennis and Sport Courts

As an avid tennis player, it pains me to say that putting in a tennis court just doesn’t make sense for a majority of homeowners. Aside from the cost of the installation and the maintenance, very few building lots are really large enough to have a full court without looking totally overwhelmed.

If you are among the lucky few with a big property that can house a court, consider going with a multi-purpose sport court instead of a true tennis court. Sport courts combine the lines and the equipment to play a variety of games including basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton. When it comes to attracting buyers, more options are always better.

Putting Greens

While big in the 90s and early 2000s, putting greens have decreased in popularity with more homeowners opting to just install artificial turf instead. Done properly however, a good putting green can replace the need for a lawn in the back with something that still looks green but actually has a purpose. Technology and design has allowed golfers to adjust the speed of their home greens to match the ones at their golf club so that they get true putting consistency.

At the end of the day, these types of luxury items in the backyard aren’t really about making money though. They are about creating a space that works for your family. At least now you can spend the money with a little more confidence that you aren’t hurting the value of your home.

Excerpt taken from of http://www.eieihome.com


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