“Will a hot tub increase the value of my home ?” This is a question I am often asked by first-time hot tub buyers looking for a good excuse to purchase a hot tub! Here is my standard answer:
The installation of a hot tub is unlikely to increase the value of your home, and even if it did, it would not be anything near what you paid to have it installed. It may, however, increase the saleability of your home!!
A friend of mine builds luxury homes in London, so I asked him if he puts sunken hot tubs, as part of a spa complex, in the gardens of the houses he designs. Below is what I took from the conversation:
Built in spa complex
A built-in hot tub, as part of spa complex, may increase the value of your home… but, most of the homes that have such things are enormously expensive and aimed at the very wealthy or super-rich. In these instances, the buyer has so much money, they may just want to rip it out and build it again to their taste! Many yards or gardens have limited space, so the spa complex may take up too much room making the garden look smaller than it is. Another negative of having a hot tub is it may put off some potential buyers. Properties may be bought by people who have young kids or grandkids, and they might be concerned that there is a risk to them. My friend told me they often build swimming pools in the basement, but the clients consider these safer as the room can be locked.
Can hot tubs increase the saleability of the property?
Another friend of mine sells houses in the mid-range price bracket, so I turned to her for advice on my next question.
It turns out that a well-positioned hot tub in a yard or garden can increase the saleability of a property. The hot tub needs to be in a sensible position so that it works with the garden’s flow. It must not obstruct the view of the garden from the house or be so close to the home that it is right outside the window. She recommends that the hot tub is at the end of the garden under a feature like a gazebo. One comment she made was that it shouldn’t smell too “hot tubby!” A well maintained hot tub should never have a strong smell, so it is essential, even if you are selling the property and are perhaps to busy to use the hot tub, to continue to keep sanitizer levels correct!
Hot tubs are luxurious
The reason hot tubs can help with the sale of the property is that they are seen as a little bit of luxury that the purchaser wants to buy into. The classic image of a couple relaxing in the evening (Me, every day BTW!) appeals to many people. They can place themselves doing the same; unwinding from the daily stresses of life!! Now if your house is a do-er-upper, then perhaps the hot tub will look out of place, but if this is the case nothing will increase the value or saleability apart from some serious DIY!!
Do not sink your hot tub!
From a maintenance point of view, sunken hot tubs can be very challenging, but I understand that they can look amazing if done well. They look like they belong in those very high-end hotels overlooking a pastel blue coast – delicious! However, they may hurt the re-saleability of your home as buyers may consider them a risk to young children. Equally, if the potential buyer does not want the hot tub, they are left with an ugly hole in the ground.
Top Tip: If you must ‘sink’ your hot tub, then sink it into raised decking. This way, when it is removed, you can just buy more decking planks to cover the hole! Make sure you explain this to the estate agent, so they know what to tell potential buyers!
Be prepared to lose your hot tub!!
This is something my friend told me that I had not thought about – if the hot tub fits with the garden and is in excellent condition, the buyer will try to negotiate to keep it as part of the sale! I am not sure I would be able to part with my hot tub unless it was bought with cash so that I could buy another in my new property! Even if you are not prepared to let your hot tub go, the electrics for the hot tub will still be in place for the buyer should they decide to splash out on a new shiny hot tub!
Most short-term rental websites have the option to search for properties based on the amenities the property offers and hot tub/swimming pool is always one of them. Many people are happy to rule properties out if it does not have a hot tub. Again, hot tubs are a little bit of luxury, and people want luxury when they have their holidays. Although having a hot tub may increase rental potential, you will also be expected to maintain the water quality and be able to demonstrate it is in safe working order. This evidence needs to be made available for internal and external audit even if you contract out the work.
For long term lets, my real-estate friend did not recommend you leave a hot tub, as the new occupants will be unlikely to know how to maintain it properly. At best it is likely to get damaged, and at worst, they may get ill and want to blame you!
If you are going to use your hot tub to increase the value/saleability of your property do this:
Landscape around your hot tub
Some hot tubs can look like they have just landed in your garden from outer space. They do not connect with the garden, and this can make it look out of place. If your garden has pots with plants in, place them around the hot tub to soften its appearance. Consider having a wooden gazebo or wooden screening to add privacy, but also make it seem as if the hot tub is an integral part of the garden.
Change the cover if it is looking tired
The hot tub cover takes a lot of abuse from the elements and wildlife making it look ‘grubby’ and old in a few seasons. Even if the water quality is perfect and you look after your investment, an old looking cover will make the hot tub feel unloved. More importantly, it will give the impression to your potential buyers that you may not have looked after the property. I did see one property online where they had ‘dressed’ the hot tub with a selection of rubber ducks! Not sure this hit the brief, but they get extra points for making an effort!!
Will a hot tub increase the value of my property? The Conclusion
There are many fabulous reasons to buy a hot tub, and just because it may not add value to your property does not mean you should skip the opportunity of owning one! Buying a new house and selling your old home, can be one of the most stressful times in your life, so surely that is the reason to buy your first hot tub – Hot tubs were invented to melt away stress!!
Thanks for reading – if you want to join the conversation, please feel free to comment below.
Have a great day!!