Lauren's Blog

Is the Popularity of Pools Here to Stay?

backyard pool
backyard pool

Are you ready for my latest sizzling hot take? Cause today I’m coming to the defense of… pools! Yes, the often overlooked and undervalued backyard pool has made a huge comeback in Portland with the combination of the Covid-19 aftermath and rising temperatures. Now, is it just a fad or here to stay?

Let’s jump in! 

If you’re new here, I’m Lauren Goché — a Portland realtor with a decade of experience backing me up. This means I’ve weathered more than a few market shifts over the course of my career, and specialize in making sure you can make the most of the market for your goals. Read more about me here.

Case Study: Return of the Pool

In Portland real estate, it’s a long-held belief, and how I was trained, that having a pool will bring the value of a home down. After all, you have two months of “swimming weather” a year in Portland. A stagnant pool 10 months out of the year is expensive to maintain and ends up being a burden for homeowners, more than anything. 

So years ago, when one of my very first clients bought a house with a pool, I straight up told her: “this is not going to be good for the long-term value of this house, but you’ll enjoy it”. Sure enough, after two summers, countless hours, and a chunk of money going towards maintenance, they decided the pool was too much of a pain. They decommissioned it. End of story…Right? 

Eventually, they put the house on the market — then Covid hit and the housing market shifted. With the ensuing chaos, they still managed to close and begin their search for the next house. Lo and behold, they found a house with another goddamned pool — hilarious, I know. Sometimes you can’t escape your watery fate!

Things were different this time. Not only were we in the clutches of a global pandemic, but Portland was feeling the effects of the climate crisis. Remember the 115-degree heat domes in June 2021? Who could have guessed that two seemingly unrelated catastrophes — global warming and a pandemic — could do what years of real estate marketing couldn’t… create an overnight demand for pools. When my client bought their second home, they never imagined needing another pool, but within the blink of an eye, everyone was clamoring over houses with swimming pools.  

And look, I can’t complain. Every summer, you’ll see me strutting to my buddies’ pool parties with my swanky monogrammed towel that they custom-made for me. You might think it’s extra, but I think it’s fabulousss. 

Here to Stay or Just a Fad?

Now back to our original question: are pools here to stay? I can’t answer that definitively, but my recent experiences lead me to declare that pools are here to stay. I have more and more clients asking me if a house has an existing pool — and if not, could they fit one of those nifty modular ones into the backyard instead? I even had a client who swears her above-ground pool is what keeps her mental health in check for the entire summer. She flat out told me: “I swim in it every day, I have to have a yard that can fit in this pool.” — I feel ya sister, honestly I do. 

The bottom line is, the world is permanently changed. More people are working remotely, and the time we’re spending at home is only increasing. Plus I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but it ain’t getting any cooler… The climate crisis is here, and I sadly don’t see that changing despite how much I want to crawl under the ground and pretend like it doesn’t exist. So, for all unfortunate reasons, pools are finally getting in good use — yay pools!

Final Thoughts

Pools are probably here to stay. Especially in cities like Portland where the summer heat is unbearable, a swimming pool can provide hours of relief and enjoyment throughout the summer months. Plus, with modular pools becoming more popular, you don’t have to sacrifice a large portion of your backyard or bank account to have one. All you need is the space and the investment — so if you want to take a plunge into the pool trend, there’s never been a better time!  

Ready to get in the water this summer? I’ll help you find the perfect property with a pool or, if necessary, a backyard big enough to fit one. Let’s get started — contact me here!