Hot tub or spa: which has better investment value?
With the summer months fast approaching, many might be contemplating taking the plunge into some warm water. Often smaller and easier to maintain than a swimming pool, the appeal of a hot tub or spa is not difficult to understand - who wouldn't want to be immersed in hot water while bubbles massage your troubles away? But, considering that installing one of these will set you back tens of thousands, you might be curious to know which, if any, increase the value of your home.
"When it comes to additions that add value, one must consider what will stay and what will go with you when you move.
The general rule is that if the item is attached to the extent that removing it would cause damage to the structure or land that it is attached to, then the item should be considered permanent and remain with the home after a sale.
For this reason, built-in spas often offer greater value to homeowners than freestanding hot tubs do," says regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.
To understand this, it might be helpful to know the difference between the two. Quite simply, a spa is most commonly used to describe a hot tub which is built into the ground. A hot tub,also referred to as a Jacuzzi (after the brand name of a popular hot tub manufacturer), is something that is most often installed above ground and can be moved with you if you choose to sell.
"Homeowners should be very careful when selling a home with an above-ground hot tub. Since a degree of installation is required to connect the hot tub, many buyers consider it as a fixture that will remain with the property after the sale. To avoid arguments during the key handover, sellers should make sure that the buyers know that the hot tub is not included in the sale of the home," Goslett explains.
However, hot tubs may still be used to enhance the value of a home if the seller chooses to do so. "It is up to the seller whether they want to take the hot tub with them to their next home or leave it on the current property. Whatever the seller decides, they should take care to ensure that it is mentioned in the purchase agreement before the buyer signs the offer to purchase," he says.
Goslett reminds homeowners that they will need to hire a qualified electrician to connect their hot tub or spa. "If homeowners later choose to sell, they will require an electrical clearance certificate for the hot tub or spa. If unable to do so, they risk failing the home inspection which can delay the sale and increase the possibility of it falling through altogether," Goslett concludes.