The Blue Beyond

The indoor pool puts homebuyers in the lap of luxury

Written by Jenn Thornton | Photo courtesy of Steve Brown, Sepia Productions Inc.

Long synonymous with Southern California living, the outdoor pool in these parts is an interaction with the environment, a reflection of the shimmering Pacific seas off our coveted shores. Its counterpart, the indoor pool, is more elusive on the local landscape; its perception still mostly pie-in-the-sky, a fantasy feature that pushes real estate values well beyond the infinity edge into unattainable territory.

Hence, “There are many, many pools in LA, but there are very few indoor pools,” explains Josh and Matthew Altman of The Altman Brothers at Douglas Elliman, who are currently listing a property with one of the finest, Hacienda de la Paz. As “a 10,000-square-foot luxurious Moorish hamam [that] harks back to the 10th century with hand-crafted ceilings, 24-carat gold Venetian tiling, indoor pool, baths, relaxation rooms and a spa experience that rivals the finest resorts in the world,” this dream natatorium makes more than just a splash. It’s also a prime example of the indoor pool as a beacon of “ultra-luxury” promising “utmost privacy”—and not just for the Larry Ellisons of the world either.

Though inventory of indoor pools is low, they are high on the radar of modern homebuyers in the market for making a dual investment in their home and lifestyle. Enter the experiential-based amenity package—a gourmet chef’s kitchen along with a dine-in wine cellar and subterranean parking, for example. Luxury residences are giving the spa bathroom a spin, so why not a destination spa experience via an indoor pool with adjacent steam room and advanced hydrotherapy?

The biggest challenge for the indoor pool may not be its impractical reputation, but predictable SoCal climes that continue to make the outdoor pool de rigueur. Despite this, the indoor pool is a prime recreational extension of the in-home fitness center and, if really ambitious, a full-on wet area—Olympic-size benefits that boost a home’s bottom line. Even when factoring in construction and service costs associated with this aspirational element, “Indoor pools add more value to a home than without an indoor pool,” assure the Altmans.

Before diving into uncharted waters, calculate costs, determine residential re-sell value and target the aim of your investment.

Then jump on in…the water’s fine!

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