There's no doubt that a hot tub can feel great on sore muscles at the end of the day, but many homeowners like to know if their backyard additions are going to increase the value of their home. Hot tubs can run anywhere from $2000 for small basic models to $8,000 and up for luxury systems with dozens of jets, built in stereo systems, and even TVs. With this large of an expenditure, it is easy to see why people want to know if they will recoup their financial investment.
According to the book 101 Cost-Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home, a hot tub has only a moderate impact on prospective homeowners. "On average, a homeowner can probably expect to recoup most of the money invested in a hot tub or spa, but don't expect to command a premium for it" (p. 83). One of the factors to consider is how much of a demand there is for hot tubs in your home's neighborhood. If no one else in town has a hot tub, it may be a sign they are not that desirable of a feature in your area. On the other hand, if many of your neighbors have a hot tub, then there is probably a healthy supply and demand for them, and a potential homeowner will find the addition desirable.
If you do decide to purchase a hot tub, but you think you may sell your home in a few years, you'll want to do what you can do to make the tub look good rather than stick out like a sore thumb. Placing the hot tub in a gazebo or building a deck around it are good ways to make it feel like a part of the landscape rather than an unplanned edition. When wooing potential homebuyers, remember presentation can make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars.