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Outdoor Water Fountains: Are They Worth the Investment?

Jun 27, 2020 by Liz Brumer

Imagine a guest or prospective homebuyer walking up to your front door. They reach the shade of the entry and are greeted by a beautiful outdoor water fountain gently trickling water. Talk about making a statement.

An outdoor water fountain is not a run-of-the-mill landscape addition, but many people love water features for their calming properties. They can increase curb appeal if situated in the front of the house or provide a relaxing retreat in the backyard. But are they worth the investment? Take a look at why you may want an outdoor water fountain and whether the cost is worth the value they offer.

Why buy an outdoor water fountain?

Homeowners or investors looking to add a bonus feature in their landscape may be drawn to an outdoor water fountain. They can be a low-maintenance landscape feature that is widely adaptable to the space available and the overall look of the house. Outdoor water fountains can be small and simple or large and elaborate, coming in a wide variety of styles and costs to fit almost any decor or budget.

Opting for a water fountain compared to a full-blown pond, waterfall, or even a swimming pool can save money and maintenance costs over time. Larger water features like a pond or pool also typically have larger quantities of water, which may pose a risk to homeowners with young children around.

How much do outdoor water fountains cost?

Outdoor water fountains can vary greatly in price based on the size, complexity, and design of the water fountain. A simple bird bath with a small solar fountain can cost as little as $75 while a more intricate or larger water fountain such as a freestanding fountain with 10-foot glass-sheet waterfall could cost you $2,000 for the fountain alone. Don't forget the installation, plumbing, and optional lighting costs.

The more elaborate the setup, the more maintenance that will be required. So make sure to weigh whether a simple wall fountain or multi-tiered waterfall is the better fit for your budget long term. In most cases, the cost will be in the initial setup as there is little cost associated with maintenance over time. When compared to say a swimming pool or pond, you're not having to keep the water as clean as you would for people or fish, which means lower costs and less attention needed on your part.

Is an outdoor water fountain worth the investment?

Adding an outdoor water fountain will probably not directly increase the value of your home, but it will very likely increase appeal if you're looking to sell. And for what can potentially be a lower price point for a landscape feature, it could be worth your investment. Water features that are easy to maintain will appeal to more people than alternative water features like pools or ponds, making them a good fit for homeowners who want to enjoy it themselves but may sell down the road or flippers looking to stand apart from the competition.

Ultimately, the choice of whether to add an outdoor water fountain to your landscape will come down to what you are seeking. If you're focused solely on a dollar-for-dollar return on investment, it's likely not going to be worth it. You also will need to consider the area and potential buyers. If we're talking about a small starter home in a mediocre neighborhood, it might not be the best fit. Talk to a Realtor to find out how common water fountains are in your area to see whether it will be worth the investment.

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