We’re not talking about an inflatable kiddie pool. Or even a good sized above ground pool. We’re talking about a real Cape Cod rental with pool – in-ground, reasonably sized, ideally heated – with plenty of nicely landscaped and comfortably furnished outdoor living space around it.

But wait a minute: We all know why people flock to the Cape each summer. Duh, it’s to go to the beautiful ocean beaches, right? It’s no coincidence that so many of our Pretty Picky Properties are directly on or within easy walking distance to a beach.

Then again, we represent a bunch of owners whose properties are nowhere near a beach. In most of those cases, their special appeal is simple: each offers a beautiful in-ground swimming pool.

For the great preponderance of rental guest groups, a pool is a huge plus for their vacation. It’s easy to understand why.

A pool turns a vacation rental into more of a resort, where kids will be entertained for hours. Parents and grandparents must keep an eye on them, of course, but they can do so in complete comfort and relaxation. A little too windy or too cool at the beach? Probably not at the pool. It’s always high tide for swimming in the pool. And we’ve seen precious few great white shark sightings in Cape Cod swimming pools.

Let’s not forget those families with little ones who still need an afternoon nap. No problem when you rent a house with a pool. Little Gus or Gracie can snooze away, while big brothers and/or sisters are not deprived of all the splashy fun they love. And the baby monitor is fully functional poolside.

Indeed, outings to the beach, bike trails or dinner are even more enjoyable, because everyone knows the pool is ready and waiting back at the house. Parents rejoice in having fewer occasions of mopey kids with “nothing to do.” And isn’t it nice to see the kids spending less time on a beautiful summer day holed up in a dark room with their various electronic devices?

Ah, beach + pool = vacation perfection.

Homes with pools provide a uniquely appealing family vacation experience. Yet, there are relatively few top line pool homes that rent. And that’s why those that do rent command such impressive rates. A house with a nice pool can expect almost double the rental rate of a similar property without the pool.  Amazing!

One of our owners is a builder/investor who buys properties, renovates them, then makes them pay their own way with vacation rental income. He showed us one prospective property that needed a lot of work and impressed us with his ambitious plans for the overhaul. Then he walked us around to the back yard and there, admittedly also in need of renovation, was a rather large in-ground pool. He said he figured he would probably just fill it in and plant more lawn over it, figuring it was more of a liability than anything else.

We recommended that instead, he fix up the pool and make it the focal point of the home’s outdoor living area. Not to mention the lead photo in his listing on our website and in all our online advertising for his property.

He did a beautiful job, and the property has rented famously for several seasons now, at weekly rates nearly twice what comparable homes without pools in the area can ever hope to achieve.

If you are fortunate to have a pool and offer your home for vacation rentals, don’t be bashful with your rates. If you have a house with a pool and have never rented, you might want to test the waters.