When you picture your dream home, what do you think of? It’s definitely different for everyone. Some people might imagine lots of space, with a huge backyard and tons of trees. Others might desire a modern design, with a bright, open floor plan, and many windows.
But what about the pool?
Sure, a pool might not be a part of everyone’s ultimate plan. In fact, lots of homebuyers see pools as more work than they’re worth. But more often than not, owning a pool is perceived as the height of luxury and wealth.
Maybe you haven’t really thought about it, but it’s an idea you’ve played around with. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted a home with a pool, but you’re looking for more information about the practicality of maintaining one.
If you’re investing in a pool, we’ve got all the information to prepare you for this very important decision.
Advantages of owning a pool
Looks great & adds value
There’s no doubt the chlorinated, crystalline water twinkling under a beam of summer sunlight is enough to entice the most discerning homeowner. Imagine swishing a daiquiri in one hand while slowly trailing your other hand along the pool railing, wading waist deep in clement, cool water as the sun sets over head.
Pools can be a great way to add value to a home, depending on the area you live in. Be sure to study the market you’re moving to — or away from — if a pool is an included feature. Some homebuyers absolutely love a pool, while others see them as a big headache.
Good for physical & mental health
Going for a relaxing dip in the pool, or taking a few laps, can be a great way to let off some steam. It’s also proven to help mitigate the symptoms of mental illnesses such anxiety and depression.
According to research from the UK, swimming can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, decrease stress, improve sleep, and increase relaxation.
It’s also helpful in people suffering from the onset of dementia, as it helps to slow cognitive decline.
If you’ve been looking for more ways to entertain, look no further. A pool is a fantastic place to host a gathering, from an intimate party for close friends to the ultimate neighborhood barbeque bash.
If you have kids, you’ll make great use of this space. Even if you have a busy life with a nine-to-five job, your kids are sure to be hosting pool parties for their friends all summer long.
Disadvantages of owning a pool
We can probably all agree that pools are fun. However, maintaining them is the opposite.
Pools require near constant cleaning to look their best, which is something not everyone considers when they’re in the market for one. When you own a pool, you have two options: hire a cleaning company to take care of the mess, or clean it yourself.
Pool cleaners can run you about $100 a month for a monthly cleaning, or as much as $500 a month for weekly cleanings. Depending on how much time you have on your hands, perhaps being spared the labor is worth the cost.
Pools are generally expensive
There are many costs to take into consideration when you’re thinking of investing in a swimming pool. Visually stunning, space-consuming home additions don’t come cheap, after all.
For one thing, your insurance premiums will skyrocket. With a pool comes added risks such as accidental drownings, slips and falls, and other safety issues. Measures can be taken to mitigate your costs, such as installing extra features like a pool gate or safety railing.
You can also bet on higher energy bills, especially if you’re heating your pool for added comfort. Your pool pump will pack on an extra $300 annually to your energy bill, while your pool heater can cost anywhere between $100 – $600 monthly. Of course, that’s all dependent on how often you use your pool.
It’s important to consider the cost effectiveness of owning a pool. They say you need to get at least six months of use per year out of your pool in order for it to be considered cost effective. Your ability to use your pool this frequently is impacted by your local climate, weather conditions, your career, and your daily schedule. Make sure you actually have enough free time to make good use of your pool.
Some homebuyers consider a pool to be a key feature of their dream house, while others are dead set against owning a pool under any circumstances. It’s an important thing to take into consideration if you’re intending on selling your home in the future.
Make sure you do the proper research to understand what conditions are like in your neighborhood. Consider speaking with neighbors, or even with a professional pool company or inspection service to gauge the popularity of pools in your area. This might help you get an idea of whether or not installing a pool would help your house sell for more in the future, or keep it on the market for longer.
What to do before buying
Get inspection from pool company
You might be eager to take that first plunge, but before you close on your new home it’s important to have your pool professionally inspected for damage. You don’t want to invest in an incredibly expensive dud.
Especially in older pools, water leakage from cracks in the foundation or compromised pipes is common. It’s essential to have an expert root out these problems before you move in so you can avoid costly repairs.
But be warned, most typical home inspections don’t cover pools, so you’ll have to go the extra mile and hire a certified pool inspector. That’s usually more expensive than a home inspector, and can cost you an average of $300.
Look into local bylaws concerning pool restrictions
You may have fantasies about poolside pig roasts and late-night tiki parties with the neighbors, but your local law enforcement could have other ideas. Make sure you brush up on relevant bylaws so you don’t find yourself slapped with a hefty fine.
Noise restrictions, rules about safety and add-ons, and even certain permits could apply to your new pool, so be sure to talk to neighbors who may be more in-the-know. It might even be a good idea to call a local real estate agent for advice.
Budget for cost of maintenance & repairs
We’ve already told you a bit about the expenses of owning and maintaining a pool. Now you have an idea of what it might cost to live with a pool for a year or so. You can begin to budget for one if you’re thinking about buying a home with a pool.
If you have your sights set on a home that includes a swimming pool, it’s important to consider what you might need to spend if something goes terribly wrong. What if, for example, the pool’s filtration system becomes clogged and requires repairs? Pool repairs can sometimes cost thousands, and the cost of service alone can cost hundreds. Ensure that you budget separately for emergency repairs in advance, otherwise your backyard oasis may quickly become a pit of disuse.
A pool can be a great addition to a home, but with great power comes great responsibility. If you’re considering investing in a pool, make sure you weigh the pros and cons. Although there are many benefits of owning a pool, there are also several drawbacks to be conscious of.
Whether you decide to add a splash of perpetual summer to your backyard, or stay far away from poolside pride, we hope this article keeps your home design dreams afloat.