If you are thinking of installing a pool or possibly purchasing a home with a pool, there are a few things you should know.
Having a pool can affect the value of your home.
It can present a hazard to children and animals.
It can also be a great place for spending leisure time.
Here are some pros and cons to consider before investing in a pool.
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Pros and Cons of Owning a Home with a Pool
Pro: It Can Increase Your Home’s Value
If you live in an area where the climate is warm year round, a pool can increase the value of your home. In fact, if you live in a warm climate, a pool may be as much an expected home feature as a dinning room. If all of your neighbors have pools then whether or not you have one can affect the value of your own home.
If you live in a warm climate and there are buyers that prefer a house with a pool then your home becomes more valuable. If your neighbors don’t have pools then you may be able to sell your home for more money.
Con: It Can Make Your Home Less Marketable
Not everyone wants a pool. The expense and upkeep may be more than most homeowners want. If they have pets or small children, they may also see a pool as an unnecessary hazard.
For this reason and so many more, a pool might make it difficult to sell your home. This is especially true if you live in an area that is not warm year round.
Pro: Great for Cooling Off
When the weather is hot, there is nothing like being able to take a dip in the pool. If you have one at home, then you do not have to worry about the hassle of packing your things and driving to a public pool where you will probably have to pay a fee to enter. You can simply go for a swim when ever you have time and the mood hits you.
Con: Lots of Maintenance
The cost of having a pool is not limited to just installation. Pools have to be treated with chemicals to keep things like bacteria and algae from taking over.
You could pay a monthly fee to a pool service to manage those chemicals for you, but even if you do it yourself, you still have to pay for the chemicals.
On top of that, you must regularly skim the water to remove debris such as leaves, twigs and insects. You must also clean the pool filter.
Pro: Great for Entertaining
Swimming is fun. It is even more fun if you can do it with friends. A pool is a great excuse to throw a party for the Fourth of July, a birthday or even Labor Day.
Even if you throw an outdoor party when it is a little too cold to swim, imagine how beautiful the pool will look with paper lanterns floating in it, carrying tea lights.
Con: Can Present a Hazard
Swimming pools are dangerous. Most parents of small children prefer not to have a pool at their home for fear of finding their toddler drowning in it.
It does not necessarily have to be a small child, however. Imagine having to fish a raccoon out of your pool or having to explain to your neighbor what happened to their cat.
No matter how much chlorine you put in it, you may just have to empty out the whole pool and refill it for your own peace of mind.
Pro: Can Be Aesthetically Pleasing
Water features tend to make a place feel very zen. Many people find water very calming. Just look at all of the people who prefer to take their vacations at lakes or beaches.
Having a water feature in your yard can make it more aesthetically appealing, even if nobody is swimming. In fact, it may be more relaxing to watch because nobody is swimming. Although, most people do not install a whole swimming pool just for the aesthetic appeal.
Con: May Take Up Valuable Yard Space
If having space for things like sports and entertaining are important to you, or if you have pets, you may not want a pool.
A pool can occupy valuable space for activities that are more important to you than swimming. This is especially true if you do not have much yard space to begin with.
Pro: Great for Exercise
Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. This is especially true if you are elderly, have suffered an injury or are pregnant.
The water holds the body up allowing you to exercise without placing undue pressure on the joints. It is a good low impact exercise if your joints are usually under a lot of stress. In fact, if you have arthritis or have suffered an injury, swimming can be very therapeutic.
Con: Higher Insurance
Because pools can present a hazard, insuring a home with a pool can drive up the cost of homeowner’s insurance. Sometimes there are things you can do to mitigate the added cost to your insurance.
Making sure you have a fence with a locked gate, in some cases, can reduce the added costs to your insurance. In fact, in some places, you are simply not allowed to have a pool unless there is a fence around it.
Pro: Installing Pools Less Expensive Than Ever
Historically, the cost of installing a pool has made owning one prohibitive for most people. But times are changing. Depending on the type of pool you get, pool installation is becoming more and more affordable. In-ground pools are still among the more expensive types.
But above-ground pools are within the reach of the average consumer. The down side to an above ground pool, however, is that while it can be assembled in as little as a week end, it contributes no value to the home, what so ever.
Because it is mobile rather than a permanent structure, it does not increase the home’s value. Conversely, in-ground pools are considered permanent fixtures and can increase the home’s value.
Con: You May Not See a Great Return on Your Investment
While a pool can increase the value of your home, that does not necessarily mean you are going to see a worthwhile return on the investment.
When you calculate the costs mentioned above for installation, maintenance and insurance, the increase it can bring to your home’s value may not compensate for all of the other expenses. If you do decide to install a pool, do it for your own sake and not for the possible investment value.
Costs of Maintaining a Pool
|Type of Maintenance||When to Perform||Average Cost|
|Adjust PH, Calcium, and Sanitizer Levels||Spring||$80-$120 monthly in test kits|
|Check and Adjust Water Temperature||Daily||$75 – $250 monthly electric costs for heat pump|
|Run Pool Filter||Daily||$30 – $50 monthly electric cost|
|Visually Inspect Pool and Clean As Needed||Daily||No cost beyond time invested DIY or $100 – $200 monthly in professional pool cleaning|
|Vacuum Pool||On opening and closing||$600 for the vacuum or $100 to $200 month in professional pool cleaning|
|Adjust Water Levels||On opening and closing||$30 – $60 yearly in water costs|
|Remove leaves and debris, empty skimmer basket, and brush down walls||Weekly||$100 – $200 monthly in professional pool cleaning costs|
|Add Algaecide||Weekly||$20 – $30 in chemicals a month|
|Clean Filter and Inspect||Monthly||No cost beyond time invested DIY or $100 – $200 monthly in professional pool cleaning costs|
|Lubricate Fittings, Valves, and Plugs||On opening||$10 – $20 for lubricant|
|Take Samples of Water for Professional Testing||On opening||$20 – $40 per test|
When deciding whether or not to add a pool to your home or, perhaps, purchase a home with a pool, there are many factors to consider.
Whether or not it will add value to your home is often among the top concerns.
There are also things like maintenance and up keep to consider. And, of course, safety is a priority.
Let this list help you decide if having a pool is right for you.
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