Household Tips

Is A Pool Worth It? 4 Things to Consider

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

It’s a classic image: heading outside to your backyard, drinks in hand, to sit by the sparkling blue waters of your very own swimming pool. Maybe you’ll invite your friends to a pool party, or listen to the kids splash around with their colourful float toys. What could be better on a hot summer day than having a swimming pool of your very own?

If you’re looking at homes that include an in-ground pool or other permanent pool on the property, here are 4 things to think about before you… well… take the plunge.

1. Return on investment.

The in-ground pool is often considered one of the ultimate luxury items on the wish list for a home: it’s is a symbol that you’ve made it. However, a pool is actually one of the worst home improvements in terms of return on investment when you sell. A pool can be a selling point but, unlike improvements to the kitchen or bathroom, it can also be a liability for people who don’t want a pool at all.

The upshot? A pool can be great to own and a lot of fun, but it’s best considered an investment in your own enjoyment. Don’t put one in, or splash out extra on a home with a pool, if you’re doing it in the hope that you’ll get the money back out when you sell.

2. Maintenance: time, cost and liability.

The Wall Street Journal published a great article in 2010 about the ongoing cost of maintaining a pool. Even if you don’t have the initial cost of putting in the pool in the first place, annual maintenance can run to thousands of dollars even if you do it all yourself. From chemicals to systems maintenance to parts to repairing a crack or replacing the pool lining, it’s an expensive proposition. You can save time by hiring a pool-services company like Pool Brothers to do some of the routine maintenance for you, but it’ll cost you.

Plus, don’t forget to make sure that your pool is covered by your home insurance, including liability – and, of course, a pool will affect your insurance rates. If someone injures themselves in your pool, even if they’re an uninvited guest, you could be on the hook.

3. Safety.

Pools are great, but they can also be dangerous. Even if you and your family are great swimmers, not everyone who comes to your home may be, and you don’t want a tragedy on your watch. A pool should be surrounded by a secure fence with a locked gate to keep out young children, animals and interlopers. As we mentioned above, the drainage system, heating system and electricals should also be checked and maintained frequently to ensure the safety of the pool.

4. Will you actually use it?

This last is a question only you can answer. It’s easy to buy a home with a pool with visions of warm summer days and cool water dancing in your head, but try to be realistic about how much you’re actually going to swim in the pool. If you’re an avid swimmer or you love hosting pool parties, or your favourite thing in the world is sitting on a chair by the pool and reading a book, you’ll likely get plenty of use out of the pool. But if your dreams of pool ownership are more idealistic than realistic, think long and hard before committing to a swimming pool.

If you do decide you want a home with a swimming pool – or you know that you want a home without a pool – please feel free to {encode="paul@iknowluxuryhomes.com" title="send me an email"} and I can help you find what you’re looking for.

 

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