You’re a buyer looking for a new home. You come across an amazing home, but it has a pool. What’s your reaction?
Chances are you react strongly either for a pool or against one. I’m currently in the market for a home, and I went in with a very strong opinion that I did NOT want a home with a pool. But then there are some really nice homes with some really nice pools that got me wondering whether or not I should change my mind.
Isn’t it costly to upkeep? Do I have time to maintain it? Doesn’t it depend on where you live? All these questions are running through my mind so I set out to talk to actual home owners with pools and several Coldwell Banker agents to help me determine the real pros and cons of buying a home with a pool.
Pro: You’re the Cool House
There is no monetary value associated with this, but there’s definite advantages to being the home people want to go to. A number of my friends who have pools talked about how it gave them piece of mind that they knew all their kids friends and what was going on because of the amount of time being spent at their house. Plus parties, birthdays, and backyard BBQ’s are always better when a pool is involved.
Con: It’s an added expense, but maybe not as much as you think.
Pool maintenance will become a new line item in your budget, but how much is it really going to cost you? A friend of mine remarked that they paid someone to open their pool in the spring and it cost about $400, but they soon realized they could probably do it themselves in the future for less than $100. John Houseman with Coldwell Banker Sunstar-Morris Realty in Florida remarked that upkeep on a pool can be as cheap as $40-$50 a month if you do it yourself. Pools will also add an additional liability insurance to your statement, but depending on where you live some pool owners remark that it was only an additional $10-$20 a month.
Pro: It’s a Selling Feature…For Pool People
The concern of a pool being a tough feature when it comes time to sell is really dependent on where you live. If you’re in California, Florida, Arizona or Texas, you’re going to have a ton of interested people. If you’re in Maine, North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan, you might have a tougher time at resale. Some Coldwell Banker agents in warmer markets are seeing a $15,000-$20,000 increase in selling price for homes with pools, but agents in more seasonal markets find homes with pools often take longer to sell as you’re waiting for the right person.
Con: When Something Goes Wrong, It’s Gonna Hurt Your Wallet
Repairing a pool is a nightmare. Every person I talked to that had a leakage problem or a structural repair issue with their pool talked about it as if it was the worst experience ever. Homes with newer pools are the way to go, but even that is no guarantee. You’ll want a thorough inspection of the pool’s condition before moving on buying a home with one.
While determining the pros and cons of buying a home with a pool I also uncovered a number of tips for people who ultimately end up owning one:
Look at getting a salt water pool. It costs more upfront but your investment is made back after 2 years. Plus you’ll save on chemicals.
Put up a fence around the pool. Protects you from liabilities and helps you control who is going in the pool and at what times.
Solar panel heating of a pool is something to consider that might save you money over the course of the time you own your home.
Get a robotic pool cleaner to minimize the time you spend maintaining it.
My biggest takeaway is that buying a home with a pool is really dependent on where you live and the type of person you are. If you live in warmer climates, owning a pool makes perfect sense and the upkeep is not a budget breaker. Also if you have a family, especially with young children, owning a pool can be a great investment into the time you spend at home. However, if you’re in cooler climates and not a big swimmer, chances are you won’t value the emotional rewards from being a pool owner.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons of buying a home with a pool in the comments. And if you’re in the market for a home with a pool (or not), we have plenty of options at coldwellbanker.com.