With the sunny days of summer just around the corner, it’s hard to not let your thoughts turn to the cool, refreshing blue waters of a backyard pool. Maybe you’ve been considering putting a pool in for years or maybe it was just how hot it was last summer that has prompted your interest in being a pool owner. Either way there are likely aspects you’ve not considered.
A pool is hard to undo, which is why we’re going to address the top five need-to-know things about pool installation and ownership right now.
Pool Installation is Awful
Pools are really cool and fun to have! But only when you go into the whole process and future ownership with open eyes. A pool build is not for the faint of heart, for starters. Depending on the circumstances the process may literally destroy your entire back yard while the mess is being made. Grass will grow again, but in the meantime, it can seriously be the worst. While in the process of being set up there is such a mess that is created. If you can handle the stress, great. If not, your local gym or YMCA might have a pool you can use. They’ll take care of everything and it’ll spare your grass. For home buyers thinking they can save money by building their own pool rather than buying a house with one, this may be true. But this is a big project requiring a lot of dirt work, you may be happier to buy a house with a pool already installed.
The Less Obvious Points to Consider:
Digging a giant hole in your yard is clearly going to be a serious pain, but there are a few other points that aren’t as obvious. That’s what this is really about, after all. We want to be sure you’ve considered all the angles before taking the plunge.
“How much will this increase my home’s value?”
This is a question that real estate agents and appraisers get asked over and over. However, this is such a loaded question that it is really impossible to answer. How much a pool will effect the overall value of your home depends on the details. Here are just a few of the determining questions:
- What kind of pool?
- Is it in ground or above ground?
- What kind of neighborhood are you living in?
- Do a lot of homes in your market have pools?
- How long will you live in your home?
- What kind of equipment are you installing?
A pool is one of those items that you should consider to be a luxury purchase and not give a lot of care to whether or not it’ll pay for itself. A pool can simultaneously attract and terrify buyers, especially in the middle to low upper buying ranges. For a family with no small children, a pool might seem like a needed asset, but for a family with small children, it might be the single thing about your house that’s so wrong it can’t be made right.
Ask Permission, Not Forgiveness from the HOA
A lot of people go through life asking forgiveness for something they did that they knew was questionable to begin with. We’re not saying that’s you, just that this is a common practice among humans. The problem with this approach to pool building in a neighborhood with an HOA (which is most neighborhoods these days) is that if the HOA doesn’t like what you’re doing, you’ve spent a lot of money for a big muddy hole in the backyard. Find out if your HOA allows pools, even if your next door neighbor has one. The HOA rules can be changed by the membership. Learn the rules now before your end up learning a costly lesson.
Budget Pool Buying is Worse Than No Pool
A lot goes into the decision to install a pool, including the cost of that cement pond. While you should be budget-aware, if budget is your driving factor you will not be happy with your pool. If you’re not happy with a purchase that can start around $20k and go up from there indefinitely, you might as well have not put it in. Pools are needy and have ongoing care and maintenance. They require you to constantly interact with them to keep them working properly. If budget is your first concern, the yearly costs may not figure in, either. Plus, there’s the bump in your insurance rates to consider. Having a pool is like having a sports car. Some people buy them and love them and can’t get enough. Some people want them, but realistically understand they can’t keep them in tip-top shape, so postpone the purchase. Some people buy the cheapest Porsche 911 they can find and then get frustrated that it’s constantly in the shop. Your pool priorities should begin with the purpose for the pool, the site location and appropriate equipment. Then you can start price comparing. There’s no reason to miss out on a deal, but buying the cheapest pool because it’s the only one you can fit in the budget is only going to end in disappointment.