When summer comes around, and temperatures begin to rise, your thoughts likely turn to ideas for how to keep cool. If you are buying a new home, you may even consider one with a swimming pool on the property. This is a fantastic way to cool down and enjoy being outdoors during the heat and humidity of the summer months, but is a home with a pool right for your family?
Benefits of a pool
Owning a pool can help improve the quality of your life. It provides the opportunity for private swimming that your family can enjoy anytime. A pool is not only a place to relax and cool off but playing and splashing around in a pool is a good way to de-stress and get some physical activity. Pools are also a great way to entertain family and friends.
What to Consider About a Pool
In addition to the benefits of a pool, here are a few of the biggest factors to keep in mind if you are considering buying a home with a swimming pool:
Cost and resale value
A pool often adds to the cost of a home. A standard above-ground pool costs about $8000, while an average in-ground pool costs about $50,000. The price difference may heavily weigh into your decision, especially if you are more budget-conscious.
However, whether a pool increases your property value can depend on where the home is located. Having a pool is a plus for your resale value in warm climates like Florida, Southern California, New Mexico, or Arizona. However, if you live in the Midwest or New England, pools are often viewed as a hazard and a nuisance and can reduce your resale value.
Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs
Keeping a pool properly cleaned and maintained costs both your time and your money. Frequently testing the water’s pH level and applying chemicals in the proper ratios is essential to keeping the pH balanced against algae and bacteria. Skimming out bugs and other objects that find their way into the water must be done routinely. Pools lose water over time, so you must refill them periodically. Opening and closing a pool at the start and end of the pool season is time-consuming. And of course, if your pool is damaged, it must be properly repaired.
The above tasks take time and cost money, so if you don’t have time to perform these care and maintenance activities yourself, a professional pool service can do them for you, but for a substantial cost, typically between $80 to $150 per month.
Safely, liability, and insurance
Pools can present a high safety risk. Hundreds of kids die of pool-related deaths each year, so if the pool you are considering does not have a fence or other safety barrier, you should install one to help prevent death or injury due to drowning. In addition, many municipalities and neighborhood associations require a safety barrier to be installed around residential pools.
Due to this higher safety risk, it’s a good idea to consider increasing your liability insurance coverage. Adding a personal umbrella insurance policy is a good option that can provide a high level of coverage for a low yearly cost.
Alternatives to buying a home with a pool
If you’ve considered the above factors and decided that buying a home with a pool is not a good fit for your family, don’t worry! There are still plenty of ways to beat the summer heat with friends and family. Here are some great alternatives to consider:
Many cities have public pools where you can swim for a small fee.
Some neighborhoods have pools for residents to use, so check if your neighborhood has one.
Water parks and splash pads
. Water parks and splash pads offer a variety of ways to get wet, cool down, and have fun outdoors, like floating in a lazy river, traversing water obstacles, zipping down water slides, and more.
Kiddie pools, sprinklers, slip-and-slides, water guns
. These time-tested, fun, inexpensive water toys offer ways to get wet and cool off in your backyard and can be fun for kids (and adults) of all ages.