Should I buy a house with a swimming pool?
A very important thing you might want to ask yourself is “am I going to use the pool frequently?” … please don’t get me wrong here because it is not that I do not want you to buy a house with a pool, I just want to give you an idea of the maintenance, time involved and some other costs associated with pool ownership - such as additional home insurance.
Since homeowners with pools face the potential liability for pool-related injuries or even a drowning accident, your insurance provider will most likely ask you to consider increasing your liability coverage above-and-beyond what's already offered through your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Again, my hope is to help a buyer to further understand that there is much more to pool ownership than planning pool-side parties with family, friends and/or neighbors.
For starters, maintaining a pool is time-consuming and be expensive to some…. to some owners it may not take up any of your time because one can always elect to pay somebody to maintain your pool.
Some buyer’s will be surprised at the costs involved in the cleaning needed and the overall costs of the required chemicals.
Also don’t forget to take into consideration that your electricity bill will be a little higher than a house without a pool… this for the sole reason that the “pool pump” runs on electricity and needs to run about 6 to 8 hours a day in order to pump the water through the pool filter which in turn will return the filtered/clean water back to the pool.
In regards to maintenance: Experts recommend, but not limited to...
Daily or weekly: Look for debris a surface level, if so skim the surface to rid that debris (mostly leaves and little bugs etc.)
Daily vacuuming the pool floor (recommend automatic timing of pool pump which runs the floor/base suction cleaner)
Daily, weekly or monthly: If needed, add algaecide as required. Algaecide is a chemical treatment designed to kill and prevent that green colored algae growth.
Weekly, in order to maintain clean and safe water, you must control the pH level and add appropriate chemicals to assure that the water is neither too high or low in chlorine nor too high or low in the type of acid you utilize (muriatic or hydrochloric).
Daily or weekly: Remove any large accumulation of debris on the bottom with a leaf scoop/net.
Weekly: brushing the pool walls and tiles.
Weekly: Know that water and chlorine will evaporate, therefore always keep water at pool level requirements in order for the pool pump to run properly. Also chemical expenses during the summer such as chlorine etc. - will increase because of summer time increased evaporation.
Weekly: Test water balance, pH, Calcium Hardness and Total Alkalinity levels.
Weekly: Clean-out pump basket, usually located at deck pool-side.
Monthly: Take a sample of pool water to a pool water expert for analysis (any pool supply retail store).
Twice a year: clean the filter. Via the suction cleaner, the pool pump runs the water to the filter which will get dirty and therefore the filter can clog up. If the filter clogs up, then the suction of the floor/base suction cleaner will then decrease tremendously and will compromise the water cleanliness… Thus the recommended semi-annual cleaning.
• Many cities and/or municipalities require a safety barrier such as a fence to be installed around a pool to mostly help prevent children from accidental drownings… The fence should be completely surrounding the pool area.
• Highly recommended for pool fencing to include a self-closing or a locking door gate. You might want to take it a step further by installing door alarms on all doors of the house leading to the pool area, as well as adding an alarm on the pool entry door/gate itself.
• Note: After purchasing your home, with a pool, and at sometime "down the road" you need to consider a “resale” of your home - a backyard swimming pool might scare away potential buyers who are turned-off by the work and expense required to maintain a pool. I would not worry too much about this one because there are buyers who “flat-out” do not want a pool ever… so be on the alert, you will run into those “no pool ever" people upon “resale” marketing.
• Other than that, pools are a lot of fun. I’m not trying to be a “Negative Nancy” here… just trying to help out in your decision making in regards to buying a house with a pool and to those who want to install a swimming pool.
Hope the above information is helpful.
I'm sure you know the saying old "bon appetit" that is said to someone who is about to eat a meal.... Well, I will close out with a “splash” and say “Pool Appetit” as in Enjoy your Pool if buying a house with a swimming pool is what you decide to do.
Oscar Castillo : BROKER -REALTOR®