by Todd Lewys
After looking for a home for what seemed like forever, you finally took the plunge.
And in this case, that plunge was literal, as you bought a home with a pool.
The deal irrevocably done, your emotions are mixed. On the one hand, you’re excited. On the other, you’re nervous. That’s understandable; having never had a home with a pool, you don’t know what to expect.
Great joy, great pain — or a mixture of both — could lie ahead. Only time will tell.
Truth be told, the prospect of owning a home with an in-ground pool in the backyard can be so irresistible that you might not think of the downsides that come with having your own pool.
However, while there are downsides to pool ownership, there are upsides, too.
Let’s take an up-close look at the pros and cons of owning a home with a pool.
1. You’ve got a ready-made recreation area in your backyard. With a pool in your backyard, you now have an area where your family can gather and spend quality time swimming and hanging out together. There’s no need to go anywhere; all you need to do is put on your bathing suits, fire up the barbeque and head out to your private pool to create lasting memories.
2. Welcome to your own entertainment oasis. If you enjoy entertaining, there’s no better place to host friends or family in the summer months. Surround the pool with deck chairs, patio furniture — and a table for six complete with umbrella to provide shade (perhaps set inside a screened-in gazebo to keep the bugs out) — and you have your own outdoor great room with a pool!
3. A built-in physical/mental health booster. Great news — you now have your own backyard workout area! In the summer, there’s no excuse not to be active — get up in the morning and go for an invigorating swim, perhaps finish off with some free weight exercises and some stretching. After that, you can sit back with a coffee (or fruit smoothie) and revel in your serene surroundings before you head off to work, or ferry the kids to school.
4. Great aesthetics. A pool can serve as a focal point around which to create your own personalized backyard retreat. You’re free to equip the pool with all the accessories you need, and landscape the backyard to your own personal tastes. With your own personal stamp on the area, it’s a spot you’ll enjoy every time you use it — or simply train your gaze on it.
1. High maintenance. Now that you own a pool, you have to maintain it. That means picking debris out of the water, treating the water, covering the pool after use and cleaning the surrounding area. If you don’t want to do it yourself, paying a company to maintain and service your pool is an expense that you’ll need to add to your monthly expense ledger.
2. Repair bills. When something goes wrong with a pool, repairs can be costly. With that in mind, set some money aside for that eventuality.
3. Safety issues. These issues go beyond simple slip and fall accidents around the pool. If you have young kids, it’s important to keep a fence with locking gate around the pool to keep them away from the pool when you’re not looking. It’s also advisable to have a fence around the pool not only for privacy, but to keep out uninvited guests.
4. Potential for lower resale value. While the experts are mixed on whether a pool adds or detracts from a home’s resale value, there’s evidence that homes with pools can be harder to sell. That in turn can prompt lower resale values. The reality? Not everyone wants a home with a pool.
All the above aside, buying a home with a pool is a personal matter.
If you have a young family and want a therapeutic spot to retreat to at the end of the day or on weekends with friends or family — and you can afford the cost of maintenance and the odd repair — then it could be something you’ll enjoy for the entire time you own your home.