In some cities, knowing someone with a swimming pool is almost as appealing as knowing someone who is pals with Ryan Gosling. Okay, maybe not quite that appealing. But having access to a pool where you can splash around is a major perk on those hot summer days when a cup of fro-yo simply won’t do the trick.
While the idea of having a cool place to beat the heat seems like a flawless plan when you’re a visitor in someone else’s home, there’s a lot to think about before buying a house with a pool of your own. Before you start daydreaming about lounging by the water with a drink in hand, you’ll want to consider the maintenance, costs, and safety risks of owning a pool.
If you’re thinking about buying a home with a swimming pool, it’s wise to weigh the pros and cons prior to making your decision.
Resale value – Whether or not a pool will increase your resale value largely depends on your local market. Houselogic estimates that if you live in a high-end neighborhood in a warm climate, a pool could boost your home’s value by as much as 7 percent.
Entertainment factor – Backyard barbecues are double the fun when you can host a cannonball contest. Plus, not having to pack up the car and trek to the nearest community pool is a luxury in itself.
Exercise and physical activity – When it’s too hot outside to jog or ride your bike, a pool allows you to sneak in some low-impact exercise. Being able to swim a few laps right outside your back door allows you to stay active through the hottest months of the year.
Safety risks – Even if you don’t have children of your own, kids of visiting friends or neighbors can find their way into unsecured pools. Drowning ranks fifth in the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.
Higher insurance premium – Due to the risk of drowning and water-related injuries, insurance companies consider swimming pools one of their biggest liabilities. Because of this, your insurance premium will probably be quite a bit higher than usual.
Costs of maintenance – From chemicals to routine repairs, the costs of owning a pool are staggering. Susan Elser, a certified financial planner in Indianapolis, suggests the ongoing costs can easily run $3,000 per year – more if you hire a pool service company.
When it comes to buying a home with a swimming pool, it’s best to look at it in terms of investing in your lifestyle. If you’re optimistic about how often you’ll use the pool and if you have room in your budget for the ongoing costs, the enjoyment it brings your friends and family just might be worth it. Get ready for the doorbell to ring!
Photography: John Edward Linden/Arcaid/Corbis