Pool or No Pool? What Home Buyers Should Know
The process of buying a home is filled with important decisions, many of which will continue to influence the homeownership experience long after the purchase closes. One of these decisions is whether to buy a home with a unique feature, such as a swimming pool.
At first glance, home buyers may find themselves drawn to the idea of having a swimming pool in their backyard to enjoy with family or friends, but it is important to understand all the extra responsibilities that come with pool ownership. Prospective buyers who are considering the purchase of a home with a pool should ask themselves the following questions to make sure it is the right decision for them.
What are the maintenance costs?
Pool chemicals, accessories, cleaning, scheduled maintenance, and repairs are necessary expenditures to keep a pool in good condition for swimming. To get a good idea of these costs, prospective buyers should have their real estate agent request this information from the current owners. When looking at the numbers, it is important to also take into account the expected amount of use the pool will get and then decide if it is a good value for the buyers particular situation.
Does the pool conform with current safety guidelines?
According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning accidents happen, especially with younger children. Even though only a portion of these drowning accidents take place at home, pool safety must be an important consideration when buying a house, especially for families with young children, or a household in which not everyone can swim.
Most cities and towns have adopted some basic guidelines for home pool safety, such as having a secure fence with a locking gate around the pool area. Before making the decision to purchase a home with a pool, consider your personal situation, and find out what regulations are in place in your area.
What effect will a swimming pool have on home insurance premiums?
Basic home insurance rates are typically higher on homes with a pool, as compared to homes without one. This is because of the extra liability that comes with pool ownership, as well as the increased potential for damage claims on the pool structure and equipment. First-time buyers are sometimes caught off-guard by this, due to not having to deal with home insurance in the past. Before agreeing to purchase a home with a pool, prospective buyers should speak candidly with their insurance agent to determine how much of an increase to expect so they can ensure the purchase is still cost effective for their situation.
How much use will the pool actually get?
The idea of owning a pool is an intriguing one, for sure, but if it will not be used often, the costs may outweigh the benefits. Prospective buyers should consider the interests of the household and the daily schedules for each member. Pool usage typically plummets when children leave for college or when families have hectic schedules that take them away from home. However, if it seems like the pool will get a fair amount of usage from everyone, the entertainment value may outweigh the monetary costs.
Buying a home with a pool is a decision that should be made only after careful consideration. Prospective buyers who have questions about pool ownership should discuss all the pros and cons with their real estate professional before making a final decision. Their agent will help them understand all the aspects of pool ownership, including how the presence of a pool can affect a future home sale.