Buying a home with a pool? Here’s what you need to know
Pools often get mixed reactions from potential home buyers. People are either ecstatic about the idea of having a pool in the backyard, or say it’s a complete deal breaker. Having a pool in your backyard is a big commitment, and while it’s one that can bring summers full of entertainment, swimming, and hosting, some may see it as a long term commitment of care and resources.
Many people wonder: Is a pool right for our home? Owning a pool is a very personal decision, and if you or your family is thinking it’s right for you — that’s great! A pool can bring many positives to home ownership. However, there are also many reasons potential buyers hesitate. Before you jump in — literally! — here are some things you should know about owning a pool.
Is a pool the right investment to increase home value?
Yes and no. It really depends on where you live — in warmer climates, owning a pool is a major plus. But, we live here in Canada where our summers can be hit or miss. While it also depends on the province (East and West coasters have different weather), many home buyers in Canada are split on whether or not a pool is a value add, making the investment can be a gamble.
If you’re considering installing a pool, only invest a modest amount that you can afford and ensure it’s the right fit for your home. Does it fit nicely in the property lot? Is it going to be well designed and maintained? Is your neighborhood a family-friendly neighborhood which would attract the right pool-friendly buyers? All of these are good questions to consider whether or not a pool is the right investment to increase your home value. If you’re on the fence, feel free to consult your realtor, as they’re experts on the real estate market and can give you some insight.
Long-term commitment & care
A pool is a ton of fun, but they don’t take care of themselves! A pool requires constant upkeep to ensure the water is swimmable and it remains in top working condition. Pools require not only time, but also a significant financial commitment to take care of a pool all year round.
Some questions to ask yourself: Are you a family that will have time to take care of the pool? Does the overall care and maintenence fit into your budget? If you’re too busy, do you have the budget to pay someone to maintain the pool? If something breaks, do you have enough slush money to pay for repairs?
Pools definitely don’t come cheap, and although many families would say the investment and maintenance is worth it, others end up burdened with the costs.
To get a rough idea at the financials, here are some costs you should prepare for:
- Insurance: You’ll have to add insurance to your home insurance, and it may impact your premium. Plan on adding cost to your monthly insurance bill.
- Chemicals: Pools require weekly, monthly, and yearly upkeep. The average cost of pool chemicals can cost you anywhere between $300 to $800, depending on how long you keep it open each year.
- Pool cover & fencing: You want your pool to be safe and taken care of in the winter. You’ll likely have to invest in a pool cover, and should consider adding in a fence to ensure children or pets can’t run in and out of the pool area unattended. There are local municipality By-law stating that all pools have to be fenced. It’s always best to refer to your municipal by-law
Scugog township: https://goo.gl/7noXuZ
Kawartha Lakes: https://goo.gl/o8SmKP
- Heating cost: Due to cooler Canadian summers, most families typically choose to heat their pools. Heating costs can run you anywhere between $100-$300 [ Approx ] a month, depending on the size of your pool.
- Cleaning: Whether your DIY and pay for all of the tools, or hire some professionals, ensure that you include the cost of cleaning in your yearly (or monthly) pool budget.
Repairs & Budgeting
Once you’ve accounted for all of the upkeep costs, also consider having a bucket of budget set aside for potential repairs. Pools are outside and filled with water, so it’s no surprise that breakdowns and issues often arise each year. On top of any unplanned costs, there’s also basic upkeep costs, like a resurfacing your pool every 8-10 years, replacing the pump motor, getting a new liner every 15 years, fixing any plumbing or leak issues, and any other unplanned pool mishap.
If you’re buying a house with a pool, ask the real estate agent to get all the stats on the pool so you know what you may be in for: How big is the pump? When was it installed? How old is the cover? How much does the current home owner spend on maintenance and repairs? Etc. If you’re starry eyed about owning a pool, make sure you get all of the details before signing on the dotted line. Pools can be an amazing addition to your life, but also can come with a lot of responsibility. Get informed the best you can to know if your new pool is right for you.
So, do I want a pool?
Only you can know if a pool is the right choice for your lifestyle and home owning needs. Many families sing praises about owning a pool and love throwing pool parties, teaching their children to swim, lounging poolside, and don’t mind the responsibility and costs with it. Other families, curse and swear about their pool. As long as you do your research and fully understand what’s involved, chances are you will quickly realize what the right move is for you. If you’re still on the fence, hang out with someone who has a pool to get the full low down for what you’re getting into!
If you’re against owning a pool, but fall in love with a home that has a pool installed, talk to your realtor about options. You can always fill in or remove a pool if you’ve found a home that’s absolutely the one for you, excluding the pool.
The Bottom Line
Buying a house with a pool can be fabulous! Whether or not it adds value to the home depends on many factors…. and enjoy the summer weather.
Want to talk through the pros and cons? Reach out today! We are always happy to help.
Puckrin & Latreille Real Estate Group
call / text: 905.985.7300
Re/Max All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage