When you’re searching for your dream home, it’s easy to get excited about a perk like an in-ground pool. But before you sign on the line, you need to know what you’re diving into. Here’s a list of questions to consider before buying a home with a pool.
Is it safe? Probably the most important factor to consider is safety. If you have young children in the family, you might want to think twice before buying a house with an in-ground pool. Drowning and injury are major concerns. If a person is injured or drowns using your pool, you may be liable regardless of whether they had permission to use the pool. Safety fences, specialized pool covers, and alarms can all help to lessen this risk, but they can be costly. Most home insurance companies will recommend increasing liability coverage for properties that have pools.
Is it in good repair? Rehabilitating an old or neglected in-ground pool can be expensive. A home inspector may not be able to identify less-obvious pool problems. Visible cracks, discoloration, or problems with the surface are all warning signs that could indicate potential problems. Before you purchase a house with a pool, it’s best to hire a professional who specializes in pool inspections.
Does it conform to existing zoning laws? It is rare, but it is possible that a previous homeowner built the pool without receiving all the proper permits. Some neighborhoods might even have zoning regulations that prohibit the construction of an in-ground pool. It’s a good idea to confirm that the pool conforms to all applicable zoning regulations.
What does it cost to maintain? It’s easy to focus on the value of a swimming pool without realizing the costs. Pools need a lot of routine maintenance. The costs include water, chemicals, safety measures if needed, and electricity for heat, lights, and filtering. If you hire a pool company, costs range from $80 to $100 per week. Do it yourself, but you’ll still need to buy supplies. Larger repairs and upkeep will be necessary over time. Homeowners should expect a pool to need resurfacing, a $2,000 expense, every 10 years.
Does it add value? Depending on the location of your potential new home, a pool may add to your home’s value. This is true in warmer regions where pools are more common and used more frequently. You’ll also want to consider whether the pool adds value for you. Do you love to swim? Will you use the pool enough to warrant the cost and effort required to have a pool?