5 Things to Consider Before Adding a Pool or Buying a House with a Pool
Have you ever considered putting a pool in your backyard or purchasing an existing home with a pool? There are a lot of things to consider. The vast majority of the time it is better to buy a home with a pool than to put one in yourself - but do the analysis and be aware of the potential pitfalls before you make your decision. Most people who have pools LOVE having them and end up swimming almost year round! However, no decision is a one-size-fits-all so answer the following questions before finalizing your plans:
1. What is the cost of putting a pool in your backyard?
In today's market it is hard to do it for anything less than $50,000 - and will you see that dollar for dollar return in the sales price of your home? On an appraisal the most they normally give in value is $15,000. You need to ask yourself if that additional $35,000 is worth your enjoyment. Here is an article on the hidden costs of putting a pool in - in California it is even higher.
2. Do you have the cash to put the pool in or would you have to finance it?
I see people add pools using a home equity line of credit or high interest loans thinking they will refinance but rarely do the people actually complete that action. They think their home value will be much higher with the addition of a pool - many times believing they will get the full appraisal value for the pool cost, and are shocked when that doesn't happen.
3. Are you prepared for construction?
There are several AWESOME pool companies I recommend. Sometimes people decide to contract the pool themselves. A friend told me about a neighbor who poured over $100,000 into his backyard pool and had to live through 10 months of construction day in and day out. He had to ride the subcontractors who many times would not show when they were supposed to or not do the work the way it was contracted. The result? He finally got a beautiful pool in his backyard that went 40% over his original budget AND when it was over he was done with the house - they sold it and moved. I strongly urge you to hire a reputable pool contractor to avoid these types of pitfalls.
4. Do you have enough room in your yard for a pool?
Sometimes adding a pool can be a drawback if you don't have room for it. Don't add a pool if you can't walk around your backyard with out worrying you might trip and fall in. It will be a drawback to buyers when you go to sell.
5. Do you have enough budget dollars for servicing and repairs on a monthly and annual basis?
If you are going paycheck to paycheck DON'T put in a pool - costs will be going up for repairs. To replace a salt cell is $1000, new pool light is $750, a new pool motor is $500, servicing and chemicals is $100 per month, you have to run your pool filter and that will raise your costs, twice a year you need to have your filters cleaned for $250 each visit. If your pool needs to be shocked you have that additional cost. It's wise to budget at least $5000 per year for your pool. When you build a pool you will have the repairs covered by a warranty for a period of time but not forever. When you purchase a home with a pool we ask for a home warranty that covers the pool equipment - but no warranty will cover the servicing or the things under water. Just make sure you have the budget and ability to maintain your large investment.
In conclusion, when you are thinking about adding a pool or buying a pool home, really think about the above questions and also take time to go look at pool homes that are on the market in your budget. You may be surprised - with our historic low interest rates you might be able to buy one and reduce your current payment. Contact me if you're ready to start looking!