Thinking of Owning a Pool? Here’s What You Need To Know
Ah, summer. The word itself is enough to ignite a smorgasbord of delicious scenarios. Lively pool parties as the sun goes down, lazily reading a trashy airport novel with a chilled glass of lemonade, or even a slightly over-intense game of volleyball with the fam are just a few of the nostalgic images summer brings to mind. Even if these aren’t your exact go-to’s, we’re sure your mind flits to at least one scenario involving that iconic staple of summer — pools.
While owning a pool has a five-star rating when it comes to entertaining, lounging, and exercise benefits, there’s also some practical issues to consider before deciding if a pool is right for your family. Just for our Homie readers, we taking a deep dive into the breakdown of the pros, cons, and best ways to maximize your pool investment.
The Pros and Cons of Pool Ownership
Before you tell the kids they’re going to have a watery wonderland to cavort in during the summer months ahead, it’s smart to carefully consider the upsides and downsides before you dip your toes into swimming pool ownership.
Pros of Owning a Pool
- Social Benefits
- “Public pools are fun,” they said. So, you lather up the kiddies in sunscreen and claim a spot on one of the coveted loungers with your latest page-turner. Just as you’re about to find out who pushed Angela over the stair banister, you look up and to your horror, see the toddler next to your own kids squint and scrunch into their “bathroom face.” Long gone are the days of yelling, “Get out of the pool NOW!” to your kids in front of total strangers. Having your own pool in the backyard offers a host of social benefits. Pool parties, barbecues, Fourth of July celebrations, and lackadaisical days by the pool are just a few of the backyard bonanzas you can dream up when you have your own pool.
- Landscaping Benefits
- While Arizona is known for its cotton-candy hued sunsets and earthy desert landscapes, having a pool gives homeowners the opportunity to contrast the stereotypical desert aesthetic and create a tropical landscape that leans on the side of aloha. Surrounding your pool with sherbet-orange birds of paradise, wispy emerald vines, and a gentle, natural rock waterfall can turn your backyard into your own private oasis. Do we need to come right out and say that a gorgeous pool will make you the envy of your street?
- Increase Marketability
- Owning a swimming pool will increase your home’s resale value and marketability, especially with those steamy, but beautiful Arizona summers. The vast majority of potential Homie buyers are going to view households with an in-ground pool as a huge plus. Because of its leisure and convenience aspect, Homie buyers may show more initial interest in a house listing with a pool simply because it plays to their grandiose imagination of summer pool ragers with friends and family.
- Health Benefits
- Another sweet benefit to owning a pool is that it has an almost magical ability to make physical activity fun. If you struggle to get the kids away from a TV or computer screen, watch what happens when you have a gleaming, blue expanse of delicious swimming goodness waiting just outside! Families can schedule in daily swimming time as a fun way to incorporate an exercise regimen for kids — and they’ll be none the wiser! While your kids are busily splashing away and hosting a who-can-swim-the-fastest contest, their video games, phones and TV binge-watching habits will dwindle.
Cons of Owning a Pool
- Safety Issues
- While we don’t like being a Debbie-downer, having a pool, although great in the wondrous summer months, increases the need for adult supervision. Pools in general can be dangerous for young children, especially in Arizona where drowning is one of the top reasons for childhood injury or death. Although it doesn’t dismiss all potential for unfortunate accidents, one effective way to minimize pool danger is to have added safety measures installed, such as a locked pool gate. With the desire to have everything in your house be Pinterest-worthy, there are pool gate design options so your pool doesn’t have to sacrifice charming designs for safety.
- Low Equity Value
- Still tossing the pros and cons of a pool around? If you are solely investing in a pool because you think it will increase the amount of equity a house has, we hate to break it to you, but owning a pool only adds around seven percent to equity. In the grand scheme of things, a seven percent equity isn’t much in comparison to the $30,000 average investment that goes into the construction and addition of a backyard pool. As the saying goes…there is no beauty without pain.
- Neighborhood Value
- The rule is to never judge a book by its cover, but in the world of real estate, your neighborhood can determine the value of your house, regardless of how much winter-white subway tile you hand-laid in your house. When it comes to swimming pools, the value of your house may only benefit depending on how great the real estate gods deem your neighborhood. If you live in a higher-end neighborhood where the majority of your friendly neighbors all own swimming pools, your home could gain value with the addition of a swimming pool. On the contrary, if your house is worth $200,000 without a pool and $225,000 with a pool, the financial benefit of owning a pool is significantly less.
- Ongoing Cost and Maintenance
- While we would all like to believe the tiny aquatic vacuum droid patrolling the pool floor is enough to keep your pool sparkling clean, the truth is that pools do need constant maintenance, and this requires both money and time. Buying chalky chlorine tabs, filtering out pool water, installing a pool heater, and repetitively scooping out leaves, debris, and the occasional toy car courtesy of Tommy are all costs to take into consideration. Hiring a pool cleaner is definitely an option, but also requires extra moola in the bank.
- Additional Insurance – Images of the kids spewing water at each other from pool noodles or getting that toasted-marshmallow tan you’ve always wanted are reason enough to want your own swimming pool. But as your Homie friend, we do have to let you know pools come with their fair share of liability issues. Depending on where you live and your specific homeowner’s insurance company, you may have to pay additional insurance costs to cover your swimming pool.
The Most Cost Effective Types of Pools
If we lived in a perfect world, we would all have enormous pools complete with a jade waterfall, full-sized bubbling jacuzzi and automatic fancy drink dispensers. But alas, this is the real world, and in this world, big luxuries cost big dollars. Although the swimming pools you see on Million Dollar Listing are not the most feasible for the average household, don’t despair. There are great, cost-effective ways to enjoy having your own pool. Here’s a bite-sized overview:
- Build a Smaller Pool
- Smaller pools cost less money. Who knew! It’s almost too obvious to state, but one of the best ways to reduce the cost of your in-ground pool is to make it smaller. Even if you have ample room in your backyard, a smaller pool means more room for other great summer fixtures, such as backyard furniture, a swing set or jungle gym for the kids, or even a lush patch of grass for Fido. While pools entertain guests in the summer, having other backyard features like the ones listed above can provide easy, breezy entertainment all year round.
- Go Vinyl
- When it comes to initial installation, vinyl pools are the kindest option to your wallet. Its counterparts — concrete and fiberglass pools — sport a significantly higher price tag and can take longer to install, which means you’ll be sadly standing around in your swimming trunks pool-less for longer. Before hopping on the vinyl pool train, however, know that vinyl liners last for about five to nine years before needing to be replaced. The replacement cost? $4,500 on average.
- Hold out for Autumn
- Swimming pools are synonymously rejoiced alongside summer, which means the demand for pool installation is highest during the summer or spring seasons. If you’re okay putting your pineapple-patterned one-piece away and getting your thrills watching new Netflix series, one way you may be able to save money is by installing a pool during the fall. By holding off on pool construction until the autumn season, pool contractors may be more open to negotiating a killer deal since business will have simmered down.
- Buy a Pool Kit
- For the do-it-yourself gurus, purchasing an in-ground pool kit gives you all the materials you need to build your own pool. If installing furniture from a certain Swedish company often leaves you in a crumpled, soggy mess of a human, we’d recommend giving the pool construction to someone else. To potentially save you some extra cash, buy a DIY pool kit and then hire an expert contractor to do the heavy lifting for you. When searching for your potential contractor, let them know you have all the necessary materials and want to know how much the cost of installation will be.
How to Maximize Your Pool Investment
If you’re reading this, we know you’re smart with your hard-won cash. After all, you did make the intelligent choice of being in fabulous cahoots with Homie. We appreciate the fact you like knowing the most efficient ways to stretch a dollar, and pools are no exception. If you decide to get a pool for your own benefit or for the benefit of selling your home, here are some tips to help you get the most splash for your cash in your pool investment.
- Use a Pool Cover
- Reduce the amount of time and prevent future problems by utilizing a pool cover. Having a pool cover will keep your pool free from strange floating debris and lower the chances of having to deal with any drain blockage down the road.
- Use the Power of the Sun
- If you’re going to live in the scorching deserts of Arizona, you might as well use the power of the sun to your advantage. Installing solar panels to heat your pool can not only save you money, but also extends the life of your swimming pool into the colder months. Heated dips into the pool with a mug of velvety cocoa? We think yes.
- Reduce Filtration
- When you’re not using the pool, save energy by reducing filtration in your pool. Be careful not to completely stop all filtration though. Just like it’s important to keep our body’s circulation happy and humming, a pool’s circulation is important to maintaining the cleanliness of your pool no matter the season.
Whether you are on the pro or con side of the pool gate, make sure to float your ideas to your partner and make an informed decision with the help of your friends at Homie. To infinity pool and beyond!