There are many pros and cons to buying a home with a pool already installed, so we’ve listed them out to help you make an informed decision. Each summer as warm weather starts to take over, everyone starts to think of summer pool parties and ways of beating the heat, but what do you need to know if you’re buying home with a swimming pool?
The short answer is there’s quite a bit to know. There are many pros and cons to consider before jumping into pool ownership and we’ve laid out the most important things to consider before putting in an offer on a home that already has a pool installed.
But first, ask yourself, is a pool a part of your home buying wish-list? If so, read on.
ARE YOU CONSIDERING BUYING A HOME WITH A POOL?
The following are some simple and straightforward pros and cons to consider if you’re interested in buying a home with a pool already installed.
The Pros of Owning A Swimming Pool:
- You can take a cool dip in the water anytime you like during our humid Ontario summers.
- Pools add a great focal point to your backyard and are often home to many memorable parties.
- They’re an easy way to add some more fitness into your life.
- The poolside is a great place for socializing and getting the family together.
- A pool could be valuable in the right real estate market.
- Pools are major stress relievers and promote relaxation.
- Pools are a very cost effective form of entertainment.
- Everyone will want to spend time at your home.
- They’re a great enhancement of summer parties and gatherings.
The Cons of Owning A Swimming Pool:
- There are regular maintenance chores.
- Water testing must regularly be done.
- Regular cleaning of debris and bugs.
- Regularly adding pool chemicals as needed.
- Pool equipment needs to be purchased, repaired or replaced.
- Heating and electricity costs.
- Potential physical dangers, e.g. drownings, slip-and-falls.
- Repairs can be costly.
- Pools regularly require additional insurance.
- Pools can attract wildlife like raccoons, ducks and geese.
OTHER IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER
#1: CONSIDER THE POOL’S USAGE
In Southern Ontario, you can expect to have the pool open from mid May through early-to-mid October which is about 5 months of the year.
Now ask yourself: will you get enough use out of the pool during those months to make it worthwhile? Will you be working most of the time and not have time for the pool? What will the backyard be like during the rest of the year? Do you want people at your house all the time?
#2: ENSURE YOU’RE PROTECTED
It’s very important to include a condition on your purchase that the pool is in good working condition—especially if you’re buying the house in the winter.
You can actually have the warranty surpass your closing date and last until you’re ready to open the pool next summer. The last thing you want is to buy a home and then find out months later that the pool is not working properly, and then find you have no recourse with the sellers.
Having a professional pool inspector look over the pool, the liner and the equipment is also a great idea to ensure you’re not walking into a broken nightmare.
You can read our recent article on a checklist of maintenance issues to look for at your next home showing to make sure everything is in order before you put in an offer.
#3: FIND OUT FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS
If you feel inclined to, you can set up a meeting with the sellers where they can show you the ins & outs of the pool and its maintenance, especially if you’re new to pool ownership.
Or better yet, have a professional company open the pool for the first time and get a lesson on how everything works from the experts.
ARE YOU SELLING A HOME WITH A POOL?
Maybe you’re on the flip side and are selling a home with a pool already installed. If that’s the case we have some information for you that could help your sale.
YOU’LL NEED TO FIND THE RIGHT BUYER
If you’re selling your home, keep in mind that not every buyer is going to want a home that has a swimming pool installed.
Parents of young children may be frightened at the prospect of having a water hazard in the backyard. Older retired couples may not be interested in the maintenance costs and time that a pool requires for upkeep.
The idea is to look for a buyer who’s right in the middle of these two groups. Generally speaking, middle-aged parents of older children and teenagers tend to be the biggest fans of swimming pools because they know it will get lots of use—and they can more easily manage the upkeep.
These will most likely be your ideal buyers but finding those types of buyers is the challenge.
FACTS ABOUT SELLING A HOME WITH A POOL
If you’re selling a home with a pool installed, you need to consider these points before selling:
- When you install an in-ground pool, you can expect to recoup approximately 40-50% of your investment upon selling the house.
- Above-ground pools rarely add value to a home, and if they’re in disrepair can actually diminish the home’s value.
- The more space a pool takes up in the backyard, the harder it can be to sell the home, especially if it’s an above-ground pool.
- It’s likely that potential buyers will want all the paper work and a current maintenance schedule so you’ll have to make sure you have the information on hand.
REASSURE YOUR BUYERS
Providing any site-plans, permits or warranties from the original company that installed the pool can be quite reassuring the home buyers.
You may also consider having a professional open or close the pool that season, and provide a receipt to show your buyers that you’ve had the regular maintenance work done properly and by a professional.
KEEP IT CLEAN AND INVITING
This may seem obvious, but making sure the water is crystal clear and free of any debris is a great way to entice potential buyers into considering purchasing your home with a pool installed.
Give your pool some flair—put out fluffy beach towels or colourful potted flowers to make your backyard look and feel like a nice summer oasis.
Whenever possible, have your pool clean & open for when marketing photos and video are taken of your listing. For more tips on attracting buyers to your home, visit our article on professional tips for staging your home by real estate agents.