Pros and Cons of Buying a Home with a Pool
Tips, advice and the cold, hard facts from pool owners and expert Coldwell Banker agents.
David Marine Jun 19, 2015
You’re a buyer looking for a new home. You come across an amazing home, but it has a pool. What’s your reaction?
Chances are you react strongly either for a pool or against one. I’m currently in the market for a home, and I went in with a very strong opinion that I did NOT want a home with a pool. But then there are some really nice homes with some really nice pools that got me wondering whether or not I should change my mind.
Isn’t it costly to upkeep? Do I have time to maintain it? Doesn’t it depend on where you live? All these questions are running through my mind so I set out to talk to actual home owners with pools and several Coldwell Banker agents to help me determine the real pros and cons of buying a home with a pool.
Pro: You’re the Cool House
There is no monetary value associated with this, but there’s definite advantages to being the home people want to go to. A number of my friends who have pools talked about how it gave them piece of mind that they knew all their kids friends and what was going on because of the amount of time being spent at their house. Plus parties, birthdays, and backyard BBQ’s are always better when a pool is involved.
Con: It’s an added expense, but maybe not as much as you think.
Pool maintenance will become a new line item in your budget, but how much is it really going to cost you? A friend of mine remarked that they paid someone to open their pool in the spring and it cost about $400, but they soon realized they could probably do it themselves in the future for less than $100. John Houseman with Coldwell Banker Sunstar-Morris Realty in Florida remarked that upkeep on a pool can be as cheap as $40-$50 a month if you do it yourself. Pools will also add an additional liability insurance to your statement, but depending on where you live some pool owners remark that it was only an additional $10-$20 a month.
Pro: It’s a Selling Feature…For Pool People
The concern of a pool being a tough feature when it comes time to sell is really dependent on where you live. If you’re in California, Florida, Arizona or Texas, you’re going to have a ton of interested people. If you’re in Maine, North Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan, you might have a tougher time at resale. Some Coldwell Banker agents in warmer markets are seeing a $15,000-$20,000 increase in selling price for homes with pools, but agents in more seasonal markets find homes with pools often take longer to sell as you’re waiting for the right person.
Con: When Something Goes Wrong, It’s Gonna Hurt Your Wallet
Repairing a pool is a nightmare. Every person I talked to that had a leakage problem or a structural repair issue with their pool talked about it as if it was the worst experience ever. Homes with newer pools are the way to go, but even that is no guarantee. You’ll want a thorough inspection of the pool’s condition before moving on buying a home with one.
While determining the pros and cons of buying a home with a pool I also uncovered a number of tips for people who ultimately end up owning one:
- Look at getting a salt water pool. It costs more upfront but your investment is made back after 2 years. Plus you’ll save on chemicals.
- Put up a fence around the pool. Protects you from liabilities and helps you control who is going in the pool and at what times.
- Solar panel heating of a pool is something to consider that might save you money over the course of the time you own your home.
- Get a robotic pool cleaner to minimize the time you spend maintaining it.
My biggest takeaway is that buying a home with a pool is really dependent on where you live and the type of person you are. If you live in warmer climates, owning a pool makes perfect sense and the upkeep is not a budget breaker. Also if you have a family, especially with young children, owning a pool can be a great investment into the time you spend at home. However, if you’re in cooler climates and not a big swimmer, chances are you won’t value the emotional rewards from being a pool owner.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons of buying a home with a pool in the comments. And if you’re in the market for a home with a pool (or not), we have plenty of options at coldwellbanker.com.
Header image is of a ridiculously gorgeous pool at a Coldwell Banker listing in Princeville, Hawaii listed by John Ferry.
Husband. Father. Socializer. Mets Lifer. TV Aficionado. Consumer Engager.
David Marine is the Chief Marketing Officer at Coldwell Banker, where he oversees the brand’s marketing efforts and content strategy including acting as managing editor for the Coldwell Banker blog and heading up video production efforts. While CMO by day, David runs a three ring circus at night as he is the father of 4 boys. He also happens to be married to Wonder Woman. True story.
Melissa CullenJune 22, 2015
very helpful and valid points to bring up when buyers looking for a house with a pool.
JackieJuly 1, 2015
I live in Mississippi. I lived in a home with a pool. We loved it. Most of the time. Although robotic cleaners are ok the best way to really clean it is manually. Leaks happen but the pump needs repaired more often and needs just as much maintenance as the pool itself. I was a lot skinnier when we had a pool. It was my daily exercise. Chemicals killed me. With chlorine pools it can be costly to maintain it. Rain throws off ph and alkalinity and it can take days to get it fixed to perfection. Then you have to deal with several types of algae. With a couple of algae’s I found to get rid of it for good was to empty the pool and give it a thorough cleaning with bleach and then spend hundreds to refill it. My best friend has a salt water pool. It is Less costly. Better for skin and hair. No chemical burning the eyes while swimming. Able to wear contacts. But again when the pump breaks it is costly and it occurs more often. After 7 years she just had to spend 10k for a new liner. Her under water pool lights corroded due to a leak costing hundreds to repair. Plus side is her home appraises at 20k more than it did before the pool. Since converting to salt water she had it reappraised and it increased by another 5k. With a fence around the pool area her insurance rates dropped. Now I live in a home without a pool. Plus side is I am not spending time cleaning the pool and have time for other things. Down side is I miss swimming daily and relaxing after a hard days work. It keeps you cool on a hot summers day.
salt water poolJuly 16, 2015
Second, the gear added to the plumbing technique can be expensive
and requirements to be taken care of very carefully.
Allen StevensAugust 14, 2015
In 44 years I’ve never lived in a home that did not have an inground pool. My parents had one my entire life, we bought our first home in NJ with one, our next home in Dallas with one and then relocated to Pittsburgh and built a new home. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d own a pool in Pittsburgh due to the short season. My family talked me into a pool and now we find that we use the pool more in Pittsburgh than we did in Dallas.
We open our pool in Pittsburgh on tax day, April 15. We close it the third week of October.
We built a heated, salt water pool with an auto-cover. The auto-cover was expensive but worth the price as it serves a number of purposes. First, when closed the pool is pretty much sealed. That acts like the top of a Tupperware dish and keeps the heat in thereby reducing the gas cost. Second, because your pool is only open during use, it stays really clean. Outside of use, the cover is closed. This keeps leaves and dirt from blowing in the pool. I vacuum 3 times a year. When I open, before July 4 and right before I close are the 3 times a year that I vacuum. Third, because the pool is never open when it rains, we never have rain water in our pool that messes up the PH and alkalinity. This makes the chemicals (not really chemicals because it’s salt) go about four times farther. Fourth, the autocover is strong. Two 250 lb men can walk across it at the same time. I never worry about a child stumbling in and drowning. That’s impossible with a closed autocover. Fifth, the autocover only opens when you punch in the correct code. If you don’t know my code you cannot get into my pool. The autocover rolls up underground under the diving board only if you know my code.
I spend less than $500 a year to open, close and chemicalize (salt) my pool with a season that goes from April 15 to October 21. The only other cost is gas to heat the pool. April and October add a couple hundred more to the gas bill each month, but that’s my choice and anyone that doesn’t want to add to the April or October gas bill could just as easily open their pool May 15 and close it September 15.
Nothing beats jumping in the pool early October when all the trees have turned orange, red and yellow and the temps are in the high 50’s low 60’s and you have the pool temp at 89 degrees.
If you build the pool right and spend a little extra up front for salt chlorinator, a heater and an autocover you will way more than recoup those costs after just a few years with extended pool season, lower gas heat costs, minimal chemical costs due to constant PH and alkalinity and very low maintenance due to the autocover keeping your pool cleaner.
Bernard G. FredetteMarch 30, 2016
This is a very informative article nice work.
Frank FelizApril 5, 2016
Thanks for information How much an auto cover will cost , and could it be install in kidney shape pool
Luke SmithApril 20, 2016
I would love to have a pool on my property, and it would be great in the summer time. I think it is interesting that a pool can make your house a great selling point. Plus you can have a lot of fun parties with friends and family.
Luke JohnsonJune 18, 2017
Good info I am debating between 2 houses to buy right now one with a pool and the other one no pool pools have downs but they there ups like when it’s 90 degrees outside at the same before you spend time cleaning it instead of swimming
DebbieJuly 31, 2017
We live in the eastern part of Washington state. We get the 4 seasons and our summers can go up to 3 digit temps. We had our house built 5 years ago, already have fence around our property, and now debating whether to get a pool built in our expansive backyard, which is mostly grass and some planting beds. What was shared in this article is exactly what we needed to know and helps us in our decision making. Still this is a tough one to make. Salt water is my first choice versus chlorine but it seems like the pool companies we’ve talked to is discouraging us to go the salt water route because it corrodes concrete, and all kinds metals so much faster. Personal experience of a salt water pool owner like @AllenStevens is so helpful. We never thought about homeowners insurance either so that’s something we also need to find out.
Ironman Pool Care of PhoenixFebruary 7, 2018
Like above comments mentioned, cannot stress enough the importance of having 1-2 professionals giving you a free consultation of your soon-to-be pool. Sometimes the individual in charge of your home estimate can overlook underlying problems with the pool. Above pool appearance is not where you should look first, but plumbing and lifeline of equipment.