Why You Should Think Twice About Buying a Home with a Swimming Pool

Home renovation and real estate shows almost always paint backyard pools in a positive light, but they come with significant maintenance, repair, and insurance costs that you may not think about when you’re buying a home. Whether you plan to install a pool—which is a bad idea if you’re trying to make your money back via increased property value—or you’re looking at purchasing a home that already has one, here are a few points to keep in mind.

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The first thing you should know is that Google significantly underestimates “average” pool installation costs. In a 2018 interview with Forbes, Bikini Pools and Spas owner John Hutchings explained that all the Google results touting costs in the $10,000-20,000 range are “[J]ust a way to get the salesman’s foot in the door.” The actual number is closer to $50,000—and that’s for a bare-bones installation. Extras like lights, fencing, decks, landscaping, and high-end mechanical systems can easily bring the total cost to $100,000 or more.

Aside from the massive up-front cost of putting in a pool, many homeowners forget about the significant costs of maintaining and repairing one. Fixing cracks, re-sealing the lining, repairing siding and ladders, regular cleanings, chemicals, filtration systems, replacement parts like pumps. not to mention professional labor—all of these things cost money, and that’s not even counting your water bill. HomeAdvisor has in-depth guides to pool maintenance and repair costs, each with their own calculator to help you estimate weekly, monthly, and yearly costs. According to their data, monthly maintenance will run you anywhere from $80-$350. Repair costs vary depending on the scope of the project, but a single incident can easily run $1,000-$2,000 or more.

Finally, be aware that a pool will almost definitely increase your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Bankrate.com advises talking with your insurance agent to make sure your policy covers damage to the pool itself as well as any personal liability. (If someone finds their way into your pool and gets injured—or drowns—you’ll be held legally responsible whether or not you invited them in the first place.) This is one of the rare cases where a personal umbrella policy may be worth the money.

If you decide having a pool is worth both the high up-front and recurring costs, go for it. Just make sure you’re going into the purchase with both eyes open—especially if you live in an area where you’ll only be able to use it during the warmer months. The rest of the year, it’ll just be a covered eyesore in your backyard.

This article was originally published on June 7, 2015. It was updated on April 13, 2021 to reflect changes in maintenance costs and Lifehacker’s current style guidelines.

Author: Alan Henry

Source: Alan Henry.” Why You Should Think Twice About Buying a Home with a Swimming Pool”. Retrieved From https://lifehacker.com/why-you-should-think-twice-about-buying-a-home-with-a-s-1708314656

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