Swimming Pools – Pros and Cons

Swimming pools can be fun -therapeutic – a safe, convenient place of tranquility/sources of release from the daily grind – exercise for your family, etc,…but they are not inexpensive to build, operate, or eliminated. In fact, many people say the two happiest days of their lives is like owning a boat: (1) first day you get a pool, and (2) the day you get rid of it by selling your home or covering it up!

In Atlanta, where the temperatures soar and humidity levels are high for 6+/-months of usable time, there are plenty. Several are even found at homes inside subdivisions with an existing pool facility within the Homeowner’s Association. But it has been my experience that as many or more people choose to fill them instead of maintaining them. Because this love/hate relationship for pools exists, there really is no additional value you can assign a pool at a house to the prospective home buyer. Even appraisers don’t necessarily give much of a boost to the home’s value when appraising the property.

Possible negative/cost factors to consider besides reminding yourself how much fun it was to maintain your family’s pool when you were old enough to help maintain it (ha-ha):

  • Building a new in-ground pool can cost from $25,000-100,000.
  • Pool covers cost $2,000-5,000 if replacement is needed.
  • Opening and closing the pool for the seasons change will either take $ for a pool company to manage or your time and effort.
  • Maintaining the salt or chemical levels costs hundreds per season. More so with chemicals, but the installation cost and eventual replacement of the diodes for saltwater pools runs high.
  • Daily inspection and maintenance of the pool including any chemical testing, retrieving the leaves and other items found in the pool, emptying the skimmer baskets, subbing the tiles, or vacuuming the pool.
  • Pool equipment should last many years before replacing, but should be monitored daily or a few times per week to ensure proper operation including back-washing the filters once in a while.
  • Budgeting for the maintenance or replacement of the pool equipment (filter, pump, heater, etc,.) and any of the PVC water lines that crack during freezes in the winter.
  • Paying a few $100s in extra homeowner’s insurance.
  • Building or maintaining a fence around the pool required to get insurance may take thou$and$.
  • Pool accessories like skimmer poles & paddle; skimmer baskets; plastic skimmer caps; pool toys; vacuum hose & wand; plugs for vacuum holes; drain caps; handles for entry and egress; etc,.
  • Extra daily water (pools lose water during evaporation or leaks) and electricity costs to run the equipment.
  • Repairs of cracks in wall or flooring inside a pool, or on the exterior of a wall surround the waterfall to the pool if one exists.
  • If major repairs require draining a pool, cost of refilling them with water could cost hundred$ (and no, fire departments/communities won’t necessarily refill your pool at no charge).
  • Friends, neighbors, other family (including their children) come over expecting to use it…and stay!

Note: Even saltwater pools require daily maintenance of skimming and cleaning skimmer baskets. And sometimes salt will corrode the diodes and they’ll need replacement.

Bottom line: If you’re willing to take on an asset to maintain but get enjoyment from using it, then it will depend on your level of enjoyment v. the negatives. And there is no formula to determine that – just a SWAG!

References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them. I welcome any or all comments that would help others.

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