When the sun is high and the weather is hot, what able-bodied swimmer wouldn’t like to have residential pools in the back of their homes, so they could take a relaxing plunge? If they could snap their fingers and make a swimming pool suddenly appear, many people would probably do it, especially in Southern and Western U.S. states that tend to stay hot or relatively warm throughout the year.
That said, having a property with a swimming pool isn’t like owning a home that has a natural lake or pond on the back property, which no one uses for swimming, and doesn’t require upkeep. If you’re currently in the home buying market, and you’re only interested in properties that have residential pools, there are some pool facts to be aware of that may guide your purchase. Before you invest in a home with a pool, here are three things to know:
1. Residential Pools are High-Maintenance Property Assets
When you tour a residential property that’s on the market, it often looks better than it has in years. Bathroom and kitchen fixtures are likely to look shiny and new. If there’s an unfinished basement in the home, it’s often spruced up to suggest extended living space. And, if there’s a pool in back, its water is likely ultra clear, and the pool site is often flanked with new pieces of hip decor that make it appear luxuriously inviting.
That’s all fine and well, but the image of the pool you’re likely to see may belie the regularity of maintenance the pool requires to stay looking as if it’s worthy of one of Rock Hudson’s legendary Hollywood pool parties. You can hire a third-party swimming pool maintenance company to handle the pool’s upkeep, but here’s a conservative list of what you’ll be paying for, or what you’ll receive without the cost of labor if you decide to maintain the pool yourself:
- Adjust PH, Calcium, and Sanitizer – $80 / month
- Adjust water temperature – $75 – $250 / month, with heat pump
- Adjust water levels – $60 / year
- Vacuum the pool – $200 / month
- Apply algaecide – $30 / month
- Clean pool filter – $200 / month
- Lubricate fittings and valves – $20 / month
Cost of maintenance for residential swimming pools depends on a range of factors, such as the rate at which leaves and other debris accumulate in the water, the types of equipment that serves the pool, the maintenance schedule for each piece of hardware, and a constant supply of additives to keep the water clear and in ideal condition.
A leaf pool cover that blocks windblown foliage from hitting the water is an investment that’s well worth the time you’d otherwise spend skimming out the debris with a pool rake. As for other costs, you’ll need to price them out based on the specific type of equipment that needs to be maintained, as well as whether you prefer to buy additives in bulk, which is the most economical option, or you want the financial flexibility of buying them per unit. Cost of maintenance isn’t exorbitant, but it’s definitely one of the financial pool facts to consider.
How to Address the Issue
Handling your own maintenance will save several hundreds of dollars a month. Because homeowners generally perceive residential pools as a luxury, applying your own elbow grease may not conform to how you envision enjoying the pool. Before you buy the home, price out the cost of third-party maintenance, if that’s the option you would prefer to take.
2. Upgrades to Residential Pools may not Help Home Value
Residential pools can provide a strong incentive for someone to purchase a property, and they do add to the sale price. After a pool is installed, however, upgrades such as a pool water heater, new tile around the pool perimeter, and installing a diving board likely won’t increase the value of the real estate on your end. If you happen to sell the property, prepare to swallow the costs of “value-added” upgrades you make to customize the pool site to your liking.
How to Address the Issue
The only way to address this issue is philosophically: be willing to make some expenditures for the pool that enhance the enjoyment of using it, and consider that enjoyment to be the return on your investment. When you consider that the next owner of the property is likely to do the same thing, it’s not one of the harder financial pool facts to swallow.
3. People Drown in Residential Pools with Tragic Regularity
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, roughly 400 deaths a year occur from drowning in a swimming pool or spa. Not to belabor the gloom, but the organization also cites that nearly 5,000 people end up in the emergency room each year due to serious injuries suffered in swimming pools or spas.
Considering the many thousands of residential pools in the U.S., the statistics say that you’re unlikely to experience an event that contributes to them. However, the homeowners who experience these potentially tragic events are nearly always caught off guard.
This speaks to the most critical of the residential pool facts in our list: for the sake of you and/or your loved ones, you may need to outfit your pool with a resilient safety barrier that helps keep people from experiencing injury or death, especially children and the elderly.
How to Address the Issue
The best way to tackle this issue is to implement a pool safety barrier that keeps at-risk individuals out the water during hours when the swimming pool isn’t in use. This can be done with three types of products that are available from A Safe Pool: removable pool fencing, pool safety nets, and pool safety covers.
Our barriers feature different types of construction, but each of them is more than sufficient to help keep children and other high-risk individuals out of the water when you aren’t at the pool site to monitor their safety. Take a look at our pool safety solutions, and select the one that best accommodates the people you need to protect, as well as the option that you find most pleasing for the appearance of your pool.
At first glance, the pool facts in this list may seem like a cautionary trifecta that suggests not buying a home that is flanked by a pool, but that’s not the case. As a provider of safety solutions for residential pools, we naturally want people to enjoy the excitement and leisure of owning an inground pool. Our business depends on it. At the same time, we want homebuyers to be aware of what it takes — financially and otherwise — to keep a safe and well-maintained pool.
If you decide to own a home with a pool, keep our products in mind. After the transaction is complete, don’t hesitate to implement one of our pool safety barriers that keep your loved ones safe. We’ll inspect your pool area and create a pool fence, a safety net, or a safety cover that’s customized for the site. We also offer customized leaf pool covers. When you’re ready to move forward with the installation of a safety barrier, contact us to schedule a free estimate.