Owning a pool is a glorious thing, particularly as our recreational opportunities outside of the home have been limited this year. One path to pool ownership is having a pool built custom to your preferences in your very own back yard, and there are many nice perks to that level of customization, but it requires significant time and resources and can be a disruptive process. A more common path to pool ownership comes by way of purchasing a house with an existing pool. This option allows more immediate pay off but involves a different set of risks and considerations to reach your desired goal of worry-free fun in the sun.
When you are buying a pool, there are a several considerations to be made around how much you want to spend, what type of pool you want, etc. When buying a house that already has a pool, the considerations are slightly different. Whether you are on the hunt for a house with a pool or perhaps a real estate professional looking to advise your clients on making smart decisions in their search, below are some recommendations for what to consider with each pool you see.
5 Key Tips For Buying a House With a Pool:
1. Make sure the pool is open and operational.
Seeing that the pool has been used recently, or appears ready for use, is a positive It will also allow more visibility into any obvious signs of damage in the structure or general components. If you arrive at a house where the pool is covered or it is evident it hasn’t been used recently, there is much more risk of encountering issues later (that may be hidden), and it may be a sign that it was not winterized or closed properly.
2. Get a pool inspection by a professional pool company before you make a purchase.
It is very important to use a professional pool company and not a general home inspector for the pool inspection, as general home inspectors may not be qualified to provide the detailed inspection you need. Similarly, if the inspection reveals any issues, make sure repairs are done by a licensed professional so you know they will be up to your county or state code. Additionally, most manufacturers warranties are void if service and repair work is not done by a professional.
3. Pay attention to the size, shape and design of the pool
It’s important to pay attention to these details to ensure it fits with how you will use the pool, and for consideration in future pool maintenance. For example, are you planning to use the pool simply for recreation or do you need a straight format for laps? How many people do you expect to be using the pool at any given time? Is it an above ground pool or in ground pool (tip: above ground will require more maintenance)? Do you prefer saltwater or chlorine? When making this type of investment, you want to make sure you get it right!
4. Put safety first.
Ensuring the pool is safe and up to code is vital. Just because the pool already exists, doesn’t mean it’s up to code with all the necessary state or local regulations or that it’s been taken care of properly. Getting a professional pool inspection is the first step in verifying things (per #2). Also look out for additions like diving boards or water slides, which must meet certain requirements to be up to local code. These are often added later and can have implications on both safety and insurance. If there is not an existing fence or barrier around the pool, you will want to add one to ensure no kids (yours or neighbors) access the pool unsupervised.
5. Seek professional advice or help for ongoing pool care. As a new pool owner, there are a few reasons not to try tackling pool care on your own.
First and foremost, it’s just much more fun to enjoy the fun aspects of pool ownership – the cannonballs, the sun and the splashing – without the hassles. Secondly, if you don’t have professional training and education on pool care, mistakes can be costly; so while you think you’re saving money in the short term, you could end up costing yourself even more. Working with a professional pool cleaning service company provides access to highly educated resources and keeps you up to date with the latest laws, pool care technology and tips to save you money along the way. Your realtor, neighbors or a quick online search can likely provide some great referrals for care; and of course if there’s a Pool Scouts location in your area, we would love to be your go-to resource for professional pool care and maintenance.
Becoming a pool owner is such a great experience, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially if you’re purchasing a new home and simultaneously becoming a first time pool owner. The more you know going into pool ownership, the safer and happier your family will be enjoying your new pool. While the excitement and busyness that comes with purchasing a new home can easily overshadow the importance of pool education and safety, we hope these tips help arm you to set yourself up for success and for a future filled with fun in the sun! If you have additional questions about pool education or care, please feel free to contact Pool Scouts for professional help.