Having a home with a pool is a dream for many homeowners, especially since they can be used all year round in Florida. They’re a great way to get outside to relax and have fun with family and friends, and can even be used for health and fitness purposes. And then of course there’s the bragging right of owning a pool home…but there’s more to owning a pool than poolside barbecues and family fun. It’s a commitment of time, effort, and money that should be seriously considered while shopping for a new home.
1. Pools Require Work
Pools require weekly cleaning to maintain, which not only includes skimming the surface for debris, but also cleaning the pool filters, scrubbing the pool walls, and vacuuming debris from the bottom. Owners must also check and adjust the pH levels of the water to make sure the alkalinity remains high enough for the chlorine to keep the water clean, but low enough that it isn’t harmful to swimmers.
2. Pools Can Be Costly
Proper pool maintenance requires purchasing the correct equipment and chemicals to keep it clean and usable. Not only that, but your energy bills will definitely increase, since it takes additional electricity to keep the pool pump running, and if the pool is heated that’s another added expense. And if you decide you don’t want to do the maintenance work yourself, prepare to fork over an average of $125 a month for pool services alone.
In the event that your pool is damaged, such as a tear in the lining or a leak, you could end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair it, depending on the severity and size of the problem.
3. Pools Require Specialty Inspection
Most home inspectors are trained to detect issues in the house proper, and tend to have a more limited knowledge of pools and their inner workings. To ensure that there isn’t damage to the pool, you’ll want to hire a certified pool inspector, which costs a few hundred dollars. You can choose to skip this step, but then there’s a chance that no one will notice any underlying damage until it’s too late.
4. Pools and Children
Out of everyone in the family, it’s likely going to be the kids who get the most mileage out of the swimming pool. And if you’re looking to settle into your forever home, chances are you’re going to be living there longer than your kids will. So ask yourself—will you still use the pool enough to justify the upkeep and maintenance of it in the long run?
Additionally, pools aren’t all fun and games—families with toddlers need to be cautious, as nearly 300 children drown in backyard pools every year. Safety fencing can be used to keep tots from tumbling into the water, but drowning is a risk that parents of small children need to be aware of when considering the option of buying a home with a pool.
5. Pools and Wild Animals
We’ve all seen the news stories about people finding alligators or snakes lounging in their pool like it’s their own personal pond. If the house you’re considering is near a preserve or any other place where there’s a lot of wildlife, you need to consider the possibility that your screened lanai might not serve as enough of a barrier to keep the more determined critters at bay. But on the other hand, instant Facebook fame will be yours if you can snap a picture of the invader, so there’s also a silver lining.
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