Choosing a Swimming Pool
Before you take the plunge and invest in a swimming pool, you should review your options, initial and future maintenance costs and impact on your home’s value. The type and investment you put into a pool can have a dramatic effect on your real estate investment either positively or negatively.
The Swimming Pool Options
Above ground swimming pools can sometimes be installed in one day by a qualified contractor. Though they require no subsurface digging, it’s crucial to have the foundation perfectly leveled, and hiring a reputable and insured contractor to do the work is highly recommended. Vinyl pool liners are a common material for pools above ground. Since they aren’t considered permanent fixtures, your city may not require a building permit, but check with your local town hall first.
In-ground swimming pools require a building permit and services of a pool contractor. Most installations are scheduled several weeks out so you’ll need to file your permit, and research qualified pool contractors well ahead of time. In-ground pools are typically surrounded by a tile, brick or concrete patio area, but this is placed after the pool is already installed and usable. If your budget is tight, you could hold off on the patio for as long as necessary. Keep in mind that the soils in your area can play a significant role in the cost of excavation. If your lot is filled with ledge and rock then the cost of adding that pool you always wanted is going to be greater.
Salt Water System vs. Chlorine System
Salt water pool systems are better for the environment and arguably, better for your health. If you’re dubious about the effects of swimming in chlorinated water, you should consider a salt water system for your in-ground pool. If you have chosen one of the durable vinyl pool liners that your contractor offers, a salt water system will also help that liner last much longer, and also save more money over a chemical system. Still, some people prefer the traditional swimming pool.
Initial and Future Maintenance Costs
Above and in-ground installation costs vary dramatically, based on many factors, including your geographic region, pool size and materials. In general terms, however, you can count on spending a certain amount of money. Medium-sized pools with pool liners are the least expensive option, running between $20,000 to $30,000.
The costs of maintaining a pool can range between $50 to $500 monthly. Depending on your system, there will be chemicals or salt to purchase. If you decide to heat your pool your electricity or propane use will increase; Your electricity bill will rise either way, due to the cost of running the pool filter. In addition, you’ll want certain pool accessories like a thermometer, skimmer net and possibly a vacuum or cover.
Impact Your Home Value
There is considerable debate about whether a pool adds value to your home. But if the pool is newer, possibly with a beautiful pool liner, and your potential buyer desires a pool, then there is no questioning the positive emotional value to the actual sale. However, if the pool is 20-years-old and needs repairs, any potential buyer is going to start calculating added expenses in their head.
I know when I am selling Hopkinton Real Estate in some of the upper end luxury neighborhoods, having a grandiose swimming pool is likely to have a real impact on the homes overall value. Some of these swimming pools and the surrounding landscaping are just magnificent. In order to see a higher return on your swimming pool investment in the luxury end of the market you really need to have all the bells a whistles to go along with the pool. Things like dramatic patio areas, stone walls, a fireplace, waterfalls, and custom built pool houses are all part of the package. It is these types of extras that will almost be expected when you are north of a million dollars and have a pool. Having your typical 20×40 rectangle in your back yard is not going to cut it!
The bottom line is before you jump in with your pool decision talk to a pool contractor in your area and go over all the costs. They will be happy to advise you on your decision, and make a trip out to your house to view the property if necessary for an accurate quote. Only after you have spoke to a few qualified pool contractors will you be able to choose the right pool that is best for your family’s pocket book.