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Buying a House With a Pool


Article by Sandy Funches

Photography by Sandy Funches

When you’re shopping for a new home, some people might say that finding a house with an already-installed pool is a win. It’s easy, and you won’t have to spend the energy and money installing a pool later on.

Others disagree. They would rather make their own decision about installing a pool, buying an above-ground option, or simply keeping their yard free of any water features.

There are both pros and cons that come with purchasing a house that has a pool already installed. Let’s take a look at each of them so that you can make better decisions when shopping for your dream home.

Pro: You Don’t Have to Handle the Install

One advantage of moving into a house with a previously installed pool is the chance to skip installation pains.

The thought of moving into a house that already has a pool, ready for use, is certainly enticing—especially for those of us who have little to no experience dealing with pool contractors.

If you were to install your own pool in the backyard, the process typically consumes over a week of your time—and that’s just the actual construction job. You’ll spend more time deliberating on design details, negotiating prices, and waiting for contractors to get back to you on details. It’s a fairly lengthy ordeal.

Buying a house with a pool means you can skip all of that. No noisy construction, messy labor or complications—just move in and enjoy your pool without the hassle. Keep in mind that prices for installing your own pool can easily be more than $35,000. If you’re looking at homes with pools already installed (that seem to be a good value), it might be a worthwhile buy.

Con: You Don’t Get to Design Exactly What You Want

Now for a con that relates directly to the benefit we just discussed. If you move into a home that already has a pool installed, it’s difficult to change features or redesign anything. There’s no installation process and therefore no creative session.

One thing many people like about installing a pool is the ability to create exactly what they envision. They can customize dozens of aspects, including:

  • Depth (typically between 3 to 10 feet)
  • Width (8 feet or wider)
  • Color (influenced by tiles and other features)
  • Shape (square, round, rectangular, natural)
  • Stonework (natural, modern or colorful)
  • Texture (coarse or smooth sides and floors)
  • Water features (fountains, falls, sprinklers, etc.)

Do you already have an idea of what your dream pool would look like?

Finding exactly what you want already installed in a home could be a challenge. You might be better off picking a house that doesn’t have a pool, then bringing your creative vision to life when you’re ready.

Not sure what you really want from your pool’s appearance? We suggest perusing some in-ground pool catalogs or maybe an above-ground pools guide to find the many options that exist.

Pro: The Yard Already Looks Aesthetically Pleasing

Another benefit of moving into a home with a permanent pool is that you immediately have a beautiful, enviable place to entertain guests. A pool is a great backyard feature and one that elevates the overall feel of your home’s luxury.

You’ve got a lot to do when you move into a new place. Between buying new furniture, unpacking and adjusting to the new space, you’ll likely have many visitors. It’s nice to have a pool area where you can easily host get-togethers—without really putting any effort into the process.

Come barbecue season and summertime weekends, you’ll be totally ready to entertain guests and spend time in your new yard. With a pool, your backyard is an automatic center for entertainment and beauty from day one. You might even already have landscaping and other features installed, too.

Your guests will be impressed, and you’ll feel great about hosting parties, cookouts, playdates and other fun activities.

Con: You’re Signing Up for More Yard Maintenance

If you already have enough home projects to keep you busy, moving into a house with a pool might not be the best idea.

Although you won’t have to deal with the install or any construction, you will have to deal with plenty of pool maintenance as soon as you move into the home. These tasks aren’t optional; they’re necessary for keeping the area clean, sanitary and safe.

Typical pool maintenance tasks include:

  • Dealing with pool covers during certain seasons
  • Cleaning and vacuuming
  • Emptying skimmers
  • Refilling when water levels drop
  • Testing water balance, pH, calcium hardness and other levels
  • Fishing out debris
  • Emptying the pump basket
  • Shocking the water occasionally

Unless you’re planning to pay someone to do all of this for you, these are to-dos you’ll immediately need to start completing upon your move-in. Remember: pool services often cost $65 or more for each cleaning, which adds up quickly for most families.

Already feeling overwhelmed by how much you have to do in your new home?

You might want to pick a house that has less yard work—in other words, no pool. You can always add one later once you’ve got less on your plate and you’re ready to take on the responsibility.

In Conclusion

There are more than 10 million residential swimming pools in the United States. You’ll likely encounter many houses that already have one installed, and it’s up to you to decide if that’s a positive or a negative thing for your situation.

Think about your creative dreams and the responsibilities that will come with owning a pool. Are you ready to take care of a swimming pool, as long as you get to entertain guests with it for most of the year? Or are you tempted to look for a house that comes with fewer maintenance obligations?