Today’s discerning homeowner knows the importance of taking care of and upgrading their house, but does adding an outdoor, backyard pool add to your property value? It depends. There are many pros and cons to splurging on an outdoor pool. Here are some things to consider that will help you decide if you should dive in.
- Adding a pool makes you the envy of the neighbours, and your kids think you are the coolest parents ever. And those summer barbeques? You’ll be hosting them all summer long.
- Who needs a gym membership? Just step outside to your pool and do your laps. You’re living a more active lifestyle in the comfort of your own yard, and it is easy on your joints!
- A pool can really make your home stand out in the real estate market. If you are looking to sell, a pool, especially in the Calgary area, is going to attract attention.
- A pool can really make your home stand out in the real estate market. Yes, this is also a con. In the same way it gets your house noticed when you are selling it, it can turn off potential buyers because of the following additional cons.
- Maintenance. Without the proper PH balance and use of chemicals, your pool is going to grow bacteria and algae. Outdoor pools also attract wildlife and bugs, so you have to keep skimmers handy (and avoid the pool if you attract a moose or bear for those living on the outskirts west of the city). Maintenance is a must, and it comes with a price tag.
- Liability. Your homeowner’s insurance provider is not keen on backyard pools. You are liable for pool accidents on your property, so their risk to insure you goes up. You’ll notice their displeasure in your higher premium. Keep watch when your kids have friends over to swim, and be careful of mixing booze and pool fun at your summer parties. A fence is also a must if you don’t have one already, to keep out unwanted swimmers. Lastly, if you have a pool, you need someone to monitor the property when you are on vacation.
- Use. Summers in Alberta are hot, but also pretty short. You’ll have to prepare the pool for the winter (see above: maintenance) and you can only use it for a few months each year.
If you decide to get a backyard pool, make sure to do things right. Do not dig your own pool unless you have specialized training and all the required permits. Leave the construction to a renovator or contractor. Speak with your insurance carrier so you know how much to budget for premiums. Consider enclosing your pool (if allowed by the by-laws) for safety reasons, and to get more use out of it in the colder months. Remember that for every family that wants to buy your house because of your pool, there are more that won’t, so if you are planning on moving within the next five years, save the pool for your forever home.
With a little foresight, your pool, or lack of one, will help you get the most out of your property all year long.