Home renovation TV shows will usually paint a backyard pool in a positive light. But should you put in a swimming pool or spa in your home if you want to sell your home for more money when you put it on the market?
Many experts say that if you want to have a pool or spa in your home for personal enjoyment and you are going to use it regularly, then it can be worth doing. This is especially true if you live in a warm climate such as Florida, Texas or Hawaii.
But experts in the real estate industry point out that having a pool or spa on the property can represent a maintenance, repair and insurance cost that many people may not want to deal with when they buy a home. Many home buyers are rightly concerned about the liability risk of having a pool at their home. If someone drowns or is injured in the pool, they could face a serious personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Tips for Installing a Pool
If you are still going to install a pool in your home, just remember first of all that you may not get a lot of your money back when it comes time to sell.
The first thing to remember about having a pool, it is important to remember the ongoing costs of having it. There are many things that are needed to keep the pool in good order year after year, such as repairing cracks, resealing, repairing ladders and siding on above ground pools, as well as the monthly costs of cleaning, chemicals, filtration, water, replacing motors and pumps and dealing with occasional lighting electrical problems.
Another big thing that most people do not consider is the insurance costs. For good reason, homeowner’s insurance companies do not like to insure homes that have swimming pools. All pools and spas can be dangerous to both adults and children and they have to be insured properly and comply with safety standards for the area in which you live.
Because the pool increases your risk of liability, you may want to boost your liability coverage. Liability limits usually begin at $100,000, but experts say you should have at least $300,000 of liability protection if you have a pool. Pool owners also may want to think about having an umbrella liability policy. In the more litigious American society today, having $1 million of liability insurance is really not that much. It is common for wrongful death lawsuits to pay out millions of dollars in damages.
Of course, if you really want to have a pool for the enjoyment that it brings you, then you still may want to have it installed. But you should really keep in mind what the ongoing costs will be. And of course, remember when you put the home on the market, not everyone will be thrilled that there is a pool in the backyard. Some people have even found that having a pool can make the home harder to sell. And it is very unlikely in most cases that you will be able to come even close to recouping the cost of putting in the pool.
Another consideration is if you live in the Midwest or Northeast. In these cooler climates, you may only have three months of the year to enjoy your pool. In the sunny and warm South, you can often use a pool for five or even six months of the year. In that situation, it might make more sense and be less of a liability when it comes time to put the home on the market.