Should I get a pool? If you’ve been trying to decide whether or not you should build a pool at your house, you’re in the right place.
Today, I’m dishing out five things you need to consider before you take a shovel to your backyard.
If this is your first time here, welcome! If you’ve been here before, thank you so much for coming back and spending your time with me. My name is Lindsay and I‘m proud to be your Anthem, Arizona REALTOR® with the Wise Move AZ Team at Realty ONE Group. On our YouTube Channel and blog we have a lot of fun talking about all things Anthem and real estate every single Thursday, and we absolutely love having you along for the ride.
Should I Get a Pool?
If nobody’s told you, building a pool is messy, time consuming, and pricey. Seriously, the equipment tearing up your flower beds on their way into the backyard is just the start. So, if you’re going to build your own pool you want to make sure you do it right. Eyes wide open and knowing that the benefit of having a pool outweighs the cost of building it. Sound good?
If you aren’t debating whether to build a pool, but rather whether you should buy a home with a pool or not, you are definitely going to want to click and watch this video.
Now, of course, I can’t make a sweeping statements like ‘Yes, everyone should build a pool!’ or ‘NO, are you crazy, under no circumstances should you build a pool’. That would be ridiculous. This is a very personal decision that depends entirely on you, your family, and your goals. So, instead of making blanket statements, in this video I want to share 5 vital considerations for you to think about before you decide to start building.
#1: HOA Approval
First things first, do you live in a community that is overseen by a homeowners association? If so, I want you to get your hands on the governing documents and review them carefully.
Are pools allowed? Are there rules about design approval, setbacks, and so on?
If yes, I recommend that you talk to the HOA and learn a little bit more about the process.
Do you need to submit an application before building? Is there a committee you should be talking to? What needs to be included in your application? Does the pool need to be in-ground or can it be above ground?
Learn as much as you can about what is allowed in your community and what the timeline for getting all of the necessary approvals are.
Pools In Anthem, Arizona
In Anthem, where we live, you are absolutely able to build a pool in your backyard. There is an application process and there are a few rules regarding setbacks, and so on. Overall, I have heard that the process is pretty easy to navigate.
In many cases you will be able to find local contractors that are able to work closely with you on putting together and submitting your application to the HOA. Ask neighbors and friends in the area for their recommendations.
If you don’t have an HOA, are there other bylaws that come into play?
Overall, the goal here is to make sure that you can in fact proceed with building a pool. In my opinion, this is one of those situations where you ask for permission instead of forgiveness.
This one is kind of a two-parter!
Next I want you to think about what you want to use the pool for. Will it be for lounging, playing with your kids or grandkids, or for fitness? Maybe it’s one or all of these reasons. What you intend to use the pool for will dictate the type of pool you will want to build.
If you want to be able to pop in with a cocktail after a long day at the office, a spool or small pool might be better for you. If you want to swim laps, or accommodate the kids cannonballs off a diving board, you may need to think bigger. Going larger and deeper with the pool usually adds to the final bill, so think long and hard about the pool you realistically need to achieve your goals.
In addition, I want you to think about how you currently use your backyard and how you will use your backyard when the pool is built. Will you still have enough room in your backyard to enjoy the activities you currently do? Will there still be room for grilling? Playing basketball? Letting the dog out? Will you loose some of the functionality your yard currently has by building a pool? Are you okay with that?
I want you to think about your use of the pool and the use of your backyard in depth.
#3: Ongoing Costs
Before you sign the paperwork to start your new pool, you need to make sure that you can afford the ongoing cost of pool maintenance and ownership.
The cost of regular cleanings, annual maintenance, and repairs can add up. You can save some money by taking on the regular cleanings and the labor part of maintenance and repairs, but don’t forget if you’re doing the work yourself, you still need to budget for all of your supplies.
Costs may also pop up in unexpected ways. For example, your homeowners’ insurance may be higher because you have a pool. Your utilities will also be higher if you have a pool. These added costs are usually quite manageable if you know what to expect and can budget accordingly. If you know someone in the neighborhood who has a pool you might want to chat with them about their utilities and compare their usage to yours. While there are a lot things that contribute to utility usage, this can give you a good starting point. You can also contact local pool maintenance and supply companies to understand the costs in your area.
If you decide to heat your pool in the cooler months the costs can increase dramatically.
Additionally, every once in a while your pool will require major work, like resurfacing. This can set you back a few thousand dollars depending on the finish and cost of labor. We recommend setting aside money every year to soften the blow when these bigger ticket items pop up.
If you can afford the ongoing costs to care for your pool, you are in great shape!
#4: Reason for Building
This one might feel a little philosophical but I want you to take a step back and reflect on why you want to build the pool in the first place.
Is it because you are planning to use it and enjoy it for years to come? Or are you hoping that it will add significantly to your property value?
If you are building it because you know that it will bring you and your family years of enjoyment, that is great!
If you want to build it solely because of the return on investment, or you are hoping it will increase the value of your home dramatically, I want you to pause.
Added Value of a Pool
I want to avoid making any blanket statements about the added value of building a pool. What I can tell you, is that where I live, in Anthem, Arizona, the cost of building a pool is usually higher than the added value to the property. If you want some tangible numbers on how much your home’s value will increase by building a pool, I recommend that you contact a local REALTOR®. They will be able to run comps for your home, and possibly to give you an idea of whether home prices are trending upwards or downwards. If you happen to be in Anthem or North Phoenix, we would be happy to help with this information.
Throughout the process of deciding whether to build a pool, I want you to keep your sights on why you started this project in the first place.
#5: Does it Make More Sense to Move?
That might sound completely ridiculous on its face, but hear me out. Building a pool is expensive and very disruptive. Think loud equipment all day long for weeks on end. Before you move forward with your own pool, should you consider selling your current home and buying a home with a pool? You might be thinking ‘oh, yeah, here’s a REALTOR®, just trying to get me to spend money on a new home’, and I promise you that is not my intention. This is just research I encourage you to do, so that whatever decision you make, you are doing so fully informed.
Maybe there are other things about your home that you wish you could change: a little more space, a walk-in closet, a different neighborhood, etc.
Value of your Current Home
I recommend chatting with a local REALTOR® about what your home would be worth on the market today, as is. I also want you to ask for a net sheet so that you can see what you would walk away with. Then you will want to get an idea of how much it will cost to get you into the new home.
Possible New Home
Are there homes currently for sale that check off all of your needs, with a pool? Ultimately, you want to determine if you could buy a home with a completed pool for the same or less than the cost to build your own, taking into account the costs of moving. The answer may be yes, or it may be no, but again you will be fully informed and more comfortable with your decision either way.
So, there you have it! What do you think? Is a sparkly new pool in your future? I would love to hear if you’re team pool or team no pool in the comments.
Also, as mentioned previously, if you want to watch the video where we tackle the pool vs. no pool debate when purchasing a home, click here. Alternatively, if you’ve been considering other renovations at home, you’ll want to watch this video where we share 10 homes renovation pitfalls to avoid that will save you money.
Enjoy those and I’ll see YOU next Thursday!