Swimming Pools and Real Estate
When it is hot outside, a home with a pool can certainly be tempting! It can add to your family lifestyle but it comes to buying a home with a pool, there are a few things to know.
Many years ago, I had to provide “expert” testimony in a court case regarding the value of a pool. The reality is that it neither adds nor detracts from value in most cases as it depends on if the potential buyer wants a pool or not. If they don’t, they may have added costs to fill it in and if they do, they will consider it a terrific bonus.
All pools come with a certain amount of maintenance and buyers are well advised to become aware of both the construction of the pool and the ongoing requirements. Is the pool, pump, heater and all associated equipment in good working order? Has it always been opened and closed by a professional? There are rules in each municipality about fencing, setbacks and other standards – have they been met? There are many more questions a buyer should ask and consider.
It is hard to know the exact condition of a pool but it is possible to include a clause in your offer that a professional pool inspection be completed. If the pool is closed but the time of year warrants opening it, buyers can ask the seller to have it professionally opened and provide a condition report from the pool maintenance company. If it is in the winter, it gets a bit trickier but there are options for negotiating warranties and possibly monetary holdbacks.
Most importantly, home buyers should consider pool safety and this applies to hot tubs as well. Locked gates, covers, fences and other barriers are critical. If your pool and or your hot tub and in good condition, safe and properly maintained, they can be a source of pleasure for you and your family. If not, then buyer beware.