A backyard pool can look like a lot of fun when you’re house-hunting. Summer days full of swimming and splashing around your pool can be great fun, but sooner or later you’re going to have to face the costs that come with a pool.
Here are some of the costs of pool ownership:
Maintenance: Before buying a home, homebuyers should hire a professional pool company to inspect the pool to ensure it was maintained properly and regularly.
Proper maintenance can keep a pool from falling apart before the end of its expected lifetime, usually 40 years or so if made of concrete. Expect to pay about $100 per month for regular maintenance.
Chemicals: Expect to spend about $100 per month on chemicals to balance the water levels and keep the pH level (acidity) at appropriate levels. High acidity can damage the pool liner, pipes, heater and filter system. Chlorine is needed to kill bacteria and algae.
Equipment: A pool pump filters the water to keep it clean and should run 24 hours a day, adding to your electricity costs. A pump can last up to 10 years and costs about $600. Pumps, filters and chlorination systems can require minor repairs from time to time, so count on about $200 per year for equipment parts.
Electricity: Whether heating the pool or running the pump, expect to pay $200 for electricity for every month of use of your pool.
Insurance: Insurers consider a pool an “attractive nuisance” that may require additional liability insurance. Installing pool gates may be mandated by your insurer or local government, adding an extra cost.
Most homeowner’s policies include at least $100,000 worth of liability protection, though pool owners may want to consider increasing it to $300,000 or $500,000.
An umbrella policy for $1 million in liability protection above what the home already is protected for can cost an extra $200 to $300 per year. Extra insurance may also be needed to replace the pool if it’s destroyed by a storm or other disaster.
All of these costs may not dissuade you from buying a home with a pool, but it’s important information to know before making a real estate investment. At least you’ll know before you get into the pool how much that daily swim will cost you.