Is Owning an In-Ground Pool More Trouble Than It’s Worth?
Many people buy in-ground swimming pools. That is, a cavity-like foundation structure that is first dug out of and then built into the ground. Most people construct in-ground swimming pools into their back yards. They are serious construction projects, serious investment, and they are also serious drains on personal time due to maintenance. I recently got to hang out at a pool party at the house of one of my friends.
He has an in-ground pool and everyone in attendance seemed to be having a good time. However, the only person who seemed not to be having any fun was my friend, the pool owner. We chatted for a while and he clued me in on the financial, maintenance, and legal headaches of owning a pool.
Purchase, Maintenance, and Personal Time Costs
An in-ground swimming pool is an investment that only has as much value as you bestow on it. The average cost to install an in-ground pool, which is a serious construction project, can cost $30,000 on the average. You may need to take out a loan for $50,000 or more, because there are serious ongoing maintenance costs involved as well. On top of the purchase costs, there are daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance costs that you’ll have to pay for.
You have to buy testing materials to test the pH balance and cleanliness of the pool. Buying chlorine and other pool cleaning chemicals can cost at least $800 annually. Even if you buy the discount stuff. Then, you must learn how to add chemicals in a balanced manner. Add too little and bacterial colonies and algae will bloom. Too much and the chlorine will be overpowering. It might cost about $1,000 annually to replace or repair the pool filter and other components.
Electricity is required to operate pool pumps and vacuums, so that may add another $100 to your monthly energy bills. Don’t forget about the all the personal time required for maintenance. You will spend countless hours using a net to fish leaves from the pool surface or other devices to remove surface level scum.
Existing and Resale Value
You’d think that building a pool would add to your home’s value, but it could be the opposite. You would have to live in an area where having a pool in the backyard is common. Most home buyers just aren’t interested in the cost and upkeep of maintaining a pool. So, you may only want to install a pool if you know you’ll be living in your home for the long-term.
Believe or not, in-ground pools, especially in neighborhoods with very few pools, are considered extreme liability risks. Local kids and teen troublemakers will vie to break-in and frolic in your pool, especially if you are away. If someone is hurt or killed, even if they broke in, you could be liable. You will have to buy anywhere between $100,000 to $500,000 in insurance just on the pool.
Are You Going To Use It?
I am not telling you not to get a pool. What I am saying is, don’t get one unless you plan to make the most out of owning one. On the average, you will end up paying at least $3,000 a year for maintenance and support costs after buying one.