Questions to ask when Buying a House with a Swimming Pool
So you have found the perfect house: it’s in a great location, reasonably priced, comes with plenty of outdoor living space and it has a pool – surely that makes the deal even sweeter? Not so fast! A pool can be a fantastic asset for your home, but there are some things you need to consider to make sure you are not taking on a liability. Before you buy a house with a pool, be sure to ask these questions.
1. Who built the pool?
Pools that have been built to a high standard by a professional pool installation company usually have minimal maintenance issues. Find out as much as you can about the company that installed the pool before you agree to buy the house. Read reviews from other customers – are pools installed by this company vulnerable to problems? Knowing who installed your pool is also vital if you do have an issue that needs repairing. A good pool installation company will quickly respond if a pool they installed develops a problem.
2. Does the pool meet HOA requirements? Is it up to code?
Never assume that an existing pool meets the requirements of the homeowner’s association. You need to do your own checks, or you could be in for a nasty shock when you take over the management of the pool. Also check that the pool meets federal, state and local regulations regarding pool safety. Federal safety requirements for pools to have drain covers fitted to prevent injuries were introduced in 2007, but pools that were installed before then may not have been updated. There is a legal requirement to retrofit pools to bring them in line with safety standards, so you need to check whether you will have to bear this cost.
3. How will the pool affect your insurance?
Having a pool means that you need to be a little more careful when shopping for home insurance. A backyard pool is covered under the “other structures” section of your home insurance policy. Make sure this cover is enough to pay for potential repairs to your pool. As a pool owner, you also need to make sure that you have liability coverage. Sadly, it is not only your family that could be injured or drowned in your pool – neighborhood kids find a pool hard to resist. Your home insurance policy may require you to erect fences around your pool to keep uninvited guests out.
4. How much are the utilities?
Owning a pool comes with ongoing costs. Heating the pool is the biggest expense and can lead to shockingly big gas bills to keep the pool at a comfortable temperature. Check out the age of the pool’s heater – modern heaters are more efficient and use less energy. Also, pool builders choose specific pumps based on the needs of the homeowner; some are made specifically for efficiency. The type of pump on your pool will directly affect your utility bill.
5. Have there been any maintenance issues?
Find out whether the current pool owners have experienced any maintenance issues with the pool. A reliable pool can be a great asset, but one that is plagued with problems could be expensive. If you decide to go ahead with the house purchase, it might be worth calling in a pool company to renovate the pool so that it can be an enjoyable part of your outdoor living space.
Don’t dismiss your perfect house just because the thought of owning a pool is intimidating. As long as you ask the right questions, you could be the proud owner of a reliable, high-quality pool that allows you to enjoy outdoor living all summer long.