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To splash or not to splash, that is the question!

What you need to know before putting in a backyard pool.

As warmer weather approaches, some homeowners start having visions of a beautiful backyard oasis. A new swimming pool is an exciting lifestyle improvement, promising recreation and relaxation whenever you want them. But before you decide to break ground on that little slice of personal paradise, there are some pros and cons worth weighing.

Pros

Hours of fun

A backyard pool means splashing, relaxing and cannonballing the summer days away in water-soaked bliss. When the sun’s beating down, there is no replacement for the fun and refreshing relief of your own little water world. A pool also makes the idea of the ever-popular “stay-cation” more attainable since you can essentially replicate the outdoor hotel experience without paying hotel prices.

Social center

If you like to throw parties, host family reunions or otherwise get together with friends and family on a regular basis, the pool is a big incentive to accept your invitation. It is an irresistible hub of conversation and all-day revelry, whatever the occasion.

Increased home value

In warm climates and neighborhoods without public pools, a house with an in-ground pool will most likely increase the property value compared to similar homes without one. For empty nesters and homebuyers looking to move south, a pool is often high on the “must-have” list and will justify a bigger purchase price. However, it’s may be a mistake to view a pool as a long-term property investment, since the building cost and regular maintenance could potentially outweigh any eventual increase in value.

Cons

The initial expense of building the pool is not where your investment ends. Its on-going upkeep requires time, supplies and service costs if you need professional help. Also, a pool takes a toll on your water and power bills, and can increase property taxes.

Liability

A pool could turn off homebuyers with young children. It can present danger only a few feet from the back door, as well as inconvenience for parents who don’t want to accompany their kids every time they want to play outside.

Decreased home value

Though a pool may be desirable in certain neighborhoods and warm climates, other circumstances could make it have a negative impact on property value. If you live in a housing market near a popular lake, or one that is primarily composed of young families, the pool could be viewed as unnecessary. In colder parts of the country, a pool can only be enjoyed a few months out of the year, limiting its appeal as an amenity and exposing it as a waste of space.

Before you decide to make a pool a reality, consider the actual benefits and disadvantages in detail.


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