With summer rapidly approaching, pool owners across the region are preparing for opening day. In Ontario the covers are usually lifted on Victoria Day Weekend- or May Two-Four as it’s more commonly known.
As you watch your friends and family members prep their pools for the warm weather, you may be wondering, is it time I invest in a pool? But before you call the contractors or relocate to a home with a pool, there are some things you should consider.
Pools require regular maintenance. If left untended, pH levels could become imbalanced and problems like algae and bacteria could wreak havoc.
Here are some of the tasks you should expect when owning a pool:
If you don’t have time to manage these tasks, you can always hire a pool service company. But keep in mind that your pool will most likely need to be serviced multiple times each week, which means pool service technicians will be around quite a bit.
In order to stay clean and well-maintained, pools need to run for about eight hours each day. This means your utility bills will increase. According to HomeAdvisor, homeowners roughly pay up to $300 a year in electricity just to operate their pool pump. If your pool has a heater, or if you’re planning on purchasing one, this will also impact your monthly energy costs.
Unfortunately, pools don’t last forever. Depending on the pool’s material, it can last anywhere from 5 to 25 years before needing serious work like resurfacing or replacement.
If you’re moving into a home with an existing pool, you should ask the sellers for installation dates and if any repairs have been done over the years.
It’s also not a bad idea to get a professional’s opinion. You can book an appointment with a certified pool company to conduct a full inspection. They will ensure the water lines are leak free and the pumps pressure is up to par.
When you install a pool or move into a home with one, you open yourself up increased risk and liability.
This increased risk impacts your insurance. Both your liability insurance and the value of your home will need to be adjusted given the high incidence of injuries involved with swimming pools.
Having a slide or diving board may also increase your premium as they are often considered an additional risk.
Between 2011 and 2021 there were 918 drowning- related cases reported in Canada. Most of these cases occurred in swimming pools, with more than half involving children and infants aged 4 years or younger.
To minimize the risk swimming pools present, municipal laws in the Niagara Region require any swimming pool over 24 inches deep to be completely covered by a fence.
Diving boards also pose a major risk. There are several ways these boards could cause serious harm. You could hit the board while attempting a new trick or land on inattentive swimmers. If the thought of having a diving board makes you nervous, you can ask the seller to have it removed before you close the deal or if this isn’t possible, you can remove it once the house is in your possession.
Mosquitoes and water bugs gravitate towards swimming pools. Frequently skimming your pool can help remove the insects but doing so is time consuming. Preventing the growth of algae along pool walls and steps is another way you can limit the number of insects hanging out near your pool.
It’s also not uncommon for animals to end up in your pool. As unpleasant as this is, it’s important to remember that chlorine kills most germs carried by animals.
Under the right circumstances, a pool could increase your home value by as much as 7-8 percent. But this depends on several factors like the demographics of your neighbourhood, the style of the pool, and the size of your property.
It also depends on the buyer–some think a pool is an added bonus while others may consider it to be a liability.
The best way to find out if it will add value to your home is to get an appraisal. The appraisal will compare recent homes sold in your area with and without a pool. This information will ultimately help you decide whether adding a pool increases the value of your home.
Now that you’ve considered the responsibilities and costs of moving into a home with a pool, let us help with the rest!
McGarr Realty is made up of knowledgeable realtors who are well-versed in the Niagara Region Real Estate Market. Our team would be happy to show you all the beautiful properties the region has to offer. You can contact a realtor in St. Catharines by calling 905-687-9229, or a Niagara-on-the-Lake realtor at 905-468-9229. Or send us a message on our contact page, here.