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Old 08-23-2011, 10:02 AM
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My wife and I are discussing if we should add a small pool to our house in late fall or early spring (to take advantage of lull in construction). Our house is in Oakton, in the $700-800K price range, backs to woods and a few neighborhood houses do have such pools. We are not concerned about the ongoing expenses for maintenance, servicing, etc for the pool.

The only reason we are in two minds is because we have read and heard that you limit the potential number of buyers once you have a pool. Families with young kids consider pools a safety hazard and older families don't want to pay for the upkeep. What do you think?

Note that we have a 5-yr old and we intend to stay in this house for a long, long time. We have frequent parties and play dates as well.

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Old 08-23-2011, 10:36 AM
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You don't see too many pools around here really. From what I hear from people, pools are a pain to maintain and in this part of the country you only get to use it for 8 months or so
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:56 AM
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For my wife and I, a pool would probably be a dealbreaker if we were house hunting (b/c of the work/upkeep). HOWEVER, we just went to a bbq last weekend that my wife's co-worker was hosting and they had a pool. They said one of the main reasons they bought their home 5 years ago was b/c they loved the pool (it was already there from the previous owner).

If you want a pool and plan on staying for a long time (and enjoy hosting parties/gatherings), I would get the pool if I were you. I wouldn't worry about the resale aspect since you plan on living there a long time and will get years of enjoyment from it. And although there are lots of people who don't want pools, there are plenty of people who do like them (I have two other friends who bought homes with pools in this area).
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:59 AM
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The costs of building, maintaining, and servicing a pool are considerable. The house we bought in the midwest came with a lovely in-ground pool, which I use nearly every day in season, and I had NO CLUE how much it was going to cost me with electricity to run the pumps, pool opening and closing costs, regular servicing, chemicals, and an extremely expensive/tempermental automatic pool cover (required because the property lacks a fence). IMO, these costs over a decade or so could easily outweigh any potential hit you will take on resale. But if you're going to go for it, consider carefully whether it's worthwhile to install a small, cozy pool. It may not be that much cheaper than a larger one. Your child will quickly outgrow and become bored with a pool that he can cross in four strokes.

That said, i LOVE sitting by the pool and we eat on the poolside deck all summer.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:11 AM
Location: The South
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We specifically looked at houses with pools. They're wonderful, especially with a private back yard.

The only caveat I would add is if your neighborhood is totally filled with younger children and has a neighborhood swim center.

Wouldn't trade my pool for all the money in the world because I detest pools filled with "Marco?"
. . . "Polo".
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:22 AM
Location: Great Falls, VA
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To your question about limiting future potential buyers - you are probably right about families with younger children. As for older families, we are a family with an older child (he was 10 when we moved here) and we wanted a pool. We ended up buying a house without one (couldn't find the right combination of yard, house and pool, so had to settle for 2 of 3) and had the pool put in. My husband does the upkeep and we find it minimal. And we use the pool at least 5 days a week (including friends who were SO worried about having a pool around their kids and now want to bring said kids over to swim) I guess it depends on who is the most likely buyer in your neighborhood. But if you aren't planning on selling your house for a long time, I say go for it! Why not have the house you love?
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:30 AM
Location: Northern VA/DC
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We love our pool! The last two homes we've owned in Fairfax County had pools. Granted the season isnt very long, but I can tell you that having our pool during the hot days/weeks is fantastic. We love to entertain, so its not uncommon for us to also have pool/bbqs with upwards of ~100 ppl. The kids love it!

All the things you note (cost, maintenance, resale, safety, etc) are a concern, so if you just cant get over one or another, then dont do it. As long as you realize what to expect when you own a pool as far as responsiblities, then its not an issue. Biggest thing for us is safety, so we had a Protect-a-Child pool fence installed and it was the best decision. If we're not using the pool, this fence is up. Parental supervision is a MUST, whether its a pool or bathtub, so its just common sense.

IF you plan on using and enjoying, then by all means go for it. Yes, you will have to buy chemicals, yes you will have to clean it, yes the pump will run and use electricity, etc. There are automatic cleaners and pool companies can do weekly maintenance for 75-100 bucks a week. I maintain it myself, and its so easy to maintain that the folks who say its a lot of work are usually the ones who have never had a pool.

fwiw, the two homes adjacent to us also have pools, so it should fit with the neighborhood imo. homes here are in the 1-2M range and when we looked for our long-term home, we looked specifically for homes with a pool already built. That may put us in the smaller "pool" of buyers, but those folks are out there.

To each his own, but if you're going to live there awhile, might as well enjoy it. btw, as you noted, we too are taking advantage of the economy and expanding the pool deck (firepit, bbq island, cabana, etc) as its easier to negotiate nowadays good luck!
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:43 AM
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As someone who recently bought a home with a pool, I can say I would neither install one nor buy another house with a pool. We paid a fortune to have the thing removed when we realized how difficult and expensive it really is to maintain and also how difficult to meet safety requirements regarding fences and pool covers and door alarms. It was just astounding. Then we discovered that there are neighborhood pools everywhere in nova and there just wasn't any point to dealing with our own. However, our neighbors have a pool and they absolutely love it and thought we were crazy to get rid of ours. They use it all the time. So I think it could go either way - however, it would certainly help in terms of future home sales if the pool 1-did not take up all usable yard space and 2-was fully equipped with a child-proof fence and fully automatic pool cover, as well as whatever other safety measures are available and necessary for your particular property. If I were looking at a home in the future and it had a pool, I might not walk away as quickly if it met those criteria.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:40 PM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Have you thought about a swim current pool like an Endless Pool? It's compact, yet can be used for some recreation when not at the neighborhood pool, or your club. You cannot dive into one, but I would not want the liability of a diving board with other people's children, which would be a factor with a five-year-old and their friends. You can even put one in an enclosure, so it has the potential of being used year-round, though I would advise putting the greenhouse room in which you would locate the pool through an air-lock vestibule between the house so as not to get the humidity.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
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(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 08-23-2011, 02:53 PM
1,188 posts, read 1,817,732 times
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Originally Posted by kutra11 View Post
The only reason we are in two minds is because we have read and heard that you limit the potential number of buyers once you have a pool. Families with young kids consider pools a safety hazard and older families don't want to pay for the upkeep. What do you think?
This is very true. Pools are expensive and many people will not consider homes with pools. However, if you want the pool and can afford it, this is not that big of a deal. There are people that like pools and you shouldn't have problems selling just because of a pool. I wouldn't expect to get any of the money you spend on installing the pool back at the time of sale (i.e. it probably won't add to your home's value).

I assume you are talking about an inground pool. Don't waste your time with above grounds.
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