UPSTATE JANE: It’s Hot Out There! I have pool envy!

  |  August 9, 2012

Okay, it has been hot this summer. I have pool envy. I live above the Sawkill but since it is 20 feet below me and dangerous to get down to- I have been dreaming of my own little pool, in my own yard. However, being interested in the investment side of our home, I immediately think of the pros and cons on the value of our home and the monthly maintenance costs.

Pools and Real Estate Value, this seems to be a conundrum. Just last week Yahoo did one of their splash page articles on the biggest home investment mistakes. The #1 big ticket item? A pool. The article did note that an inground pool according to real estate agents does increase the value of a home by 8%, but the author claimed that the money to run and maintain it would eat into that cost.  The return would naturally depend on geography. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). NAR statistics show that pools add approximately 7.7 percent to the average property value, and more than 11 percent to homes in the Southwest U.S.  Some families with young children may actually look at a pool as a safety liability. I think everyone knows it is another maintenance cost to have a pool, so I guess it would come down to if it is WORTH it for your own personal enjoyment. When looking at properties, I know that most with pools are indeed more money. Do the homes with pools turn you off, or turn you on? Would you rather purchase a home with a pool, or with a “swimmin’ hole”?

Have any readers purchased a home with a pool, and what are your feelings? Has anyone had strong feelings while looking at homes about pools? Lastly, has anyone put in a pool and are you happy with your decision?

About a month ago I did a post on my blog Urban Jane about the latest fad in swimming pools. It seems that the new thing in pools, are smaller more intimate and well designed pools that double as spas. Now THAT is a pool I could handle. These pools are sometimes referred to as “Spools” a hybrid between a pool and a spa and are typically about 10’x12′ or sometimes smaller. Basically enough to take a dip in and float in a raft.  They also tend to be a bit more well designed.

This new “spool” idea seems to be the makings of the economy. Unless you, or your child is a future Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin, those monster sized swimming pools are not only somewhat ostentatious and not fully utilized except at huge children’s parties, but they are expensive to put in, expensive to maintain, and a LOT of work to keep up.  People aren’t buying those McMansion’s anymore with the huge flat backyards to put in a 35×60 rectangle. The “spool” is half the price or less than a regular pool, and requires half the work and up-keep price. Plus you can use them in all year round since they are a spa/hot tub as well. It is a far off reality for us, after moving here full-time we are dealing with the reality of a freelance income which is anything but steady and hard to feel comfortable using up our savings on something as unnecessary as a pool, or even a “spool” or even a good old fashioned hot tub.  But a girl can dream.

Until then, I will take a ride to the swimmin’ hole.


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