The Pros and Cons of Owning a Pool

Across the country, Canadians are experiencing a sweltering summer. With record temperatures paired with the Pokemon Go craze, everyone is looking for ways to cool off.

If you have a big enough backyard, chances are you’ve thought about installing a pool. (I have a condo and even I want a pool.) Although everything sounds amazing, from happy children frolicking about to poolside margaritas and barbecues, there are also some downsides to owning a pool.

Here are a few pros and cons to consider before picking up a shovel.

Get the pool

Aside from the opportunity to buy a new swimsuit, there are plenty of reasons to take the plunge. (Get it?)

The entertainment value alone is the most apparent and likely the most worthwhile. If you have a love of the water, maybe the downsides are already outweighed by this one point. Coming home from work and taking a quick dip in the pool or having parties on the weekend with friends and family are difficult to replicate elsewhere. And if you have kids, you have a facility where they can play with friends and practice their swimming skills right at home.

Pools are also top of the list for exercise. Swimming is consistently shown as one of the best ways to keep fit and get in shape, so of course it’s a great idea to have this fitness opportunity right in your backyard. And even if your kids aren’t doing laps, they’ll be getting that exercise and will be wiped in the evening, so less getting into trouble and more sleeping well.

As for cost, it’s going to cost you money, yes. But it’s not actually as unaffordable as it used to be, especially with above-ground options. If you have a chunk of savings burning a hole in your pocket and you know you’ll get the use out of your pool, the cost shouldn’t deter you.

Don’t get the pool

While pools are a lot of fun, they’re also a lot of work. Not only do you have to clean it, keep equipment working well, and cover it in the winter, you also have to enclose it for safety reasons. Neighbours cannot have access to the pool, as you could be liable should something happen while you’re away, and your own young kids need to be consistently supervised while using it.

Also, even if you want a pool, you may not have the space. Most real estate in Toronto, as an example, is condos and semi-detached homes with small backyards. (You’ll likely have a better shot with surrounding cities, like real estate in Guelph.) So, before you get excited, check the measurements and speak with a professional.

While the cost to install the pool may not be exorbitant, it is not a cost you can expect to be invested in your home. For example, if you renovate your kitchen, you can expect much of that cost to be returned when you sell your house. Pools, on the other hand, are not the same. Pools can actually have a negative impact on your sale price, as potential buyers could be excluding the cost of removing the pool from their offers. Essentially, just remember that not every homebuyer wants a pool as much as you.

Long story short: if you have the money and know you’ll get a lot of use out of the pool, and you’ll be in that home for a long period of time, go for it. If you’re not willing to put in the work, or you may sell your house in the next five years, it might be best to get a membership.

Photo Credit: João Silas

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About Jam Michael McDonald

Jam is a content editor based in Toronto. He's been the editor of a community newspaper, a national magazine, and two startups. Although he lives in a tiny condo, he uses every corner, and is an avid cheerleader of the compact home movement. You can find him every day on Twitter @mcjamdonald.

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