We’re just over halfway through 2020, and there has been a massive shift in lifestyle and workstyle due to COVID-19.
According to Stats Canada, the number of people working from home has increased, potentially by as much as 300%. Whether that will continue or not, nobody knows. But for now, people are keenly aware of their surroundings because they’re spending so much time at home.
We’ve noticed a LOT more interest in rural properties and cottage properties lately. But the most common request we’re hearing from people lately is the desire for a POOL.
Pools are interesting in real estate, because they are a feature that can POLARIZE people. There are some people that get excited by a pool and only want to buy properties that have pools, and there are an equal number of people who will not buy a home with a pool.
If you fall into the first group, we’ll share what we normally tell clients about pools:
Budget MoreExpect to pay $100,000. You can do it for less, but it’s death by a thousand cuts with things like vacuums, shrubbery, trenching for gas & electric, etc.
It's Cheaper Than a CottageThat investment is still generally cheaper than a cottage. So don’t cheap out… make it nice. You’ll thank yourself later. You want something you’ll look forward to spending time around. Plus, you’ll only have to maintain ONE house instead of two.
The Commute is BetterYou have a 30-foot commute compared to a cottage. What’s that worth?
Imagine taking a mid-day break for 30 minutes in your pool before resuming normal life. Or a quick dip before bed. All of those are possible without having to drive a few hours away.
Cost vs. InvestmentThat $100,000 pool *might* only add $20,000 to $40,000 in value to your home. It’s not a wise investment, if you’re looking at the raw numbers ONLY.
Think Long-TermIt only makes sense if you will spend AT LEAST 5-7 years more at the house. At that point, you’re spreading out your “losses” mentioned in #4. The upside is you might actually go on one less vacation a year.
Difficult to Maintain?If you have good equipment, your upkeep is actually quite easy and inexpensive. For our pool, we pay a few hundred dollars for a company to open it and close it, we test our water at the pool store every few weeks, occasionally adding some chemicals. We empty the skimmer every few days, fill the pool with water when it gets low, and let an automatic vacuum clean up the debris at the bottom every few days. That’s it.
Are You The ONLY One With a Pool?If nobody else has a pool, you will be the gathering place for all children (and adults) in the neighbourhood. It helps when at least one or two other close neighbours have a pool to thin the crowd a bit.
Be PreparedAlways have hamburgers, hot dogs, buns and cold drinks available… you never know when a social gathering will happen on short notice.
Hiring a Pool CompanyWe’ve heard a LOT of horror stories from friends and clients about their experiences. You’ll need to decide on a fiberglass or a concrete pool, and whether to build above-ground, inground, or on-ground, which is a hybrid between the two. Do your homework, and make sure it’s done properly. Our first recommendation is ALWAYS Pool Doctors. They made everything easy, and had great suggestions once we came up with the plan.
Buying in the off-seasonDemand for pools is often higher in the warmer months. There’s nothing like going out to see homes on a HOT day and seeing that shimmering blue water. Buying a pool in the off-season can sometimes help you get a better deal, but you may not be able to examine the condition. Make sure you see a receipt that the pool was working when it was closed, and you may want to talk to your agent about holding some money back in escrow to fix any issues that come up when the pool is opened.
One final thought for you:
We speak to dozens of clients with pools, and quite often we like to ask this question:
“Are you happy you put a pool in, or do you regret it?”
Only ONCE have we ever heard someone regret it. Most people absolutely LOVE it, and they wish they did it sooner. After having our pool for about five years now, I really couldn’t imagine NOT having one. It’s such an important gathering place for the family.
Do you know what kids DON’T bring into the pool? Their iPads! It’s a nice excuse to get them off the devices.
So talk to friends and family, and if you’re interested in searching for your next home with a pool, be sure to reach out to our team.