With the Texas summer heat in full swing, San Antonio residents are actively looking for ways to stay cool and still enjoy the sun! While owning a vacation home on the banks of the crystal-clear Comal River may be the choicest way to beat the heat, a backyard pool is a close second for many San Antonio homeowners. Backyard in-ground pools have become commonplace in many south Texas neighborhoods, and for good reason! With average summer temperatures hovering around 100°F, an easily-accessible backyard oasis seems like the perfect way to cope.
But what are the real facts about building an in-ground pool? Will the process be more of a hassle than a payoff? There are a lot of pros and cons to weigh when considering building a pool. We’ve outlined a few of the positives and negatives below so you can find out if it’s right for you!
When looking at the possibility of building a pool, usually the first question is, “Will this benefit me financially?” The answer is a little bit more complex than you might expect. While you might not get a full return on your investment, a pool certainly will add dollars to your home sale! The National Association of Realtors estimated recently that an in-ground pool will increase your home’s value by about 5%! This means that adding a pool to a $500k home will add between $20 and $30k to your sale! Depending on the initial cost of your pool, you have the potential to break even (or even make a bit of cash) by building a pool on your property. Even if this isn’t the case, you’ll usually make up a good chunk of the difference of your with the value a it adds to your home. The addition of an inground pool usually adds to the price per square foot, and these properties tend to sell a lot faster than homes without such backyard features...especially in the sweltering heat of San Antonio, TX.
Though building an inground pool can add value to your home, the financial risk of such an endeavor can’t be ignored. Building a backyard pool is certainly a large investment. According to Fixr (a website specializing in home improvement), the average in-ground pool ends up costing just under $22,000. This cost has actually gone down in the past decade...eleven years ago, it cost about $2,000 more to install an in-ground pool! Naturally, the cost can go up or down depending on individual size, model, materials, and additional luxury features. And, while a pool may help your home sell faster and for a bit more money, the risk of losing money is still high. Even in the deep south, a pool doesn’t guarantee financial payoff. Many homeowners only salvage between 40-70% on their investment. And you can’t forget maintenance costs! Owning a pool isn’t a one-time purchase...you also have to factor in routine upkeep. Maintaining your pool includes extra utilities cost (water/electricity), balancing chemicals, water accessories, and likely an elevated homeowner’s insurance.
So if the main pros of your pool aren’t financial...what are they? Across the board, pool owners claim that the most rewarding part of owning a pool comes with the community and family fun their aquatic investment has provided over the years. From family reunions to romantic dates to youth group or neighborhood gatherings, pools tend to bring people together. Many residents enjoy having a home with an amped up “host” factor. Whether you want your home to be the go-to social gathering place or a space for relaxed get-togethers, building a pool will certainly allow for more quality time. Many parents love backyard pools because they keep kids happy and occupied in the summer...and swimming in far fewer chemicals than the community pool down the road
If you aren’t interested in sharing your pool, unwanted guests might become a bit of a nuisance. In some neighborhoods, friends and neighbors will be more prone to invite themselves over to lounge and swim. Having a backyard pool can also become a liability issue when small children are around. Letting children use your pool can result in scrapes and bruises...not to mention the risk of drowning. And because your pool is private, you will have to act as lifeguard. For some, the fear of a potential accident is enough to shut down the possibility of building a pool.
As we’ve already stated, the having a pool in the Texas heat is incredibly convenient! For one thing, a pool provides you with a quick, refreshing getaway. Either your water workout or your “staycation” are both immediately accessible! Because of the extra hot months in the deep South, swimming season lasts far longer in San Antonio than in other areas of the country...meaning you get far more days of swimming than almost anywhere else! And, because so many homes in the San Antonio are have pools, pool maintenance and contracting are offered at relatively low cost.
When owning a pool, you can’t forget about routine maintenance and month-to-month upkeep. This includes monitoring chemical balances, water levels and restrictions, etc. These regular maintenance tasks cost time and money...thankfully, though, advances in pool technology have greatly shifted the burden of work off of the pool owner. Experts say that, once you get your pool levels right, the minor occasional adjustments really aren’t too expensive or complicated.
So what’s the bottom line? Is building a pool a good or a bad idea? In the end, we believe it really depends on the individual homeowner. Essentially, the benefit will either be financial or relational. If you decide not to build a pool, you’ll likely save money. However, you’ll miss out on some seriously refreshing fun and/or relaxation. If you do decide to build a pool, you’ll have to spend extra money, but you’ll literally be swimming in fun and community bliss. If your enjoyment factor is greater than your financial loss, we say go for it! Take “years of use” into account as well...invest in a pool if you plan to stay in your home long enough to get good use out of it. But if you only use your pool a few days out of the year…you might be better of saving your money in lieu of a beach vacation.
If you do decide to build a pool, here is a helpful list of some of the top San Antonio pool contractors!