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Backyard Swimming Pool/Love or Hate?


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We're considering moving to a house with a pool (or without)?🤷 If you have or have had a home with a pool, did you love it, hate it, too much work, worth it? 

Our kids are 15, 10, 6 and 3, so arguably we'd be using it for a while. We do have nice community/city/YMCA pools in the area, so it's not our only option for swimming. 

I have no home pool experience. 

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Our last home had a pool. My kids used it all the time and learned to be good swimmers. It was an older pool and the plaster really needed to be redone. Because of that, we fought black algae quite a bit and I felt like in the summer we were spending $100/month on chemicals, not to mention the power used to run the pumps. In our city we have a number of public pools, one just around the corner from our home. A summer pass for the whole family is just over $100. While not quite as convenient as a backyard pool, overall it was a lot cheaper. 

If there weren't 1001 other things I'd rather spend my money on, a backyard pool is a lot of fun.

Edited by DesertBlossom
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Disclaimer....we live in Florida.

 

We've rented homes with pools and I've loved having one.  So easy for the kids to go outside and go swimming....without having to drive to the Y or a community pool.  Upkeep was not bad IMHO, but I never had to deal with winterizing a pool.

 

We're looking  into adding a pool to the home we own....but our yard is so small, we may go with a swim spa.

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We have a 28' above ground pool that we have outgrown.   I know this will sound strange, but we actually live in a nice neighborhood, but a bit out in the country and no HOA or restrictions.  The previous owners put it in about 18 years ago and it is a more expensive one and we have used it and love having a pool.  It is still in very good shape.  I think they paid $8K back then for it.

Now that we are looking to move, we want an inground pool.  We either want a house with one already there, or we will be putting one in.  We love having a pool.

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I wish I had one.    I lived in some places with them some without as a child, and thought they were great.  Daily pool maintenance was often a chore of mine.   (Eta: there was a “pool man” who came every couple of weeks too.) 

Unless something really bad happens with it, I think better yes than no.  But of course you have to be careful in terms of safety and so forth.  Long enough to swim, not just take a cooling dip would be best. 

 

Edited by Pen
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We looked at a house in NOVA that had a huge pool. I ruled it out immediately. The lot was huge, which was fenced but that was the only safety feature. Our girls were older and both excellent swimmers but I wouldn’t have a pool unless I had the latest and greatest safety features. Plus, we were coming from CA and if I wanted a pool, that would have been the place. In NOVA, pools have to be winterized. My husband and daughters had me look at that house 3 times before I said, no more. Am I open to a pool, yes, but a would have to be in a state where I could use it almost year round. 

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my sil has a pool - next to her front door (she's on three acres.).  the previous owner installed it.  she has a 6' wrought iron fence with a padlocked gate around it.  it's been a huge blessing for their family and they used it a lot.  even with the kids all grown and gone - they get a lot of use out of it.

a friend has a big pool in their backyard.  she bought her mother's mid-century modern house, which she would love to move to - but her dh won't leave the swimming pool.  they have one of those covers that you can walk on.

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both?

I love that I can swim without packing stuff up and going somewhere. I love how much it wears the kids out. I love that it gives us a way to be outside when it is a zillion degrees outside. 

I HATE HATE HATE that parts keep breaking...we've had to replace the pump, the filter, and now the timer doesn't work. I hate how it looks when things break and I can't afford to fix them right away (green). I hate having the kids beg constantly to go swim all day long, even when it isn't warm enough to swim yet. I hate how dirty the pool deck/patio get and that there is no easy way to clean it short of pressure washing (and currently the pressure washer is broken...sigh). So my big caution is it adds a whole other layer of home maintenance/repair. 

Also, if it doesn't have a kid proof fence around it make sure to add in the cost of having it installed. I know some people don't but with a 3 yr old..yeah, you NEED that. Drowning is FAST and it is silent. One of my best friends in elementary school drowned in her pool as a young child and had to be revived with CPR, she had no heartbeat for a least a full minute. And my neighbor's grandson died from drowning. And one of my friends now recently lost her niece to drowning. It's  really really really big danger. You have to be committed to REALLY watching them when they are even NEAR the pool. Like, I close and latch the pool fence even if I'm right there cleaning the pool, because it would only take a second for a kid to slip behind me and fall in. 

Personally, I wish we didn't have it. I'd much rather a neighborhood pool while I have such small kids. Older kids, yes, I'd like a pool. 

Plus, it takes up so much of the yard. 

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With those ages you will get a lot of use out of it.  I love, love love our pool.  When we moved here the boys were 11 and 12 and they loved it too.  Now at 18 and 19 they never get in it unless maybe a friend is over.  Dh and I (especially I) still get a lot of use out of it.   

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We had a pool at our previous home.  We converted the pump to a salt water pool when we bought the house.  The previous pump needed replacing anyway and we wanted the salt pump.  We also had a child safe fence with gate installed around the pool.  Our yard had a privacy fence with locks.  You might want to check with your insurance about what their requirements might be. 

It did take a lot of maintainance.  After the first couple years, dh was tired of it.  The daily vacuuming (we had a tree that kept shedding leaves not to mention leaves from neighbor trees), regular water checks, maintainance, etc. drained the fun out of it for him.  There was the odd snake or 2 that would show up in the pool and lots of spiders.  Cleaning the drains was always an adventure.

Dc used the pool almost daily from late March/early April through September.  Around late July, the water temp was pretty high....around 90-92.  I recall several times the kids said it was giving them upset tummies playing in the hot water.  Dc learned to swim really well.  They truly loved being in the water and we had some awesome pool parties and birthday parties. 

We also had lots and lots of rules.  Every season, dc had to pass a swim and drown proofing "test."  Both took swim lessons.  An adult (like a mom or dad, not an 18 year old friend) had to be present at all times.  A phone had to be by the pool in case of emergencies.  No head first diving.  No glass.  Etc. Etc. Etc.  Decide what you want the rules to be and stick with them.  Have a family meeting and make sure all rules are understood. 

When dh job took him to another state, we couldn't afford a house with a pool (different area, different prices).  We did miss it quite a bit at first.  Dh didn't due to work load of pool, but dc and I did.  But, very soon, the dc were at CC and life changed direction.  A kind neighbor allows us to use their pool whenever we want (within reason obviously).  We joined a gym with an awesome pool and water slide and dh and I use that quite a bit in summer. 

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I can't swim. I actually made swimming lessons a priority for the kids until they were strong swimmers, in part because of my inability to swim, but I can't do it.

With that in mind, I'd be extremely wary of having a pool in my yard with a 3 and a 6 year old. Actually, I might feel that way even if I did know how to swim! I'm sure many people have pools with young children and nothing bad ever happens, but if you go with the house with the pool please make sure your fencing is good enough and the kids get swim lessons, etc. All those common sense safety measures.

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I would love a pool.  I joined a pool last year and it was such a pain to drive over there.  I do want an electric cover that can be walked on and is child safe.  My house backs up to a play park and we have a big tree right next to where the pool would go.

We had a pool when I was a kid, and we loved it. 

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When the kids were younger we had a house with a pool.  They loved it but it was a lot of work.  It was also an older pool (vinyl)  Every year it seemed like I needed to spend $1000 for something that broke on top of the chemicals.   The kids all became good swimmers and they had lots of fun with it in the early years. 

As the kids got older they used it less and less.  By the time we moved out they would swim in it a few times in Jun/July and by Aug they were over it.  I was ready to be out of that house too.  Youngest was 10 when we moved but he wasn't all the interested in going for a swim by himself.  Plus, when a neighbor kid would come over, ds would jump in, play with them for a little bit, and then be done swimming. 🙄 Hardly worth all the time and money we spent on upkeep. 

We did move to a neighborhood with a pool.  I did miss the privacy of our own pool and late night swims on hot nights.  But it was SO nice not to have to deal with pool upkeep.   I know people who have pools and they still use them all the time, so YMMV. 

 

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Before we bought our current house with a pool, I never thought I'd want a pool. But now that we have it, we love it. We moved in before we had kids so they've grown up with it. We converted it to salt water and love that. It is definitely a source of maintenance and expense. Without kids, I probably wouldn't want it. They are 7 and 9 now and it's really nice. And the absolute best, best, best? The 30 minute swims.  You've got to be somewhere mid-morning? Sure - let's go swimming for half an hour first!!! The husband letting the kids swim while I fix dinner. Or afterwards while I'm cleaning up. All those extra swimming sessions because all you have to do is walk out the door and jump in.

 

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