Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cost Benefit of a swimming pool

If you could buy a house with a swimming pool installed, would it be worthwhile? Can it be cost justified? What's the cost benefit?

Having a swimming pool in Chicago is somewhat unique - not many families have one.
Weekly maintenance runs about $65 per week plus materials.
Pre-summer and post-summer openings and closings run about $550 or so each.
A high end alarm with motion sensors and wave sensors costs abut $240. If you have children or children nearbye, you'll want the alarm.

If you have children, a swimming pool is a nightmare and a blessing. Like the biggest swimset, all the neighborhood children will want to visit and swim. Unlike a swimset, parents always have a nagging concern that their children could fall in the pool - despite their best efforts, alarms, etc.... Obviously fencing can help, but is fairly impractical in stopping your own children if they're over 3 years old.

Here are some quick thoughts:

4.5 months of maintenance = $1,350
Opening and closing = $1,100
Additional gas and electrical costs TBD

Direct cost = $2,450

Now what may the benefits be? They certainly are more intangible:

1. Less recreational expense as entertainment may be at home - savings $60/weekend $1,080
2. Ability to host parties for friends and family (hmmm is this an additional cost?)
3. Increased social benefits - friends tend to visit your country house with the pool more often - convience and city parking saved
4. Pleasure of swimming for the whole family
5. Certainty that if anyone is peeing in the pool, at least it's a family member
6. Reduced need for weekend get aways (your pool and backyard are your getaway) - two trips at $150/night (min. with kids) + gas = $350 x2 = $700

Total Benefit $1,780

Still about $670 difference. Is the convenience and social benefit worth it? I'd say so.

What are your thoughts? Is a swimming pool something you can cost justify?

It's almost impossible to justify building one, but purchasing a house with one already installed might be a good deal. The numbers would be very upside down if you had to incorporate amortizing the actual pool.

Regards, makingourway


Anonymous said...

Lets face it !

It is really something which the rich can afford, swimming pool requires high maintenance not just in chicago but else where too. so i dont think it is recommended

Denise Mall said...

We had a pool at our last home and I miss it terribly. So does the rest of the family. Our new home, does not have the appropriate space to install a decent size. So, we suffer, for the nicer home.

I think the benefits outway the costs by much more than your calculations. Just my thoughts.