11 Key Things To Look For When Buying A Home With A Pool

You started searching for your first home and a pool is on your must-have list. The only problem is you don't know anything about what you need to look for when buying a property with a swimming pool. 

Don't fret. There are plenty of experts, like your real estate agent, home inspector, and local pool professional, who can help you figure out what to look for.  

In the meantime, here are some tips to get you started. 

Does The Pool Have Copper Plumbing?

Pool plumbing that's made of copper spells big trouble down the road. You'll see right then and there what type of plumbing it is as soon as it comes out the ground.

Copper isn't really a good material for pipes because it develops pinhole leaks that grow over time. You will eventually have to replace the whole plumbing system with better material, which will cost you approximately $5,000 or more!

Salt Pools Equals Higher Cost

A salt pool system is better than an ordinary one in terms of pool experience, but you should know that it has a higher price tag in maintenance costs.

The added yearly maintenance can go up around $250 per year. This includes basic salt pool maintenance such as power center repairs, adding salt regularly to the pool, cleaning out the salt cells and cell replacements.

The More Modern The Speed Pump, The Better

A swimming pool that has a variable speed pump is better than one that has a single speed pump. Why so?

A variable pump can save you a whopping $1,000 per year on electricity costs. What's more, you'll be able to see exactly how much your upcoming electric bill will be if you have a variable speed pump that has a basic monitor screen.

Check The Heater's Condition

Look for these signs when inspecting the pool heater:

  • Made fully of metal parts.
  • Has paint chipping.
  • Big and rusty

What does this tell you about the heater? Many things. First, it's old and probably very inefficient; the heater operates on gas (which is more expensive than electricity), and when it breaks down it's much more expensive to bring back to life.

Replacing the heater with a modern one makes more sense. It's cheaper to operate and you can even save on money (around $3,000) if you spring for a new unit.

Fiberglass Filter Is Great

Having a filter made from fiberglass is an excellent feature for your future pool to have. Other materials such as stainless steel with rust and corrode over time; they will eventually need to be replaced and it will cost you around $1,500. Fiberglass is better because it doesn't corrode as fast, it's better than metal and easier to repair if needed.

Painted Plumbing Is A Huge Plus

Plumbing that's coated with paint is a sign of good maintenance and forethought. This means that the previous owner cares for his or her pool's overall condition. PVC pipes that are painted are much more resistant to the damage of everyday UV rays that come from the sun.

A Closer Look

If everything looks great so far, congratulations. You're well on your way to getting a great deal on a house with a good swimming pool. Spend some time walking in and around the pool. Make sure you note these important aspects:

Rust Marks?

Walk around the pool and see if there are noticeable rust marks on the surface. This is an indication that one of the rebars have rusted through, which usually means that the pool shell is getting damaged the longer this goes on. A repair would approximately cost you $2,000, which includes draining the pool, chipping the specific rebar section, repairing it and patching it with a new one. Suffice to say, you won't be able to get any pool time when these repairs are being made.


Take a stroll around the pool perimeter and see if there are cracks on the pool's surface. A crack usually indicates a leak, and you can call a leak detection company to get peace of mind regarding the defect. A leak test costs a few dollars, which is nothing compared to when you need to have a swimming pool leak repaired for a thousand dollars or more!


Plaster delaminates the same way paint chips over time. A pool that has peeling, popping or chipping plaster means huge repair costs and can be a safety hazard for your pool. It will require a resurfacing job that could cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

Calcium Line

This is the line where the pool's water surface meets the air. Take a closer look and see the white lines at the edge of the pool- are they barely noticeable, or are they thick (somewhere around an inch or two)? Keep in mind that you'll have to shell out more if the calcium line is thicker because this means that the water is older. These types of repair will require bead blasting, which can cost around $750.

A home with a pool makes total sense if you have small kids who will absolutely go crazy over the fact that they have their own pool they can use any day of the week! The pool factor will also depend on certain elements such as if you're living in an area where the summers are hot and there is plenty of sunshine.

Though it may seem that a house with a pool is more expensive and requires significant maintenance costs, that's not always the case. The trade-offs and benefits will become more apparent once you're all settled in. Of course, you'll need to spend some time making it your very own in terms of decorating it and all that, but the overall experience should be pleasant.

There's always room for adjustments and compromise, i.e., the interiors are excellent but the pool needs minor repairs. Remember that pool remodeling is always an option if you want to change the shape, make some additions or install a newer pump unit. Ask the help of a professional to determine the overall condition of the pool and if there are any repair or replacement costs down the line.

I am Eric Stanton, owner of Valley Pool Plaster. We have been the renowned pool builders for over 10 years. I enjoy educating people to help them make smart decisions when it comes to pools.