Buying A Home With A Pool?

Key things to look for that will save you money - from a pool service professional

Although buying a home can be a very rewarding experience, it can be a little overwhelming. Fortunately, you have experts to help you through this process, including real estate agents and home inspectors. Home inspectors can provide you with a general peace of mind, but they typically only do a basic overview, and if you're purchasing a house with a swimming pool, there are a few key things you may want to double check.


The pool plastering and remodeling professionals over at Valley Pool Plaster wanted to provide a brief guide of items to look at that will save you the most money down the road.

Below are the primary things you should look for:

  • Variable speed pump
    • Variable speed pumps are estimated to save you about $1,000/year on electricity over the older single speed pump styles. Look for a relatively modern variable speed pump with basic computer screen on the back of it to know that your electric bill will be much lower than if you had a single speed pump.
  • Fiberglass filter
    • Very old filters were made of stainless steel, which eventually corrodes and needs to be replaced (approx. $1,500). Look for a filter made of fiberglass and you know that it will be much more resistant to corrosion, easier to repair, and newer than the metal ones.
  • Salt system
    • Although salt pools are considered to be more comfortable, they do tend to add about $250/year in maintenance. Typical maintenance includes cleaning the salt cell, adding salt to the pool, repairing the power center, and replacing the cell as it ages.
  • Painted plumbing
    • Painted plumbing is always a good thing to see. The sun emits UV rays that, over time, weaken the PVC plumbing that is exposed. Painted PVC is protected from these rays and tells you the previous home owner went above and beyond.
  • Modern heater
    • If the heater is big, rusty, has chipping paint, and all metal, it's probably very old. Not only are they inefficient to operate and expensive on gas, but they are expensive to repair. Look for a relatively modern heater and not only will it be cheaper to operate, but you'll be less likely to need a new one (approx. $3,000).
  • Copper plumbing
    • This is a big one. Look to see what kind of plumbing comes up out of the ground. If the plumbing right at the ground level is copper, even if it then transitions to PVC, that means you have copper plumbing underground. As copper ages, it is prone to leaks and the pool will eventually require a complete replumb (approx. $5,000+).
  • Salt system
    • Although salt pools are considered to be more comfortable, they do tend to add about $250/year in maintenance. Typical maintenance includes cleaning the salt cell, adding salt to the pool, repairing the power center, and replacing the cell as it ages.

  • In and around the pool
  • Calcium line
    • Right at the top of the water, where the water meets the air, you may notice a white line on the tile around the pool perimeter. The thicker this white line, the older the water is and the more expensive it is to remove this line (approx. $750). A process called bead blasting is the typical method to remove this calcium line.
  • Delamination
    • Plaster ages like paint on a wall does. If you see the plaster chipping, peeling, or popping off, it's a sign the pool will need to be resurfaced soon ($5,000 to $10,000).
  • Cracks
    • Look carefully at the pool surface to see if you notice any cracks. If you do, it'll be worth it to have a leak detection company come out to perform a proper leak test. Depending on the leak, this could be a very expensive repair ($1,000+).
  • Rust marks
    • If you notice any big rust marks in the pool surface, this generally means the rebar in the pool structure has rusted through and could be causing damage to the pool shell itself. This type of repair requires draining the pool, chipping out that section, repairing the rebar, and patching over it (approx. $2,000).

In addition, as you research whether you can afford to purchase a home, don't forget to include the day-to-day expenses you'll incur. This includes.

  • Utilities
  • Homeowner or condo association dues
  • Property taxes (mentioned above)
  • City or county taxes

Buying a home with a pool is great when you live in the sunshine of Southern California. Owning a pool makes perfect sense and maintenance is not a budget breaker. But you want to be sure it is in good shape when purchasing the home or you may have some large costs to get it ready for pool season. Pool remodeling is also an option if you do not like the look of the pool. It is a much cheaper option than putting in a new pool. So if you love the house but not the pool be sure to consider remodeling the pool to your likeness so you can enjoy the entire property you look to purchase. A pool with cracks in the plaster or a pump not functioning properly can bring some avoidable health risks to you and your family. So be sure to hire a professional to get everything working correctly and fixed up before using your new pool. If you're looking to buy a home with a pool (or not), take a look at our options at parkregency.com.