LESLIE: Steven in Illinois needs some help with a swimming pool. Tell us what’s going on.
STEVEN: We’re just wondering if you had any sort of creative ideas about how we might deal with a pool. We get to use it about four months out of the year and my wife – I told my wife that I was going to make this call and she said, "Well, what they’ll do is they’ll tell you to sell the house."
TOM: Or I’d tell you to hire a pool boy.
TOM: Now, look, Steven, taking care of pools, as you’re well aware, it’s a lot of work. And when you live in the North like, yeah, you do, you’re only going to get four months out of it. It seems like it’s even more work. And if it’s getting to be too much for you, I would definitely tell you to hire a pool-maintenance company because there’s no way to get around the amount of maintenance it takes to manage that pool.
And to your wife’s point about, well, sell the house, my question to be is: is the pool going to add to the value of the house? "Not always" is the answer when you live in the Northeast. Now, when you live down in sort of Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, pools down there are much more commonplace in terms of it’s almost expected to have a pool with the house, like you have central air conditioning. But the farther north you get, some people just don’t like pools.
I spent 20 years as a professional home inspector in the Northeast and I would get, on a fairly regular basis, a buyer of a home say, "I love everything about this house except for the pool. How do I get rid of it?"
LESLIE: And it’s amazing – insurance costs. My sister’s home has a pool and when they were shopping for homeowners insurance, the prices she was getting quoted were just insane because of the pool.
TOM: Right, exactly. So I really think it’s time for you to turn to a professional maintenance company because there’s just no way around it. Pools are a lot of work.
Steve, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.