Is it better to buy a home with a pool, or buy a cheaper home and add a pool?
My guess is that if you are even asking the question you are on a budget, and money is tight. But you really want a pool.
I’ve heard figures quoted ranging from $20,000 to $35,000 to build a basic in-ground pool, and upwards from there depending on how elaborate you want to get, if you want a screened enclosure, if you need a heating system, etc.
So in that case it’s a better idea to buy a home with a pool than to build new.
Because both the pool and the home are “knowns.” There is no guesswork and you know what you are getting. And there’s no running out of money if the pool ends up costing more than you can afford.
As a bonus, here’s a video my partner Kate Stevens and I did on the subject:
Plus, as a Realtor I may be able to look at a yard and say, “Based on what I’ve seen before in this neighborhood, there appears to be enough room for a pool.” But that’s not official…that’s just what I said it was…based on other houses I’ve seen in the same neighborhood…and in the past.
As for the future, you are not going to get an answer from the county about whether you can even build a pool or not until you submit plans for the pool.
It could be that the setbacks changed. It could be that the homeowner’s association rules changed. It could be there’s an underground septic tank nobody realized was there.
In some of the newer neighborhoods where the lots are really tight you might even need a variance to build a pool if the lot is just a half-foot shorter than a neighbor’s who does have a pool.
So if you are on a budget, buy a home with a pool already installed.
A bonus? If you do it that way you can finance the pool in with the home and keep your cash.