The Pros and Cons of Pool Ownership

Jul 10, 2023 5 min read

When searching for a new home, you probably have a list of must-haves like a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, an open concept layout or a location close to work or school. If a backyard swimming pool is on your home wish list, there are several things to consider. While having a pool in the backyard sounds like a fun and relaxing summer activity (or year-round activity depending on where you live), it comes with responsibilities and expenses. Before you take the plunge and purchase a home with a pool, or install a pool in your current home, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of pool ownership.

Is a Pool a Good Investment?

The obvious pro of having a swimming pool in your backyard is the fun you’ll have and memories you’ll make with your family. Just imagine jumping into the cool water on a hot summer day or hosting a pool party for your friends whenever you want. Think of the added fun having a pool will bring to your next barbecue or Fourth of July party. While this all sounds great, owning a pool does come with additional responsibilities and costs. 

Pro: Endless Hours of Family Fun

For active families, a backyard pool can provide the perfect antidote to summertime boredom. Rather than battling the crowds at the public pool or paying an arm and a leg for a monthly club membership, you can create your own outdoor oasis — and set your own rules. Making your backyard the oasis you’ve dreamed about can cost some serious money. From new outdoor furniture to grilling must-haves and lighting, you can quickly break your budget, but the midnight swims, dive-in movie nights and epic matches of Marco Polo may just be worth it.

Con: Costs of Pool Ownership

Costs for maintaining your pool will vary and depend on the type and size of pool you have. On average, HomeGuide estimates it will cost about $3,000 to $6,000 a year to own a pool. This includes maintenance, repairs, electricity and water. If you prefer hiring a pool service instead of maintaining it yourself, the cost of upkeep could increase. If you opt to care for the pool yourself, you’ll need to purchase pool equipment like chemical testing kits, cleaning accessories and replacement parts. Additionally, some of the highest expenses of having a backyard pool are the utilities. The electricity needed to operate the pump and filter, as well as the water required to keep the pool filled, can add up quickly each month. You can expect to spend between $50 and $300 a month on electricity for your pool.

Pro: Increased Curb Appeal

When shopping for a new house, certain aspects like a pool can increase a property’s value. Depending on location, a swimming pool (specifically an in-ground pool) can be a popular amenity and increase your home’s appraised value. A show-stopping pool can be a selling point for future buyers, especially if it is viewable from indoors. In hot climates where the pool is usable for most of the year, it can help keep kids and teens off screens for a few hours a day.

Con: Regular Maintenance

Keeping a pool in tip-top condition takes time, attention to detail and money. General monthly maintenance takes a time commitment and includes maintaining the chemical balance of the water and cleaning it regularly.


General cleaning includes tasks like removing debris like leaves, grass and bugs from the water with a pool skimmer, brushing the walls of the pool, vacuuming surfaces and checking the pool filter to ensure it’s working properly.

Testing the Pool Water

On a regular basis, the water chemistry balance needs to be checked using a test kit. The pH and chlorine need to be tested often to ensure the chemical levels are within a safe range. Based on the results, you may need to make some adjustments. Remember, always be sure to follow safety procedures for handling, applying and storing pool chemicals. A saltwater pool may help simplify this process and reduce the need for chemicals. 

Addressing Water Problems

Issues like cloudy water or algae growth can happen. If you see these issues, you’ll likely need to check the filtration system and properly treat the water.

Opening and Closing

If you don’t live in a climate where the weather is warm year-round and  there are certain seasons your backyard pool will be in use, you’ll need to perform tasks to open and close your pool for the season.

Pro: Increased Health and Well-Being

Swimming is one of the best ways to exercise — it’s a total-body workout that puts less stress on your joints than most other exercises. And on a hot summer day, the cool water is a lot more appealing than a crowded gym. Swimming also offers mental health benefits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A recent study showed that for people with fibromyalgia, swimming can decrease anxiety, and exercise therapy in warm water can decrease depression and improve mood. 

Con: Repairs and Replacements

Unfortunately, making (sometimes costly) repairs is part of owning a pool. Over the course of owning a backyard (in-ground or above-ground) swimming pool you may need to repair cracks in the walls, leaks, tears in the lining and malfunctioning filtration/pump systems. When repairs can’t be made, you may need to replace entire systems altogether, making you question if a pool is worth it. These costs can quickly add up, especially if you need to hire a professional company to make the repairs.

Pro: A Place to Entertain

Is having a pool worth it? If you’re a social butterfly who loves to entertain, the answer is yes. A backyard pool makes it all but impossible for family and friends to decline an invite. Barbecues, holidays, birthday parties — they all are made that much better when you add water.

Con: Increased Safety Risk

Outside of maintaining and repairing your pool, you’ll also be responsible for taking safety precautions. Swimming pools are often labeled as an “attractive nuisance” and can present hazards for kids and pets. As the homeowner, you’re responsible for taking extra precautions to protect unsuspecting children from potential danger caused by your pool. Safety precautions include installing and maintaining a fence around the perimeter of the pool, a safety cover and providing accessible safety equipment along with appropriately warning of any hazards such as shallow areas that are not appropriate for diving.

Pool Ownership and Insurance Needs

Before you buy a home with a pool, do your research and due diligence. The first thing you’ll want to do is consult with your insurance agent. Your agent can explain how your homeowners coverage covers swimming pools and whether or not it will increase your insurance costs. Different insurance companies may cover pools differently. You’ll also want to ensure you have enough liability coverage in place either with your homeowners policy or additional coverage (such as an umbrella policy). Umbrella insurance is an extra layer of protection in case someone gets hurt on your property. It starts where your homeowners policy’s liability limits stop. Before you make your offer, do your homework to fully understand the pros and cons of pool ownership. Having a pool in the backyard can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to know what you’re taking on to avoid unpleasant surprises later. This includes having a certified pool company perform a detailed inspection and planning ahead by adding Residential Equipment Breakdown coverage. This can help protect against mechanical or electrical breakdown of the pump and filtration system. 

Ready to Dive Into Pool Ownership?

Your local Farm Bureau agent can discuss your insurance needs with you to help ensure you have the necessary protections in place, so you can kick back, relax and enjoy your pool. 

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.