Summer is just around the corner and, before we know it, another sweltering hot Mudgee summer will be on our doorstep.
And what’s better than being able to cool off by simply jumping into your backyard pool?
How many of us look back fondly at the years we spent in our youth lounging in the family backyard pool and having summer pool parties with friends?
Does having a pool on your property help or hinder when it comes time to sell your home? How about if it’s an investment property?
The answer is neither simple nor straightforward as investing in a pool can benefit one home owner while not adding an ounce of value to the next.
Swimming pools are a point of contention for many property buyers. Some consider a pool more a lifestyle choice in that it doesn’t really add value to a home for both capital or rental. In fact, it can give a lot of hassle in an investment property. While in some neighbourhoods (or states like Qld and NT, for that matter) pool are almost expected, and buyers may pay a premium for them; in others, they are an unnecessary electricity and maintenance drain.
Investors, in particular, are often warned to steer clear, frequently due to the safety warnings and concerns around tenants with younger children.
If your investment property does have a pool, make sure it complies with the NSW Swimming Pools Act 1992. It is also compulsory that your pool be registered with www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au or face potential fines. Also, if you are selling or leasing a property with a swimming pool, you must provide a valid compliance certificate for the swimming pool with the lease or sale agreement.
A pool in a bad condition can actually reduce the value of the property. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence in a lot of rental properties where tenants aren’t likely to maintain the pool. Landlords may wish to consider adding a maintenance fee on top of the rent and get a pool maintenance company to service it regularly.
At present we have the pool serviced every second month to ensure no ongoing problems. This is because the present tenant let it go last winter and it cost over $600 to restore it (tenant paid). This pool service costs us $44 per visit, so the total cost is less than $300pa. Even monthly visits would only cost $600 pa.
When the tenants leave we have the pool serviced and the chemicals to get the water right billed to the departing tenant. This means the pool is in top condition for the new tenant.
On the whole the tenants love it. I would estimate we are getting an extra $30 – $50 per week because of the pool.
For a family – especially one with young kids – there can be nothing better than a pool in your backyard to cool off from the heat of the summer sun!
Teaching your children to follow the rules of backyard pool safety, while following safety precautions yourself, helps ensure a summer filled with family fun, laughter and happy memories.