Buying a House with a Swimming Pool – What You Need to Know



Finding your dream home is the holy grail for many – but what do you need to be aware of if the property you have your heart set on has a swimming pool? Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor pool, this is an exciting luxury leisure facility that should provide ongoing health and entertainment benefits to you, your family and visitors.


From forming healthy habits such as a daily morning swim and having a dedicated place for relaxation, to being able to teach the kids how to swim and host summer garden parties, there are certainly a lot of advantages to having your own pool. That said, a private pool is a big commitment and a badly constructed or maintained pool can be a nightmare to look after. As with any investment, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before you dive in and buy that house with a swimming pool. Here are some of the key things you should be asking.

What kind of swimming pool is it?

An outdoor swimming pool can be the best thing during a hot summer, but a heating system is essential for year-long use. Find out how it is heated and how to winterise the pool when it’s too cold outside. Pool experts agree that in-ground pools, consisting of a one-piece ceramic pool installed into a pre-excavated site, are much better protected from the elements than above-ground pools.


For obvious reasons, indoor pools tend to get more use, which makes them a more accessible amenity all round. Although they are easier to control, dehumidifiers are necessary to reduce the moisture content in the air, which can increase electricity bills. Depending on the generosity (or otherwise) of the design, layout and construction, they also have the potential to feel claustrophobic, which is not conducive to the overall enjoyment you are looking for.

Is the pool in good condition?

Make sure you ask the property seller if the pool is in a good state of repair. Is it cleaned, maintained and serviced on a regular basis, and by a reputable pool specialist? Obtain supporting documentation wherever possible. The seller may reassure you that their pool is in great condition and that they’ve never had a problem – but don’t just take their word for it. It is not unknown for people to sell their homes on account of a fundamental problem with the pool!


Your best bet is to get an independent pool expert to inspect and report on it. Just as you wouldn’t buy a house without getting an independent property survey to give it the all-clear, the same applies to the pool. Suggest that your offer to purchase the home is not only subject to contract and survey, but also subject to a satisfactory pool survey.

Does the pool have planning permission?

During the property purchase process, one of the things your conveyancing solicitor will be investigating is the planning history of the house and whether all planning requirements have been complied with. Missing consents don’t have to be a deal-breaker – often indemnity insurance can be used to get over the hump – but they certainly can be.


Outdoor swimming pools are typically considered garden projects and don’t require planning permission, although stricter rules apply to listed buildings, national parks and conservation areas. With an indoor pool, a lot depends on whether it is situated within the existing house or an extension was built to house the pool, or if the pool house is a freestanding garden building. Check to see whether the works fall under permitted development or if planning consent was obtained at the time.

What do you need to know about pool maintenance?

It is important to understand as much as you can about the pool construction, how it is heated and how to maintain it. When was it built and by whom? What parts have previously been repaired or replaced? Have there been any pressing issues with the pool? Many pool problems can be fixed, though sometimes this is simply not economical. Also, bear in mind that cloudy water and a neglected pool can quickly attract green algae and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes as well as a death trap for animals.


Find out a realistic figure for the cost of ownership. How much are the running costs for a typical year? How much does it cost to replace parts of the pool? Does having a pool on the property affect your home insurance cover? It’s important to be aware of all the associated costs so that you can enjoy the pool to its maximum potential.

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