How many of us haven’t dreamed of having a swimming pool in the garden during those odd balmy days of British summertime?
There are currently around 210,000 privately owned swimming pools in Britain, most of them in the South.
However, does adding a swimming pool to your property make financial sense? Many prospective property buyers can be put off by the expensive running costs and maintenance responsibilities, which can include cleaning, filtration and ventilation.
If you do decide to sell your home, the addition of a swimming pool, particularly if it is outdoors, may limit the time of year when it is best to market the property. While a sparkling blue pool may look inviting during the summer, a covered pool is likely to look like a waste of garden space during the winter months.
Families with small children may also have worries about the safety aspect of having a pool in the grounds.
It’s also vital to think about the siting of any pool, and whether your property really is suitable for one. If your garden is small, the pool will take up most of the space, affecting the property’s value, while if it is indoors, a pool could take away from living space.
However, houses with large grounds and pools can attract additional interest in the summer and those with well-built indoor pools can be appealing to those who wish to swim all year round.
While anyone who has flown out of Heathrow or Gatwick will have spotted a plethora of blue pool covers from the air, they are few and far between in the North East. So, properties in our region which do have a pool could really set themselves apart from the competition.
A quick search of property available for sale in the North East at the time of writing reveals a dearth of homes with pools.
One option is an apartment at the Heritage in Chester le Street, with a communal pool. This could cut down on maintenance bills but it’s important to consider any communal charges when looking at properties with shared grounds and facilities.
Other larger properties in Hartlepool and in Wolsingham, County Durham, have impressive indoor pools. Another possibility for those who really want to install a pool at their new home is to look at properties with large enough grounds or with outbuildings which could accommodate one. It’s vital, however, to check with the local authority to see what the situation is regarding planning permission.
While pools are divisive for buyers, for families who have no intention of moving and who want to enjoy their own swimming pool, then it’s important to remember that your property isn’t just an investment; it’s your home to enjoy as you wish. So taking the plunge may not make financial sense, but it could be the right decision for your family.
Martin Williamson is Head of Residential Property at Latimer Hinks Solicitors in Darlington. Latimer Hinks has a team of around 40 people serving private and corporate clients. For further information: www.latimerhinks.co.uk or call 01325 341500.
Please note: This article is intended as guidance only and does not constitute advice, financial or otherwise.
For further information please contact Martin Williamson on 01325 341500