I'm from Florida. I get it about pools. They are born in excitement and anticipation. The first season or two, even the first five, they get a lot of use. Friends and family plan gatherings around good pool weather. Sure, a pool takes maintenance, but the kids are eager to help. At first.
Time goes by. The kids get older. The pool is opened later and shut down later too, because it's such a pain. Untreated water collects, home to algae -- mosquito larvae -- and frogs. You can ignore the first two, but the frogs keep you awake at night.
In Florida, the swimming season is like, eight months a year. In North Carolina it goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day and that's about it. Three months to swim, nine months of annoyance.
In Florida, and I'm sure in other ultra-sunny states, an in-ground pool adds to property value. In North Carolina, it's considered a negative. Only half of the potential buyers for the home will consider taking on the responsibility and expense of a pool. I warn my clients -- you won't get your money back, and your house will be harder to sell. The pool in the photo above belongs to a friend who is getting her house ready to go on the market. She's spending more than $10,000 to have the pool dug up and hauled away, the hole filled, and the lot graded. Ouch! It's cheaper to just fill the pool in with dirt -- but that will deter buyers, too.
All that money, and no joy.
But don't despair! You can have a pool without a huge financial commitment! Above-ground pools are a great option.. They are way cheaper to install, and way cheaper to remove when their time is done. They hold less water, which saves on chemicals. Add some fancy decking with a potted palm or two, and voila`! An attractive place to entertain while the kids splash around.
Really, wasn't that all you wanted?
It takes a good-sized lot to put in a pool. A lot of subdivisions have community pools, which seems to work well for many folks.