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Melbpom

Swimming pool - asset or liability?

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Whenever I see a house with a pool my heart rate rises. I'd love to own a pool. However I've seen too many pools that have been neglected and turned green and others that have been filled in.

So the question is, head or heart, pool or no pool? I've heard people comment that they're too much work but on a hot summer day maybe it's worth it. 

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3 hours ago, Melbpom said:

Whenever I see a house with a pool my heart rate rises. I'd love to own a pool. However I've seen too many pools that have been neglected and turned green and others that have been filled in.

So the question is, head or heart, pool or no pool? I've heard people comment that they're too much work but on a hot summer day maybe it's worth it. 

I had a solar dome fitted on one of mine, best thing ever. 5 minutes maintenance a week! You really need to use them alot to make them worthwhile in my opinion. 

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7 hours ago, Amber Snowball said:

I had a solar dome fitted on one of mine, best thing ever. 5 minutes maintenance a week! You really need to use them alot to make them worthwhile in my opinion. 

I've just googled them, like the lack of maintenance but nor sure about feeling a bit enclosed. 

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I think it really depends on whereabouts you live and how much you think you will use it. We are in Brisbane and have solar heating for ours which extends the “swimming season” and enables us to use it on an evening because we work weekdays. Pools only go green if they aren’t maintained adequately and it is relatively easy to maintain if your equipment is working as it should. The local pool shop will happily test a water sample you take them and they supply the necessary to keep it at the right PH with UV blockers etc if required.
We run two pool pumps (one for the pool itself and one to pump water to the roof to heat up through black pipes) so it was our biggest electricity expense until we bought solar panels and now pay very little.
Having said that, I personally would have been happy with a Spa.

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13 hours ago, Melbpom said:

Whenever I see a house with a pool my heart rate rises. I'd love to own a pool. However I've seen too many pools that have been neglected and turned green and others that have been filled in.

So the question is, head or heart, pool or no pool? I've heard people comment that they're too much work but on a hot summer day maybe it's worth it. 

When we were househunting 4 years ago (SE Qld) we viewed plenty of houses with a pool ......and they are beguiling.  My original thought was to rent our first summer a house with a pool and gauge how much value it was to us.  In the end we found a house to buy straight away (but no pool) and have been pleased with our choice ever since.

The house itself came with a large spa which we were ambivalent about - and which we wouldn’t buy if we didn’t have one tbh - which can be pleasant to relax and cool off in outside on hot summer days and evenings.  Spas are much easier and cheaper to maintain and cover.  Because we don’t use it at all from April to November (though many people do) it can be emptied and we use the water on the garden.

We now know a few people with pools and sometimes get an invite to use them.  I know that the vast majority of people wind up actually using their pool a handful of times per year.  That’s a lot of time, trouble and expense notwithstanding the environmental impacts for limited gain.


Timeline: 309/100 Sent 7/8/13, Money Taken 9/8/13, CO appointed 3/9/13. Med 3/12/13. Police check 4/12/13. VISA GRANTED 8/4/14, Subclass100. Recce August 2014. Arrived 30 July 2015.

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Depends where you live and if you like swimming or like a lot of people, just for a cool down dip. We only live 5 mins from a really nice beach and swim a lot there so we never bothered about a pool. If we lived in the hills though I would have to have one but then it would be at least 25m lap pool that you could swim in properly. 

Our neighbours had a pool in a few years back and they hardly use it and regret having it. We have friends in Applecross who have one and it looks great when it's all lit up but they don't use it. The kids used to splash around in it when they were younger but they've grown up and left home now.

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I think it very much depends on whether you swim a lot or not.   We didn't have a pool for the first 4 years we lived in Perth, but we were always heading off to the beach (30 min drive) or to the local leisure centre, and in the end decided to  install one.   Best thing we did.  25 years later it is still used every day during swimming season, and with the solar pool heating and solar panels, it isn't expensive to run.  

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......Just trying to be helpful so don't shoot me down if my personal views do not coincide with yours! :animal-dog:

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2 hours ago, Rossmoyne said:

I think it very much depends on whether you swim a lot or not

Don't forget as well that it needs to be a reasonable size to properly swim in, rather than just splash about. Ours is 10m long and it's pretty borderline using it for exercise - I do, but I would prefer to swim in a proper 50m pool. Anything under 10m would really only be a splash pool.

However, come the hot summer days and nights, there's nothing nicer than just dropping into the pool to cool off and float around for a while with a beer.

They don't take a great deal of work to keep in good shape - just a few minutes a week to empty the catcher, change the chlorine etc. But you do need to do it all year round, even when no-ones using the pool. And there's the expense of running the pool pump - I'm sure that costs us more than a few hundred dollars.

But overall I'd definitely want one again if we moved on to another house.

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5 hours ago, Melbpom said:

I've just googled them, like the lack of maintenance but nor sure about feeling a bit enclosed. 

They fold up/back depending on what shape you have. The only place in Australia that supplied them in Australia at the time was in Tasmania. They aren’t cheap either, so again you really have to be sure you want a pool. I fitted it to an existing above ground that I kept only for an independent water supply in case of a fire, it had the fire pump and hoses already attached. If it hadn’t have had those I would have removed it tbh.

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17 hours ago, Melbpom said:

Whenever I see a house with a pool my heart rate rises. I'd love to own a pool. However I've seen too many pools that have been neglected and turned green and others that have been filled in.

So the question is, head or heart, pool or no pool? I've heard people comment that they're too much work but on a hot summer day maybe it's worth it. 

If you live in a hot climate, they are a lot of work.  Sunlight breaks down the chlorine (or whatever treatment you're using).  That's why you have to test your pool regularly and keep topping up the chemicals.   The more sunlight, the faster it breaks down, so the more diligent you have to be with testing/topping up.  Also as everyone knows, bacteria and mould grow much faster in heat and humidity so if you do get slack with the chemicals, they take hold very quickly.

We had an above ground pool in Africa.   It needed daily attention but because we had no air conditioning, the pool was a Godsend and we used it every single day all through summer and a good part of spring and autumn as well - so well worth the trouble.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Had a pool for 10 years in Brunei, it was in a dreadful state when we took the house over, we are talking green and frogs spawn. Once under control we had pool people to check weekly with no real further problems. 

Now on the Sunshine Coast and had our pool here for 16 years. My husband does a great job keeping it up to speed, regularly takes the water sample to the local pool shop, adds what’s needed, have a bit of black spot occasionally, which needs treatment and is a pain. We have solar heating for the pool which extends the time it’s in use, yes the upkeep costs but for us it’s worth it, but we are in Qld.

Our children have loved having a pool in a hot climate, both here and Brunei, we have had such fun times, which far outweighed any  hassle. Love Christmas around the pool when the family is here, 

I swim regularly as well so it still gets plenty of use.

 

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I have to say, midnight on New Years Eve with a bunch of our friends having a nice glass of wine/champagne is my absolute favourite pool time of the year!

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I will say moving to Australia in the way we did, incredibly quickly due to hubby bring headhunted, I was like YES a pool! It was literally the number 1 request we made to our relocation agents, but it was Feb in UK and it was still snowing, so a pool sounded bloody amazing!! So we did get the pool, I think ‘pool’ clouded all other reasonable judgement on our house viewings! Firstly, we landed in June, I thought woo hoo a hot summer, yes I admit, although quite intelligent I actually thought summer was the same in OZ as UK, I’m embarrassed to admit in my excitement to move I knew no different!! I was walking around Freo in shorts (it was 20 degrees ok) walking past people in balaclavas, that really was my first impression of Freo, like Balaclavas?? But I digress, so we had the tiniest of pools, it was literally a sunken hot tub, but we were on the beach, the view, the walk, it didn’t matter.  We then bought our first house, again a pool was top of the list. We actually bought a very small house with a very (and I do mean very very) large pool, the pool was bigger than the footage of the house.  We loved that pool Andrew we loved that house, we debated increasing the house size, we got quotes (500K plus), we would have broken the ceiling for the area, it wasn’t worth it we walked away, BUT, I swam in that pool every single day of my life living there, I loved it.  SOOO, we moved, to basically a McMansion type house, with a little pool, a dark blue pool (I love the light, bright blue pools!), it’s lovely, it’s there, my daughter and her friends love it, it’s a pool, we have one, OK, whatever, I think I swim in it once or twice a year when the weather gets so unbearable but maybe that’s too generous, I don’t swim, I just dunk, for a few minutes and that’s literally it.

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I'd say it's an asset that can quickly turn into a liability. As you mentioned, the main thing is to consider the ongoing upkeep costs, whether it's your own time or you're paying someone else to take care of it. I must say though, it is awful darn nice to be able to go for a dip on a hot day, preferably with a beer in hand. Makes life a little nicer and you'll probably find some new friends when people know you have a pool. 

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I am not a serious swimmer, but I do like to do my water aerobics and a few laps, with the Labrador keeping pace beside me, every day in the summer.   My offspring are in their 30's now and it is just me at home, but before they moved out 5 years ago, that pool was well used.   Perhaps not as much now, but whenever family get togethers happen it is always my place because of the pool. 

I do admit that at times now it is just a large water feature, but when I was so sick with Ross River a few years ago, I spent so much time sitting/laying on a sunbed by the pool, that is now my fave sitting outside position... book in hand... cup of tea, coffee, or even a G and T.

I have a salt pool and the chlorinator/pump runs a few hours every day, with an automatic pool cleaner permanently in there.  In the summer I test it daily, and take water to the pool shop for them to check weekly or if I think it is a bit "iffy"..  I also hire the Pool Shop to service the pool weekly when I am away. 

Yes it can be expensive to run a pool, but it depends on the type of pool, how much you use it, how clean you keep it all year round (and believe me that is the cheapest option).  I wouldn't be without it as it is just part of living in Australia for me.

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......Just trying to be helpful so don't shoot me down if my personal views do not coincide with yours! :animal-dog:

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If you are "handy" a pool is amazing, and doesn't have to be a bank breaker. 

We moved into a rental which had a disused pool which had been emptied by the owner, (well 90% emptied, the remaining 1 ft of water in the bottom was black sludge) who didn't know what to do with it and I thin was going to have it removed at some point.) I asked if I could have a go at bringing it back to use, which they accepted (why wouldn't they?)

It took a lot of hard graft to empty the sludge, jetwash the sides, fix up and clean the pump / filter and about $300 of water to fill it, and then find and fix all the leaks. I got a second hand solar heating system for ~$150 and installed it myself on the roof - replacing a completely knackered home made one (I did this without telling the owner - but I did a neat job and I doubt he would ever notice) Once it was all up and running, it worked a treat. This took a couple of months which I did over the winter.

The main work though is keeping the water quality up to scratch, but again this isn't brain surgery, you just need to take regular samples, the machine in bunnings tells you what quantities of chemicals to add, key is to do it regularly. I had several occasions where I failed to keep on top of water quality (either didn't remove fallen leaved during winter, or allowed the solar heater to get the water over 30 degrees - it went green) Its no big deal if it does go green / cloudy, but preventing is better than curing.

I'm sure it can be very expensive if you have a company in to manage, or if you have a major problem like an underground leak, but as I said, normal maintenance isn't complicated, just a little work. 

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Most don’t set their pools up correctly, and worse, let them go off over winter.   

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