Arizona is currently a Sellers market due to low inventory and high demand. So the fun of working with Buyers and helping them find their perfect home is easier said than done..“I love the house, but I wish it had a pool..” or “We could always just put a pool in later…” are comments I’m frequently hearing. So that’s the ultimate question: Should you put a Pool in or not?
When it comes to Real Estate + Investing your money, there are multiple ways to upgrade a Home that will get you a higher return than other upgrades. Kitchen Remodel? Definitely. MasterBath? You Betcha. Pools? It Depends. Now, this is not a one sized fits all answer, there are a TON of variables to consider. For starters: The Homes value. Is it worth a million+ dollars or $250,000? What is the neighborhood like? Do comparable homes sell exponentially higher with a pool, over homes without? What is the size of the lot? Is there even room for a pool? How long do you plan on owning the Home? 2 years or 10? Do you qualify to roll a pool build into your mortgage? ETC. But, that’s where I come in! I am your Realtor. I am here to help you find your ‘No Place Like Home’, guide you through the Buying process, & help you make every decision, confidently. #JustClickYourHeels
So.. with all that said, can I be honest?? I have literally gone back and forth on getting a pool every day for the last 5 years. Constantly arguing with my Realtor-Self that it’s not worth it. But, I want one! It’s not our forever home. But, I will use it all the time! It will cost so much money. We could host pool parties! But, there is so much upkeep and extra monthly expenses. Ahhh?! In truth, my logical, ‘Realtor Emily’ voice was right…(she always is..) because the timing wasn’t right back then. But, after 5 lonnnnng years of really thinking about it, working hard & saving money, Jeff & I finally decided to put in a pool! Our decision was made easier because we no longer intend on selling our current home. When we outgrow it, we will use it as an investment property, as a future family vacation home, & as a place my parents can come stay and babysit…..Hamilton (?).
So.. now what? A Million Questions..
Budget: How much does a pool cost? A standard, white bread pool starts around $20,000 and goes up from there (as of August 2019 in Arizona). Additional Costs: The quote you get from the pool builder, typically doesn’t include *everything*. So make sure to save for the unforeseen costs. 1. Pool pre-grade: For our yard, we needed to get it scraped (removal of all grass, plants, trees) to be ready for pool excavation. 2. Irrigation: We will need to redo our irrigation system to work around the pool. 3. City Code: Our side gate isn’t to code, so we need to have the gate open outward, and self close + our sliding doors & windows need alarms. 4. Landscaping: Adding new plants, trees, rocks, etc. 5. Decor: (YAY!) Patio furniture, umbrellas, pool towels, accessories. (it MUST look like a resort pool).
How long does it take to put a pool in? Design is dependent upon you, so come with specific details you want and come ready to make decisions. Then permits take up to 3 weeks, then the pool should take about 6-7 weeks to complete.
Choosing a Pool Builder: Living in Arizona, there are multiple quality pool builders. After a lot of due diligence, we decided upon, Presidential Pools. They are the largest pool builder in Arizona, they have a great reputation, competitive pricing, and the experience I have had with them thus far has been wonderful.?
OK..So, NOW what? …Steps to put a Pool in:
Step 1: Design. What do you want it to look like? Where do you want it located in your backyard? Do you want: Water features, Fire accents, a Spa, Heated, Diving pool or play pool, Pool Patio Decking or tile pavers, what Pool Pump, in-floor cleaning or pool cleaning shark, Plaster finish or PebbleSheen etc.
Here is my Pool Inspo by my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE Threebirds Renovations:
The Wertz Pool is going to be White + Modern. A rectangular 14’x 28′ play pool, 4ft x 6ft x 4ft deep, white pool decking, white waterline tile, white sand PebbleSheen finish, a 6’x6′ Baja deck, a swim lane, and a long seated bench on the right side. #OCDmuch?
Step 2: Permit. Once you have finalized all the details of the Pool, the design and details need to be submitted to your City for a Pool Permit. This could take up to 3 weeks. During this time, the designers are finalizing the AutoCAD layout of the pool, plumbing, electrical etc. For our pool, somehow, the City of Scottsdale jumped right on it, and it came back in 2 days!? (*applies sunscreen* is the pool completed yet???).
Step 3: Pool Pre-Grade. This was an additional expense, outside of the Pool Quote. The pool pre-grade is where they scrape the yard, removing plants, grass, level the area, cap off existing irrigation – everything necessary for the pool excavation to begin. We had to turn our sprinklers off 1 week before this could take place, to dry out the area, so they can do their thing.
Step 4: Layout. After the Pool Pre-Grade, (only took 1 day) Presidential Pools finalized the pool location. This is where they draw the layout + details of the pool as it will be in our yard. (seriously, I’m ready to dive? in already! must. work. on. patience).
Step 5: Meet Project Manager. This is where we finalized all the details and talked about unforeseen issues. Apparently, in Arizona there is underground rock that is extremely expensive to remove, called Caliche. Sweet name, sounds like a DJ from The Game of Thrones. Anyway, fingers crossed there aren’t any difficult rocks or soil issues. Next up: Excavation.
Step 6: Excavation. No Rock Issues, hallelujah! Excavation took one full day, & I can’t believe it. 2 guys, 1 day. Insane. During Excavation, they dig the pool and a channel for all the plumbing/electrical to wherever the pool equipment will be. In our case, it’s on the south end of our house, tucked behind our chimney for minimal visibility. Also, something of note: Excavation was where the first payment of 4, is due. Like a construction loan, you pay the total bill in segmented portions upon completion of each build stage.
It feels like it should be done in no time! But, now that the Excavation is finished, the rest of the pool will be complete in 6 weeks. CAN. NOT. WAIT.
The cement needs to cure for 3-5 days. During this time, you have to keep the cement wet, so I sprayed it 5 times a day.
We had originally decided on an Acrylic Decking to cover the cement, but I loved the look of the bare cement & kept it as-is.
We decided on a White 6 x 6 Waterline Tile and in efforts to save money, we had our personal landscaper redo our irrigation + planting. I wanted the utmost tropical feel, but Arizona’s sun is harsh, so after a lot of research on what plants can thrive, we decided upon Queen Palms, Bougainvillea & Pygmy Date Palms.
I went with the lightest interior, Pebble Radiance in White Sand. It gives the look of a plaster pool but with lifetime longevity. I also bought river rock from Home Depot and filled in the concrete spaces (holy work out!).
The pool took about 3 days to fill (again it’s 14′ x 28′, and 4′-6’deep). I also wanted to make the pool feel like a resort, so I kept everything white and clean.
Could Not be Happier with how the whole pool turned out!!! Presidential Pools blew me away & I highly recommend them to everyone!! Cheers!