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So pool or no pool?

I ask this question because there are so many implications, but for me, and like most of my customers for second homes, it's not really one of them: the swimming pool is at the origin of the project, or at least it was never imagined without it. And as with all aspects that you don't have in your main residence, you don't necessarily know the ins and outs.

This is a criterion that will save you a lot of time in your search, just like the other 4 mentioned in the previous article. To make the right decision, it's important to bear the following points in mind:

Permission to have a swimming pool

The construction of a swimming pool follows precise rules and authorisations must be granted by the local authorities, failing which the pool may have to be demolished if the local council so requests (declarations must be obtained before any signatures are signed).

Many buyers are looking for a house with a swimming pool or land that can be used for swimming. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is no longer easy to obtain permission to dig a swimming pool in any region. With droughts on the increase, some local authorities have decided to ban all new swimming pool construction.

For research, it is also complicated to include a "poolable" filter by commune, this requires taking the time to discuss each opportunity with the agent/owner of the property or knowing the planning regulations. A good buying agent can save you a lot of time in this respect 🙂

Maintain your pool regularly

Owning a swimming pool requires constant maintenance, which means regular attendance. In extreme cases, if the pool is running, you may have to empty it completely, which will take up a lot of water and mean you'll be out of action for several days (an absolute tragedy when you're around).

When you're staying in the house, you can look after it yourself, but you'll need to set aside some time each week to brush the walls, apply chlorine pebbles, replenish the levels, clean the filter, clear up dead vegetation, etc. If you don't want to do this, or if it's your second home, you'll need to hire a good caretaker or a pool specialist during your absences to make sure it doesn't turn green.

And at the end of the warm season, you have to close it for the winter and open it for the new season, again with the help of a third party. In short, having a swimming pool is a permanent commitment, unless you delegate it and pay the price in that case.

Calculate your pool budget

All the above-mentioned maintenance implies a significant annual cost: in time if you do it all yourself or in money if you delegate. There will always be the 'maintenance products' (water, electricity, chlorine), but the bulk of the expenditure will be for the third party to manage the maintenance (around €80/week for as long as the pool is open). When you buy a house in Provence, the season lasts around 7 months (from April to October). You'll need to add to this the costs of opening and closing the property.

Finally, don't forget the additional insurance costs and the extra tax you'll have to pay on your property tax.

Ensuring complete security

It's easy to forget about the safety implications when all you think about is the comfort it provides, but this aspect is essential if you want to enjoy your garden in peace and quiet every day and let your children play in your garden in complete freedom. If you decide to rent out your property on a seasonal basis, you'll need a security system worthy of the name and the appropriate insurance cover.

One small detail: an effective security system doesn't always look very pretty, so you may be disappointed with the final result if you attach great importance to charm.


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