More than ever, it’s important to provide your loved ones with an escape from day-to-day stresses – and there’s simply nothing like having your own pool for playing, exercising, and building the memories of a lifetime. In addition to the intrinsic value, it can also elevate your home’s value. A study by real estate brokerage Redfin found that pools in warm climates can raise home values anywhere between $11,000 and $95,000, depending on the location and time of sale.
More importantly, you’ll be investing in those priceless things that make life worth living, such as summer fun and shared joy in your family’s own custom backyard pool. Because the pool construction market is booming, homeowners now have access to more advantageous pool-financing options than ever before, and we’ll cover the key considerations to make when thinking about financing a swimming pool.
Key Factors for Financing a Swimming Pool
Today, there are countless options for homeowners looking to install the pool of their dreams. Whether you’re looking for something simple and traditional, a truly extravagant backyard oasis, or somewhere in between, pool builders across the country are breaking records year after year to make it happen.
From simple lap pools to an elaborate, veritable water park, the procedure for finding the best financing options are the same. Fortunately, the process of securing financing for a swimming pool can be incredibly simple with the right plan. It all starts with what you want and what your prospective pool builders can deliver. The following are the main factors to keep in mind when financing your new investment and choosing whether to commit to a specific builder.
Knowing Your Financing Options
When embarking on this new adventure, knowing your financing options up front can affect the whole design process. Typically, you can talk to your pool dealers or loan officers about the following types of loans for swimming pool and related home-construction projects:
- Home equity loans
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOC)
- Personal/Home Improvement loans
- FHA 203(k) rehab loans
- Cash-out refinancing
Depending on your financial history, credit-to-debt ratio, and other qualification factors, it’s sometimes possible to finance the entire project. Even if not, better qualifying factors will result in a lower interest rate and higher loan amounts. Most homeowners decide to invest some of their own cash towards the project, subsidizing the remainder, in order to keep the loan amount low.
When financing a swimming pool, be sure your budget accounts for all aspects of the project, including decking, lighting, and other features that go beyond the pool itself. Some homeowners get started looking into pool designs and discover that a broader backyard renovation they’ve been dreaming of would be more cost-effective if done at the same time.
Look into which features are and aren’t covered by available financing options because this helps you determine which aspects of the project must be covered by your own funds.
Timing Affects Rates
Based on your ability to discharge the loan in the agreed-upon timeframe, the financing opportunities available to you will be different according to numerous factors. In addition to the length of the loan and the value of your home or other collateral, rates are also impacted by continually shifting Fed market rates. As a result, rates on home credit lines typically vary throughout the loan term.
Exactly how those rates vary are, to some extent, also up to the lending institution. You’ll want to look into how and when they adjust their own rates, and ask them if you qualify for financing arrangements with a locked-in rate.
For those that don’t, at least establish clarity on the maximum rates legally allowed. Above all, achieve clarity on how rates fluctuate over time, and research the likeliest best time of the year to secure the lowest rates possible.
Getting Preapproved While Protecting Your Credit
Being preapproved simplifies the process of scouting out different pool building options – but at the same time, you don’t want to needlessly apply for multiple loans and negatively impact your credit more than necessary. The right balance is achieved by enlisting the help of an experienced pool company already familiar with the loan application processes in your locality, or even better, one offering their own advantageous financing arrangements.
This saves you time and orients your efforts to the more appealing and productive tasks ahead, like working with your pool builder to design your perfect pool oasis, while reducing the amount of comparison shopping that would otherwise be necessary.
Rather than expend enormous amounts of time researching lenders and subjecting your credit to a flurry of hard pulls, a well-known pool builder with financing services can give you the answers you’re looking for after a single inquiry. Because they’re more likely to be expert pool builders, it’s likely they’ve also inspired the confidence needed in their lending partners to secure better rates for the customer.
Scouting the Best Local Pool Builders
Reputable pool builders have likely become leading contractors in their area because they offer both superior quality of work and unbeatable financing options. It certainly helps to do a little background research so that the pool builders you interview know you’re a discerning consumer; however, once you’re ready to scout financing options, your time is best spent comparing local pool builders and assessing both their financing options and the skill of their work.
Here are just a few questions you’ll want to answer as you interview potential pool builders:
- Do they inspire confidence and take strides to ensure you are totally aware of the entire process? The best pool companies will be glad to work around your time frame as much as possible while also informing you of the most advantageous times to break ground and secure financing.
- Do they give you any reason to suspect there may be some surprises or difficulties? Once you pass a certain point, you’ll be locked in and dependent on your pool contractor. Beware of any reviews that indicate they take excessive liberties at the homeowner’s expense once the work passes the point of no return, and look for a company that is transparent and up front about what you can expect over the process and what changes could potentially occur during the work.
- Will they use the best industry practices and the highest-quality materials? As the cost of an in-ground pool is certainly an investment into your home and something that adds to its value, you’ll want to make sure the materials used are high-quality and long lasting.
- Is the pool builder totally in-house, or do they hire out work to other subcontractors? It’s not necessarily an issue if they subcontract elements of the work, but be aware that this increases the possibilities of unexpected changes (whether in timing or costs).
- Does your pool builder hold themselves firmly to an agreed-upon price – or have they written in any wiggle room in the contract you need to be aware of? If it’s more open-ended than reasonable, this is a red flag. Conversely, if it’s a good faith range, explained in detail, of what could be necessary to complete your vision, this demonstrates transparency from an experienced builder who has a sense of what may come up when they dig into the project.
- What is their record for completing pool constructions on time and on budget? The most experienced pool builders will be able to hit your targets with the utmost precision, and their reviews will reflect this.
Related: Swimming Pool Remodel Financing
Evaluate Your Builder While Collaborating on the Design
Pool builders who have worked on a large variety of designs both in your location and the wider area have the experience needed to foresee and preempt obstacles their less experienced competitors often don’t see.
This will be most apparent during the design process as you work together and share ideas. The best pool builders will heed your vision as closely as possible while educating you about the logistics and technical requirements to bring your vision to life.
If your design requires backyard remodeling for features like an outdoor kitchen or entertainment areas, evaluate the scope of their expertise. With custom pool designs especially, it’s important to verify whether your prospective pool builder has received high accolades from leading home-improvement authorities and publications.
Custom pool builders are also best suited to handle renovations, as they have the widest breadth of experience working on unique and varied pool designs.
Share your entire vision with them, and expect clarity on the costs involved. As necessary, learn which unique features they specialize in. Waterfalls, fountains, lighting, fire features, landscaping, and pool decking, maintenance automation, and more are all possible, and some (like maintenance automation) may save you money in the long run. When you know the total costs involved, it’s easier to establish an exact design that fits your financing options.
Financing Directly Through a Reputable Pool Builder
When financing a swimming pool, you’ll save time and money by working with a pool builder who’s already established relationships with local financing partners. This also ensures you receive personalized attention and support along the way, as these are the same pool builders who’ve demonstrated a history of putting their customers first and maintaining a great reputation.
For 75 years, California Pools has created and innovated thousands of backyard pool environments, and today, you might know us as the hosts of Pool Kings on DIY Network. Our local teams are fully equipped to handle every element necessary to create the exact pool environment you envision, with total transparency from start to finish. To schedule a consultation and secure the best custom financing solutions for you, contact your nearest California Pools franchise today.