Author Topic: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?  (Read 2896 times)

LadyStache in Baja

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Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« on: September 11, 2016, 11:06:22 AM »
Hi, we've been successfully renting our second story rental for a year and a half now.  We are going to build a second duplex on our property, to bring our rentals to three.

In the middle of the two duplexes, we are planning on building a **small** pool.  I'm thinking 1 m wide by 4 meters long or so.  This will be available to all three rental apartments.

I hope that the pool will bring more renters, cutting our vacancy rate or allowing us to charge more.

We live in warm-year-round Mexico, so tourists do enjoy swimming.  We also live near a beach, so again, that whole summery, swimming vibe is part of the allure.

My concerns are that the cost of installing and maintaining the pool will negate any positive effects on the bottom line.  At the same time, if that were true, then professional hotels and condos would not install pools and yet they do.  I know you'll need actual numbers to be able to analyze this, but I'm not even sure where to start.  Any suggestions for doing the math are appreciated!

pbkmaine

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Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2016, 11:24:42 AM »
What about a swim spa and hot tub combo?

Something like this:

http://spasunlimitedofhouston.com/swimspas.html

Look at the unit at the bottom of the page. Does not look like it would be hard to care for - you'd just need access to the chemical and testing supplies.

Choices

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2016, 11:47:02 AM »

In the middle of the two duplexes, we are planning on building a **small** pool.  I'm thinking 1 m wide by 4 meters long or so.  This will be available to all three rental apartments.


This seems like a really narrow pool, especially when shared among several units. Could you make it larger or are you limited by space? If so, a hot tub or something meant for sitting rather than being active might be better.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2016, 02:33:57 PM »
Yes, I suppose this pool might have a bench all along the side.  My friend has a similar pool and it's kinda awesome because if you want to swim, it's long enough to do laps.  But most people just kinda dunk and lounge in pools anyway, hence the long bench.  Also, for kids it's plenty big.

The length means that if two different groups are sharing, you can kinda feel private by being off at the other end.

We're limited by space AND I know that the smaller it is, the less time the pump will be running to filter it, hence lower maintenance cost.

That said, the hot tub / swim combo is an interesting idea!

MayDay

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2016, 06:17:39 PM »
As an American who recently reserved 2 Airbnb units in Mexico, I can tell you that small pools did not appeal to us. We looked at a few houses that had "pools" that were hot tub sized. We went with condos in a complex with a normal sized pool. 

I would want at least 3 X 4 meters. At least. 1x3 meters is tiny.

GreenEggs

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2016, 06:57:50 PM »
I never heard of a pool 1 meter wide.  Is that a typo?

sun and sand

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2016, 09:33:41 PM »
A swimming pool is important for a vacation rental in a hot climate.  1 m. wide is not wide enough.  I would think 5 m wide would be adequate.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2016, 09:34:02 PM »
I have a pool in mind that I haven't measured.  Maybe it's 1.5 or 2 meters wide.  Point is that it's long and skinny.  But fun to swim in!

Here's a picture.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2016, 09:35:00 PM »
Thank you MayDay, just the kind of feedback I'm looking for! 

fishnfool

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2016, 09:58:56 PM »
As long as the pool doesn't require heating you should be ok cost wise on maintaining it. Bigger is better with 3 units using at same time.

Ensign1999

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 11:32:09 AM »
I'd get some advice from a landscape/pool designer as to what will fit and look nice on your property given the constraints of the area and any potential building/legal codes that you may need to follow.

If I had to choose between two properties with the only difference being if one had a pool and one did not, I would go with the one with a pool.  That being said, if they both had pools I would go with the one that was bigger/ or looked nicer / or looked more fun.  There are lots of different criteria on what makes a pool nice besides size.  Having a nice design that fits in with the house and area (think of a pool with the backside bordered by rocks/boulders/waterfall if it is near the mountains).  A small splash pool could be perfectly fine if there is other outdoor living area around the pool to make it large enough for multiple groups to hang out both together and apart.

Friends that have rented houses in Palm Springs and other Southern California locations often went with a place that had a themed pool with rocks, waterfall, and built in slide.  They have kids so a "fun" pool was a factor for them.

Whatever you deside, I would talk to a designer to know what some more options might be.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 11:43:12 AM »
When renting condos or choosing hotels in Mexico (we typically stay in Cozumel though) we have generally skipped pools. They are so small that we don't find the value add. I'd rather have a lovely ocean view balcony and a nice hammock.

To be quite honest, most American vacationers think of pools as large an expansive, something you could swim laps in or play a game of volleyball. Few small places have those.  So we either pick between the cost of the smaller places (which usually offer great rates) or we go to a resort with large pools (which often cost more)

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 03:35:03 PM »
Thanks Iowajes, ensign1999, and fishnfool, great feedback.

JLee

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 03:56:32 PM »
Have you priced any change in your insurance from having a pool on the premises?  Make sure to price the cost of fencing, auto-closing gates, etc as well.

LiveLean

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2016, 08:38:58 AM »
We have a weekly beach rental in Virginia Beach, mostly rents from mid-June through end of September.

Twenty years ago, few homes there had pools. Now probably 60 percent of them do. Our home is 200 yards from the ocean and backs up to a freshwater canal. But apparently some people like to rent homes and do nothing but sit at the pool. I don't know why they don't just stay at a hotel but I'm glad the home we bought had a pool already because it's worth 30-40 percent more in weekly rentals than it would otherwise. Plus some people won't rent without a pool. There's an identical house without a pool next to us that rents for much less and has some vacancies. We're booked solid all summer.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2016, 09:13:48 AM »
We have a weekly beach rental in Virginia Beach, mostly rents from mid-June through end of September.


I will say if a poster from the US asked the same question my answer would be drastically different.  I wouldn't go to a summer vacation rental in the US without a good pool.  Even with the ocean a few yards away, sometimes a pool is just easier with kids, or at night.

But pools in Mexico tend to be so different from what they are here, unless you get really high end.

merula

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2016, 10:12:53 AM »
Insurance person, here to be a buzzkill.

Having a pool (or even a hot tub) increases your liability, as others have noted. BUT, you're in an exceptionally hard place as a US expat catering to US tourists. Your insurance policy is presumably based in Mexico, and probably limited to claims in Mexico. It's also probably pretty cheap, relative to US insurance, because of the lower climate of liability everywhere outside the US.

But US persons injured overseas have been pretty successful at suing for damages in US courts, particularly when the party they're suing has some connection to the US, as you do.

For example:
-Nowak v. Tak How Inc. Ltd (Hong Kong Holiday Inn franchisee advertised in Massachusetts; MA woman drowned in pool in HK; courts allowed MA jurisdiction.)
-Van Hoy v. Sandals Resorts International (Man trapped by faulty pool suction drowns at a Sandals resort in the Bahamas; Florida court accepts jurisdiction and applies FL law.)

More info: http://www.eturbonews.com/44078/travel-accidents-abroad-where-sue

So, to really protect yourself if you do this, you're going to need insurance that covers worldwide suits, which is (1) probably not easily available in Mexico and (2) probably a lot more expensive than you're paying now.

jessaragen

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ender

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2016, 06:45:52 AM »
Have you priced any change in your insurance from having a pool on the premises?  Make sure to price the cost of fencing, auto-closing gates, etc as well.

+1

This was my first thought, too. merula seems to basically have an even better answer why though :P

Miss Piggy

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Re: Add swimming pool to our vacation rentals or not?
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2016, 09:32:47 AM »
I would probably be satisfied with that pool if it were JUST for the place I'm renting. I believe it would feel a bit "crowded" if I were sharing it with strangers, though.