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Pool Loans – What Are The Best Options Available?



Pool Loans - What Are The Best Financing Options For Buying a Swimming Pool?

Adding an inground swimming pool to your backyard can increase the value of your home and add years of enjoyment for family and friends. However, you consider all the implications of pool ownership before investing potentially tens of thousands of dollars on a pool. Swimming pools require continual upkeep and care in addition to their initial expense. According to, the average starting cost of an inground pool is $35,000 for fiberglass, $25,000 for vinyl liners, and at least $40,000 for Gunite. Even if you can save money on materials or labor, a swimming pool is still a significant investment. Consequently many homeowners wind up exploring pool loan options when it comes time to decide how they plan to pay for pool construction.

How Do Pool Loans Work?

First off, building a swimming pool can be a pretty costly proposition, especially in this climate where the average price for an inground pool has gone up 30% in the last two years. Swimming pool loans are available for most well qualified buyers. To get a better handle on which loans are best suited for consumers, we spoke with Greg Powell of Viking Capital, one of the leading providers of financing in the pool industry.

“A swimming pool loan can be the differentiator between buying the pool you really want and have to settle for a smaller pool. Having easy access to financing is a game changer for some homeowners”, explained Powell who has been helping homeowners secure pool financing for over 20 years.

Typically a pool loan can be obtained in a variety of ways. Consumers can shop around for a variety lenders to discover a pool loan that works best for their particular needs.

When you’re authorized for a usual loan from a bank, you’ll usually get all of your money right away. The loan will then need to be repaid with interest over a period of time. The interest rate and monthly payment you qualify for will be largely determined by your income and FICO credit score.

“Due to the hefty initial cost required for a new pool, many homeowners choose to borrow money and pay it off over time.” said Powell, “If you don’t have the cash up front, there are a variety of options that homeowners use to finance a new swimming pool.”

Let’s take a look at what a few of those options are:

HELOC vs Home Equity Loans – Photo Credit: Visualistan

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan allows you to borrow against the value of your property and use it as collateral, allowing you to get a lower interest rate. Home equity loans are similar to personal loans in that they include a set interest rate, a set repayment schedule, and a set monthly payment that never changes.

“You’re essentially taking out a second mortgage when you take out a home equity loan for pool financing.” said Powell, “It’s a fixed-rate installment loan secured by your home equity.”

If you’ve lived in your house long enough to have built up enough equity, a home equity loan for a pool can be a good option for you. However, before jumping in wholeheartedly, you should consider all the pool financing options available and figure out the ideal one for you.


A home equity line of credit, often known as a HELOC, is a revolving credit line secured by your home that you can use to pay for significant purchases or consolidate higher-interest debt on other loans. The interest on a HELOC is frequently lower than on other forms of loans, and the interest may be tax deductible. Because tax rules may have changed, please ask your tax expert about interest deductibility.

You borrow against the available equity in your home with a HELOC, and the house serves as collateral for the loan. The quantity of available credit is replenished as you repay your outstanding balance, similar to a credit card. This means you can borrow against it again if necessary, and you can borrow as little or as much as you need for the duration of your draw period (usually 10 years), up to the credit limit you set at closing. The payback period (usually 20 years) begins after the draw period ends.

Using a HELOC to finance your swimming pool has some drawbacks, much like using a home equity loan. Because a HELOC uses your property as collateral, you risk losing your home if you don’t keep up with your payments. You’re also bound by the same equity limits, so a HELOC is only a viable option for borrowers who have a considerable amount of equity in their home.

Personal Loan – Unsecured Loan

Many pool buyers opt to do a personal or unsecured loan which is a very popular method of financing a pool. A personal loan allows you to borrow a lump sum of money with a fixed interest rate and repayment time.

Personal loans are unsecured, which means you don’t have to put your home up as collateral in order to qualify. If you have exceptional or very high credit, or a FICO score of at least 740, you may be eligible for a pool loan with a low fixed interest rate.

When compared to other swimming pool loans, personal loans frequently have minimal or no costs, making them a very cost-effective solution.

“A personal loan is an excellent choice for someone who has strong credit but little equity in their home.” said Powell.

Many homeowners opt to buy a pool from a builder that provides in-house financing.

Financing Through a Dealer

Another method consumers use to finance a swimming pool is buy from a dealer that offers their own financing. If you opt for a builder that does this, make sure you read the fine print carefully and expect to pay higher interest rates. For consumers who don’t qualify for a personal loan or home equity financing, this may an option if all else fails.

This type of financing is a solid alternative for someone who may not qualify for a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit, or a personal loan.

There is plenty to consider when financing a pool. Before signing a contract it’s smart to see what your payments will be.

Before Applying For a Pool Loan

“Consider consulting with a few pool contractors to obtain a general estimate of your final pricing, then play around with a pool loan calculator to see how much your monthly payment might be.” said Powell. “Playing with the numbers can give you an idea of what your monthly payment will look like and how much pool you can afford.”

“Paying a little extra each month helps pay off the loan quicker.” Powell explained, “Conversely, if you want a lower payment, you may be able to pay a lower monthly amount if you spread the payments out over more years. Typically we see consumers who opt for a 15 or 20 year loan” said Powell.

Repayment term: If you have designs on selling your home in a few years, it’s a smart idea to avoid a pool loan with a longer repayment period. A home with a pool may be worth slightly more, but it may only appeal to a smaller set of purchasers because not everyone wants a pool in their backyard.

If you’re already in your dream home and not going anywhere you’ll need to think about the long-term costs of owning and managing a pool. Maintaining a pool is costly. You’ll need to budget for pool cleaning equipment, lighting and heating, a pool cover, and other routine maintenance things in addition to the substantial upfront building costs.

Should I pay for my pool in cash?

If you have the means, another option to explore is purchasing your new swimming pool with cash. This will save you money in the long run by avoiding the need to pay additional interest. Think about what you’d do with this money. You don’t want to deplete your emergency fund, so compare the interest rate on a swimming pool loan to the returns you’d earn from investing your money instead.

If you don’t have all of the money you’ll need to buy a pool, you’ll want to look into financing the rest with some form of loan. Even if you have the cash to pay for your swimming pool outright, you may not want to leave yourself cash poor to buy a swimming pool.

What is the best loan for a pool? What are the most often asked questions concerning pool financing?

There isn’t any one perfect answer for which type loan to get for a pool. If you need a large loan and have strong credit, a personal loan may be a decent option, but if you want the lowest interest rate and don’t mind putting your house up as collateral, a home equity loan or HELOC traditionally has a much lower interest rate.

For a pool loan, what credit score is required?

People with credit scores as low as 640 may qualify for a pool loan. “Consumers should keep in mind that the lower their credit score, the higher their interest rate will normally be. They will also normally be approved for smaller loan amounts than buyers with optimum credit.” said Powell.

What is the duration of a typical pool loan?

You may normally target the amount of time it takes to repay a personal loan or a home equity loan with a personal loan or a home equity loan. Typically, this will be between two and ten years. The longer the loan, the cheaper your monthly payment will be, but you’ll pay more interest in the long run. With a HELOC, you’ll typically be allowed to draw from your credit line for ten years before repaying the loan over 15 to 20 years.

Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email your story idea.

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The One – “World’s Most Expensive Home” Has 5 Pools

Bel Air home has gone into receivership and set to sell for far below original $500M asking price



"The One" is one of the largest custom luxury homes in the world and has 6 swimming pools.

“The One” – an extravagant luxury mansion – has been placed into receivership in order to pay off a startling amount of debt. The concept house was owned by developer Nile Niami, whose dream of constructing “The One,” a massive spec mansion on a five-acre Bel-Air parcel, has been buried beneath $165 million in defaulted loans and debts. The property will be sold to the highest bidder for a price that will almost certainly be significantly less than Niami’s 2017 fantasy ask of $500 million.

Twenty bedrooms, a running track, four bowling alleys, a nightclub, and two wine cellars comprise the ‘world’s most costly residence’.

British YouTube celebrity Producer Michael was granted access to the property in order to give the public its first glimpse of what is often regarded as one of the most, if not the most expensive private residence in the world.

Fast Facts About “The One” – Bel Air Mega Mansion

The Paul McClean-designed mega-mansion (which includes 42 bathrooms, 21 bedrooms, a 5,500-square-foot master suite, 5 pools, a 30-car garage with two car-display turntables, a moat, a 400-foot jogging track, and 360-degree views of Los Angeles) has been placed into receivership by Los Angeles County Superior Court and will be put on the market at a deep discount as soon as its court-appointed caretaker, Ted Lanes of Lansing takes receivership.

Even the servants quarters has its own swimming pool with easy access to the tennis courts. Photo Credit – Producer Michael

Even Niami admitted that building a home with 5 luxury pools (one of them an indoor pool) was probably overkill. In an interview with Curbed, he said “All those pools are probably not going to get very much use at all. “I think whoever is buying this house is going to have 10 other houses. Nobody buys a 100,000-square-foot house as their principal residence to use every day.”

Among the lenders demanding repayment regardless of how lavish Niami’s personal Xanadu was is Los Angeles billionaire Don Hankey of Hankey Capital, which loaned Niami over $115 million and slapped him with a default notice in March. Yogi Securities Holdings, which contributed over $36 million to “The One”, as well as Inferno Realty and Maybach Corporation Holdings, which each contributed $7 million. According to CNBC, the project is also approximately $1 million in debt to companies involved in air conditioning, concrete, and tool manufacturing.

Lenders of “The One” hope they will recoup their investment on the mansion. Photo Credit – Producer Michael

Lanes is not taking ownership of the property — which, for the record, is only the third largest in the United States. Oheka Castle in New York (109,000 square feet) holds the top spot and then Winterthur in Delaware (96,000 square feet). He has no interest whatsoever in taking on the onerous debt associated with the property. Rather than that, Lanes must now obtain the appropriate construction permit to complete construction and obtain a certificate of occupancy, after which he will sell the property to repay creditors and contractors.

The construction costs for the home accumulated over time. Niami gave GQ his first public interview on the property six years ago in 2015, admitting he intended to put the home on the market for $500 million once the estate was completed.

The One - Paul McClean Designed Mega Mansion Has Gone Into Receivership

Like many other stately homes, “The One” has likely enough amenities such as a library, a 30-seat home theater, a four-lane bowling alley, a gym, a spa, and a chef’s kitchen — all of which are the hallmarks of custom luxury homes. However, buyers are rarely exposed to such elaborate — and quirky — amenities as a butterfly installation, a beauty salon, a cigar room, a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, a 200-person capacity philanthropy wing, and “floating pods” overlooking the city. Niami did show some constraint in nixing plans for a candy room, a frozen room, and the jellyfish tank walls he was planning.

Photo Credit: Producer Michael

The exterior of the mansion is spectacularly lavish, with a 50-car garage and a 10,000-square-foot sky deck with a putting green with 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel mountains. According to Architectural Digest, the mansion is ringed on three sides by a moat and features a 400-foot-long jogging track that appears to float above Los Angeles.

"The One" a $500 million dollar mansion with 5 swimming pools has gone into receivership.
With 5 custom luxury pools, “The One” is one of the most expensive mansions in the world. Photo Credit: Producer Michael

Niami purchased three ranches in 2012 for $28 million from “Space Invaders” heiress Rita Kogan and rolled them into a singular larger estate that is “The One”. According to Architectural Digest, it took 600 employees eight years to construct this enormous custom luxury home.

It is unknown at this time how much “The One” will finally sell for or when it will come to market. Although the house was not yet on the market earlier this year, it has already been featured by various social media personalities. Take a guided tour inside this incredible home. It has to be seen to be believed.

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Mike Farley Makes Timelapse Pool Videos That Are Beyond Satisfying



Time Lapse Pool Construction Video Is So Satisfying

One of the best things about using time lapse video photography is the way it quickly takes you through the entire life cycle of a project within minutes. The technique has become particularly popular with pool designers who are leveraging the technology to score huge wins on social media.

Mike Farley, CPB, ASLA of Farley Pool Designs in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area has used his prowess of creating compelling videos to help him grow his social media audience and consequently, his business.

Mike Farley has been featured in numerous TV shows such as HGTV’s Cool Pools and Ultimate Pools. Photo Credit: Claffey Pools

Farley is the co-founder of the Million Dollar Pool Challenge along with Reid Schindler and publisher of over 100 articles for Watershapes. Often one of the most popular design instructors at International and Regional Pool shows, Farley has gotten his video production game down to a science.

This particular time lapse is the perfect run time of about 12 minutes, but the immense satisfaction one gets at seeing this beautiful vessel come to life is a payoff that’s totally worth watching from beginning to end.

Claffey Pools are the builders behind this backyard gem with Brad Land (Allscapes, Inc.) and LaWanna Wood (LaWanna Wood Designs) contributing on the project as well.

Pool Features:

Large swimming pool, splash pad, Porcelain Decks, long 45′ Dolphin slide, two outdoor cabanas with moving glass wall systems – one with an outdoor kitchen and one for entertainment.

As far as pool build videos go, this one is definitely up there with some of the others I’ve watched that magnetically grab your attention during the wee hours of the morning.

I for one am used to stumbling upon the occasional video while scrolling through my timeline and getting sucked into the process. It’s definitely enjoyable watching how these pools are built but few folks build them quite like Claffey Pools. Don’t take my word though, check out the video and watch them do what they do best.

Learn More About This Project

Pool Chasers did a fantastic segment with Mike Farley about the construction of this particular build that you should definitely check out as well.

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Leveling Your Backyard for a Pool



Leveling Your Backyard for a Pool

A swimming pool enables you to cool down in the heat of summer. Thus, swimming pools serve as excellent sources of relaxation and fun. Even so, very few people talk about the hustle involved in constructing this spectacular feature. The first thing to do before you proceed with pool installation is leveling your backyard. Unquestionably, you have to create an even and strong foundation for your pool. So, it is essential to level your backyard for the pool.

Leveling the ground for a pool in your backyard involves several steps.

Leveling your backyard for a pool can take several days. The time often varies depending on the complexity of your landscape. Contrary to popular belief, leveling your backyard for a pool is not very hard. Even a beginner can complete this process. Let’s look at how to level the ground for your pool.

First things first…

Before you start leveling your backyard for your pool, it is crucial to understand some things. First, always read the pool’s manufacturer’s guidelines. Also, keep in mind that you are likely to destroy the grass underneath the ground through pool installation. If you don’t have any knowledge or experience in conducting this process, always hire a professional.

Tips for Leveling your backyard for a Pool

  • To save on time, level an area that is not too raised.
  • The area you plan to level should not be muddy or have loose soil. Generally, it would be best if you worked on firm and steady ground.
  • Do not level spaces that have many trees, underground cables, and septic lines.

A detailed procedure about leveling your backyard for a pool

Step one: Choose an ideal location and get rid of all large debris around the area

The first thing to do would be to select a suitable area. Typically, the site you choose to level should be flat and far from underground cables, among any other obstacles. The soil around the area should also be firmly packed on the ground. After selecting a suitable location, clean the area. Get rid of any large dirt particles and stones from the site. Doing this will make the leveling process much easier. Additionally, remove all plants around the area using a shovel or tarp. Finally, dispose of the dirt in a proper place far from the worksite.

Step two: Place planks on the site 

Use planks to mark the specific areas you need to dig. Start placing the planks from the center of the site towards the outermost edge. These planks will guide you in all the areas that are not even.

Step three: Start digging

Now that you know where the ground is not even, start digging. Note that you have to dig strategically to ensure the ground becomes level. Use a shovel to even out all the raised parts of the ground. Before you start digging the ground, it would be best to identify the deepest part of the ground. This section will determine the standard height of the ground. Avoid adding soil to deep areas since it won’t deliver the best results. Digging to level the ground is often tedious and consumes a lot of time. So, at this stage, a lot of patience would help.

Step four: Continue until the ground becomes level

Dig across the area to ensure the ground is even. As you do this, move the planks to get a clear direction on where you need to continue digging. At the end of the entire process, the ground should be completely even across all sections.

Step five: Remove any obstacles

After you achieve a level ground, get rid of any large particles, stones, and rocks in the area. Use a rake for this. Once the area is spotless, spray water across the surface to make the soil moist. Afterward, compress the moist surface using a rolling tamper. At times, the pool instruction manual may require you to even out the area using sand after compressing. So, before you do this, confirm with the manual.

Step six: Contact landscaping or pool professional

Once your ground is level on all sections, consider hiring a professional for pool installation. Alternatively, you can choose to follow all the instructions indicated in the aboveground pool manual. Before installing the pool, ensure you have some background knowledge or experience. If you don’t, seek professional help from a pool expert.

Final thoughts

Leveling your backyard for a pool is pretty challenging. It can take days before you complete this process. Thus, it would be much easier to employ a dependable professional to level the ground for you. Besides, they will help you check whether the surface is level before you install the aboveground pool. Nevertheless, if you decide to level the yard yourself, ensure you follow all the detailed steps outlined in this article.

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