I remember the first home that I listed which had an inground swimming pool. Customer after customer that viewed the property said, “We love the house but how much would it cost to have the pool filled in?” After a few years I became an expert in pool filling and could easily cite the benefits of using clean fill versus masonry material. Now it’s the complete opposite; I will be showing a house and the potential buyers turn to me and say “We love the home, but show us where on this property we could build a pool.” With most sleep away camps closed last year and the family home becoming the new “camp site,” having a pool became “de rigueur.” I’ve also seen how grandparents intuitively realize that a pool and barbecue gracing their back property beckons all the grandchildren to the old homestead.
And so we have the following new developments happening in our area.
Pools all around North Jersey are being cleaned, chlorinated and opened this week in what may seem like an overly ambitious attempt at jump starting the summer, as the average temperature remains in the low 60s. So why, might you ask, are all these pools being opened even now when we are so far away from the actual pool season? The answer, oddly enough, seems to track quite nicely with the same challenges facing the housing market, namely—shortages in housing stock and shortages in pool companies.
My son has a pool in his backyard in Bergenfield and when we called our pool guy (working for us for eight years) last week he said, “Either I could open the pool for you now, or you will have to wait until mid-June before I can schedule you. There are just so many new customers lining up to have their pools opened.”
So many families built pools on their properties during the pandemic that there aren’t enough pool maintenance companies to keep them all running properly. Articles abound at the coming chlorine shortage as manufacturers are not prepared to handle the increased demand for this critical pool cleaner ingredient. Wait until you try ordering a new robot!
This pandemic has upended long held norms about how we use and view the houses we live in. It’s no longer in vogue to see your home in strictly “domesticated” terms. Our homes have transformed into something significantly more dynamic than that. The fun (plus anxiety) of being in the real estate business and witnessing so many changes this past year has been head spinning. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC located at 1401 Palisade Ave, Teaneck. [email protected] 201 826 8809.