In a previous article we talked about things to think about before acquiring a new pool, fundamental aspects about maintenance and problem solving and finally, how to secure local help when you need it.
Since the last article the global economy has made life even more uncertain for many and ex-pats will continue to be in different situations the world over. Of course it’s no better back home in the UK and for many living abroad remains much the better option - and that’s without comparing the weather!!
However, the economic uncertainty might not mean delaying a new pool or closing down an existing pool but it will mean spending your pool and leisure budget wisely. Now is not the time to waste money and worse, get a poor deal from unqualified, or unscrupulous, elements in the industry.
Investing a little in impartial advice and support should save you money, frustration and time in the long run.
In this article we set out 5 specific tips for ex-pats thinking about building a new pool abroad.
Building a New Pool Abroad
Unsurprisingly Building (as well as buying) abroad is not the same as it is in the UK. The best advice is to do your homework before you build.
It’s easy advice to give, however, it is actually quite easy to follow too.
The UK Foreign Office recognises that buying and building abroad are major risks areas for people moving overseas and they issue 4 main points which they market with the slogan ‘Buy with CARE’. CARE spells out each of those 4 points!
C is for caution, A is for advice, R is research and E is for evaluate before you proceed.
For further information including access to specific Embassy and High commission web sites go to http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/living-overseas/buying-a-property/
As a minimum, your Research should provide you with a clear understanding of 5 things:
1. The planning and building permissions and regulations in the area, not just the country, where you are going to build.
For example, in Spain, the ‘Licencia de Obra Mayor’ (Major Work Licence), must be granted by the town hall planning department (Urbanismo) at a cost of
around 5% of the total estimated cost – payable to the town hall.
2. Any health and safety Regulations that relate to swimming pool use where you are going to build.
For example, in France, in-ground pools require a combination of barriers, alarms and covers to protect against child accidents.
3. The property, water and energy rates and additional taxes applicable where you are going to build.
For example in Queensland, Australia, Pool owners will receive a $250 rebate for either installing an energy efficient pump or connecting to an off peak tariff.
4. The costs of the build and ongoing maintenance where you are going to build.
These are subject to many variables but local trade rates will be the most influential.
5. The likely impact of your investment on the value of your property.
Of course this is subject to the local as well as the global economy!
This knowledge will enable you to properly Evaluate before making your final decision.
Some very useful advice that is applicable to both buying and building is found at http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2018938/Ten-tips-buying-property-abroad-safely.html
The ‘devil is in the detail when it comes to building and it is not feasible to over generalise.
Ongoing Help and Reassurance
One option for accessing independent advice is a web service that offers a fee paying membership and is independent from the sale of products or services. Members benefit from Maintenance Schedules, Problem Solving Guides and Frequently Asked but for the commissioning a new build the access to specific email advice may be the greatest benefit.
Membership with one service avoids searching the internet for many and varied solutions. Such a service would provide the pool owner in a foreign country with the answer or a checklist of questions to ask a local trader – to ensure they are getting the right service at the right price.Having trustworthy and reliable advice and problem solving support will hopefully complete your pool owning experience. ‘Help with my pool.com’ is an independent and impartial service. In the absence of sales or advertisement there is a small membership fee that also provides for email access to a professional with a reply within 24 hours.
In our next article we will explore opening up the pool and getting it ready for use.
Check out http://www.helpwithmypool.com/ to gain help with building, buying and maintaining your pool.
Enjoy life abroad and by the pool!
(Image:"20110803-IMG_1954" by Photo_Robson, via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.)