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Communal pools and amenities

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For most property searches, access to a pool is a must.

If you’re buying on a development then chances are you’ll need to consider a communal pool, but aside from how inviting the water looks, what else should you be looking out for?

Here’s a few pointers on what questions you should be asking the estate agents and some of the more practical points to consider...

Video transcript

Jonnie Irwin: Well, looks beautiful, doesn't it? Most of us want access to a swimming pool when we buy a holiday home be it your our own private pool - lucky you- or if you're in an urbanisation or a complex like this, a decent public pool. Now this one is big. It's got nice gardens around it and it's even got a child friendly pool which suggests that it's going to be full of screaming, happy kids all day long. So if you want a quiet pool, maybe this isn't for you. But first and foremost I want you to consider how much it costs.

Jonnie Irwin: Communal fees -now many people see the swimming pool and think "that's great", and just as an aside, they might ask the question of what the communal fees are. The estate agent should know that and be able to tell you straightaway. Now you can budget anything from £30 to £150 per month, sometimes even more if there are facilities.

Jonnie Irwin: Now this complex where I'm at has a big pool as you can see. You've also got gardening. All that takes maintenance, plus you've got an elevator. Now they're not cheap to run, repair and service. Amazingly the service charge here is only 33 pounds a month, bargain. One of the reasons why it's so small is there's quite a few apartments that pay in to these parts, paying that money, month in and month out.

Jonnie Irwin: But then you have to consider if there's loads of apartments paying into these parts, then guess what? There's loads of people using the pool. Now I think they've got the balance just right here. It shouldn't be overcrowded.

Jonnie Irwin: But another thing I want you to think about is what it's going to be like at different times of the year because they can shut pools out of season, but also at different times of day. You might have all the space in the world around the pool, but come sometime in the afternoon ,everybody is going to be in the dark. See what happened there? Went all dark, didn't it?

Jonnie Irwin: Now that's when you suddenly start seeing loads of sunbeds in the corner stacked up, everybody trying to find that last bit of afternoon sun. And speaking of afternoon sun, also consider that some complexes shut the pools at siesta time. It's become a relatively new thing, but a lot of the locals who enjoy the siesta have started to complain about all the noise from the swimming pools. They shut the pools, some of them, between 2 and 5 PM.

New Speaker: So in summary, ask the questions. Is the pool open all year round? If not, when do they close it? Does the pool shut in the afternoon?" And most importantly, "How much is the service charge and community fees, and how many people are paying into them?" If you're happy with all that then dive on in.