I was recently talking to someone that was thinking about moving to Colosse, the southern city in which I was raised. I warned him about the heat and the hurricanes and all manner of things, but he would not be deterred. Which I think is great. I loved Colosse and it still hurts to have left it sometimes.
I gave him a piece of advice when looking for a home that I think a lot of people from colder climates don’t always appreciate: If you’re looking at buying a house in the places with hot climates, make sure that you know the score on the swimming pool situation. I didn’t realize until I moved to Deseret that there were places that swimming pools weren’t de facto family civic centers.
I was raised in a neighborhood with a free swimming pool with no membership required. Other neighborhoods had annual pool fees, which were invariably worth it if you had kids. Others, though, had waiting lists. Those are deadly. Imagine your kid being excluded from playing with his friends because they all want to go to the pool and your kid can’t. And you can’t mitigate this by having a swimming pool in the back yard. Not unless you have a high dive*, a low-dive, a 20ft “deep end”**, and room for fifty or so.
The pool in the neighborhood that I was raised and in neighborhoods surrounding it was more than just a place that you could go and swim. It was, as mentioned above, a civic center of sorts. It was free babysitting. A place for kids to go, expend all their energy, and then come home. By and large, over the summer the pool took school’s place as the most important place in my life outside the home… and I wasn’t even a swimmer-type person the way that my wife was when she was younger.
It’s unfortunate that a lot of people from colder climates where pools are not so universal (because you can only swim in them a couple months of the year) don’t realize the importance of the swimming pool and find out too late that they’ve landed somewhere where their kid can’t go to the pool every day.
* - High dives were mostly taken out of public pools a couple decades ago, which just makes me angry. Insurance and lawsuits and all that. I remember how excited I was when I found a place with a high dive in Deseret. Man that was a thrill. A greater thrill at 28 than I think it was at 12.
** - I hear deep-ends are insurancially problematic as well. More’s the tragedy on that.