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      Keeping your head afloat when buying a pool

      It cools you off during the dog days of summer and can serve as the go-to-spot for family fun, but a pool can be a lot of work, too.

      In this week's Angie's List report, what you should know about pools before taking the plunge.

      In-ground pools can cost between $20,000 and $70,000 and above ground is usually between $1,000 and $5,000.

      Ask yourself, "what will it cost versus what will I get out of it?"

      You should also factor in maintenance. Regular tasks include vacuuming the pool floor, balancing chemicals and checking the pump.

      Weekly care plus opening and closing a pool can run about $2,000.

      "In the heat of the summer a pool might sound like a fantastic idea, but the reality is unless you are the only house in your neighborhood that doesn't have a pool you should skip it. Pools tend to scare off potential buyers of your house and you usually only get about 50 cents on the dollar return on investment."

      Before building a pool, Angie's List says you should contact your local building department and/or homeowner's association for a complete list of rules, regulations and required permits.