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Buyer beware: What to look for when buying a house with a pool

March 7, 2018

house with a pool

A POOL can be a real family crowd pleaser, but one industry expert has revealed some warning signs to look out for when considering buying a property with a pool.
Pool removal specialist Adam Martelletti said that when it comes to buying a house with a pool things might not be as they seem.
“There are many easy ways to cover up the true state of a pool’s condition,” he said.

THE FEATURE THAT ADDS THE LEAST VALUE TO YOUR HOME
“Like most things, swimming pools have a use-by date, and there comes a time when they either need some serious work or they reach the end of their life span and need to be removed.
“Often the cost of repairs and refurbishment will outweigh the cost of removal, so it’s worth taking some time to ask questions and to even seek expert advice when purchasing a home with a pool, if you have any doubts. 1
Here’s some of Mr Martelletti’s top tips of what to look out for if buying a house with a pool:

Water Leaks

“When the water level sits just at the base of the filter box and generally doesn’t drop any further than that, the leak will be in the pipes or filter equipment,” he said.
“If the water level drops below the filter box it generally means there is a leak in the pool shell itself.
“This can be caused by a number of things and can be a very costly fix.
“Paving or concrete surroundings have sunk, moved or cracked.
“This is due to the water washing the subsurface from underneath.
“Take a look around the pool filter and pump to see if there is any water or damp areas, this can be a minor thing from cracked rubber seal to a damaged pump.
“It is easy to top up water levels for a home open or final inspection, so it pays to keep an eye on the water level to see if it drops over a short period of time.
“If you have concerns pay someone to do a pressure and leak test — this should cost around $300.”
Surfaces

“With fibreglass pools, small and large bubbles on the surface mean water is getting behind the fibreglass coat and retaining water which will eventually develop a leak,” he said.
“This can only be repaired by a full refurbishment.
“Faded and worn surfaces should also be a red flag, and a wall bulge is too.
“It’s caused when the earth around the pool has collapsed due to movement of the shell.
“This could be from someone draining the water, a water leak, or ground pressure.
“Black spots in a fibreglass pool are near impossible to remove.
“There are chemicals that will cover it up for a short period of time but it will often return and will create tiny pin prick holes in the surface which will then require a refurbishment.
“If the home you’re considering buying has a concrete pool, look out for cracks in the concrete, missing or chipped render, missing tiles, or faded and worn surfaces.
“If it’s a liner pool you’re looking at, make sure the liner isn’t coming away from the edge of the pool ant that there aren’t any rubber patches, which could indicate possible leaks.”
Equipment “A noisy pump while running, leaky seals, dirty chlorinator cell, water pooling around equipment and pool lights are all worth checking out in a prospective pool,” he said.
“And another great way to look at the maintenance of an older pool is to jump on Google maps and look at the image to see if it has been neglected in the past — a green pool is a sure sign of neglect.
“Before purchasing a property with a pool, unless it’s brand new, my advice would be to have a professional check it out.
“And if you’re not keen on the pool, if it looks like it’s been neglected or is past its use-by date, get a price on the removal of the pool before you make your offer.”
Originally published as Should you buy a house with a pool?

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