I had a pool growing up and am somewhat familiar with the level of effort required once it is in operation.
I did have a cheap above ground pool at my last place but got a saltwater system and just put in water and salt and called it good. It ran great for 3 years with very minimal effort other than draining it, refilling it, and adding more salt at the beginning of the season.
I Just purchased a home that has a pool. It was a foreclosure that sat vacant for approximately 2 years so to say that the pool needs attention is an understatement. Here is what it looked like when I moved in.
I have since gotten the wood removed and am in the process of getting all the plastic off the top. I get the large pieces then turn on the pump and let the skimmer pull the small pieces. The next day there are more large pieces that have floated up from the bottom. I'd like to just drain it, scrub it, and refill it but am concerned about it popping out of the ground when it is empty. I have read a couple threads here on the subject and plan to dig a couple holes around it to check the water table. I do have a pond about 50 yards from the pool that is holding water so I think I may have a valid concern.
As I look at the pump and filter setup there is only one input into the pump. The pool I grew up with had two inputs, both with valves, so you could choose to pull from the skimmer, the drain at the deep end, or both. Seeing only one input I do not have that choice with this one. Since I cannot see the bottom of the deep end I am assuming that I have a pickup there, but maybe not.
As an aside at least someone is enjoying it now This is a banded water snake and was not harmed. He got in and apparently could not get out on his own so I put a 4x4 in, resting it on the edge of the pool and a step, making a ramp and haven't seen him it 2 days.