My wife and I are in contract for our first home in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. It's a foreclosure with an in-ground pool. We really love the house but we've become increasingly concerned about the pool; specifically whether it's structurally sound and operational. When we first looked at the house, we thought if there was something wrong with the pool that it would be simple and cheap to take it out. We subsequently discovered that removal is quite expensive and has implications on future sales of the house.
(The pictures below are hyper-linked to Picasa. There you can click the magnifying glass on the top-right of the image in order to zoom into the original photo detail.)
- 30+ years old
- 13,000 gallons
- In-ground gunite? (I'm not really sure)
- Pump model is Hayward (or Emerson) R63CXDPY-233
- Appears to be solar heated. There are black panels on the roof with pipes leading to pump.
- The pool has significant horizontal cracking along the entire waterline of the pool. We're worried it's not structurally sound.
- From what we've learned on this forum and elsewhere, this cracking is a result of mechanical separation between the pool shell and the coping causing fractures in the bond beam.
- The pool has been drained recently and may not have been done in safe way. We're not sure why it was drained. We've seen 4 other foreclosures with pools and only this one was drained. We're worried it might have operational issues.
- Does anybody have any ideas what kind repairs might be needed for this pool and a guesstimate of the costs?
- Has anybody recently gotten a pool completely removed(so that the ground can be built on)? What was the process like and how expensive was it?
- We have a pool inspector coming out but can he do much of an inspection on an empty pool?
- And the big question: Given the age of the pool and everything we don't know about it (and everything we do), should we consider walking away from this purchase even though we love the house.?
Our inspection window is very narrow so any advice or thoughts at all would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance for the help.