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Thread: How much to put in escrow?

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    How much to put in escrow?

    Okay, after getting advice from this forum, my husband and I are going to have our pool inspected without completely opening the pool, but then will ask the sellers of our house to put some money in escrow in case their are any problems that arise once the pool is completely open. Here is what the inspection will consist of:

    His method is to take off the cover a section at a time (not to remove the whole thing) and examine the pool wall for evidence of any degradation. He disassembles the filter and examines it and dry runs the pumps for a brief period. He said that unless a pool had been closed up for more than a few months he has always been able to tell if there is a problem with the pool wall.

    Can anyone provide any advice as to how much we should ask the sellers to put in escrow in case there are issues? I'm not sure what might still be an issue that wasn't checked in the inspection.

    Thanks for all your help! It's been invaluable so far.

    Kelley
    Kelleyaynn
    21,000 gallon (+ or -) in-ground plaster pool with Nautilus DE filter, 1 hp pump, and Zodiac G4 automatic vacuum.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    Why not just open the pool and do a full inspection?
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    Kelley, been there, done that. The house we bought came with our pool, and I couldn't find anyone to do a thorough inspection. Hence the reason why I added pool inspections as part of my home inspection tool belt.

    Here's the deal. It's going to be very difficult for a pool inspector to get a full idea of the condition of the pool unless it's up and running. And, if this inspector takes the cover off to inspect the walls, what if the pool water looks like mine after a winter closed up (not clear at all)? He'd have a hard time.

    If you have trouble getting the sellers to put money in escrow for any issues that might arise, I HIGHLY suggest that you make sure this pool inspector has a good E&O (errors and omissions) insurance policy in place. This is an inspector's safety net....we're all human, and we miss things from time to time. If I provide the service of an inspection, and I miss something that results in a high-dollar repair, then I'm on the hook for my deductible, and the policy takes care of the rest.

    If he can't provide you with an E&O declaration, then he's just trying to collect some money.
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Why not just open the pool and do a full inspection?
    For various reasons, I can't.
    Kelleyaynn
    21,000 gallon (+ or -) in-ground plaster pool with Nautilus DE filter, 1 hp pump, and Zodiac G4 automatic vacuum.

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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelleyaynn
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Why not just open the pool and do a full inspection?
    For various reasons, I can't.
    I'd demand it. It's april, no damage is going to be incurred by any weather at this point. How bad do they want to sell the house and how bad do you want it?
    If they wont just open the pool at this point in the year, Id' be wondering whats wrong with it. But then again i'm a suspicious person and assume most people are up to no good until proven wrong, but thats just me
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406

    Id' be wondering whats wrong with it. But then again i'm a suspicious person and assume most people are up to no good until proven wrong, but thats just me
    Ditto!
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    How much to put in escrow?

    Is this a short sale or repo purchase from bank?
    I could see if it's one of the above but If not then I would demand they open the pool for inspection or threaten to walk away from the sale, if a normal sale they will open it
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    I appreciate that the best option is to completely open the pool. However, the owners no longer live at the house, and they are concerned (for no good reason as far as I'm concerned) about liability issues should they open the pool and then just put the safety cover back on. Our agent is looking into whether or not we can legally expect them to open the pool. We really want the house. We weren't looking for a pool, but this house happens to have one and we are fine with that. So we are trying to figure out alternatives that will protect us but still work with the constraints we are given.
    Kelleyaynn
    21,000 gallon (+ or -) in-ground plaster pool with Nautilus DE filter, 1 hp pump, and Zodiac G4 automatic vacuum.

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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    At this point, I'd say you go ahead and sign up Charlie with Charlie's Pool/Spas, and verify that he can provide you a binding contract, stipulating what he will provide you, and what recourse you have in case something go wrong. See above post about E&O policies.

    Judging from the context here, you're already under contract with the sellers, inspection period is over, and they're being difficult.
    Kansas City, MO
    13500 gallon Foxx vinyl sport pool--inground (1988)
    Cristal-Flo sand filter
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    Quote Originally Posted by gkruske
    Judging from the context here, you're already under contract with the sellers, inspection period is over, and they're being difficult.
    I think that now that they have moved, they don't want to spend the money for someone else to open the pool, or take the time to do it themselves. If we pay, they would let us open the pool, have it inspected, then fully close it again, which is ridiculous. So we're trying to see what our options are.
    Kelleyaynn
    21,000 gallon (+ or -) in-ground plaster pool with Nautilus DE filter, 1 hp pump, and Zodiac G4 automatic vacuum.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    It would be worth it to pay for opening, inspectiing and then reclosing it if you're serious about the house. If you do that you'll have peace of mind about the pool as well as a head start for when you get in it and want to open it for real.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelleyaynn
    However, the owners no longer live at the house, and they are concerned (for no good reason as far as I'm concerned) about liability issues should they open the pool and then just put the safety cover back on.
    I really can't see any difference between a closed pool with the safety cover on, and an open pool with the safety cover on. Either way, the pool has a safety cover over it. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm reading this incorrectly.
    16x28 Roman, 55000 litres, salt water, Zodiac Duoclear 130 (mineral cartridge removed!!!), inground, vinyl liner
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  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcy

    I really can't see any difference between a closed pool with the safety cover on, and an open pool with the safety cover on. Either way, the pool has a safety cover over it. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm reading this incorrectly.
    Exactly what I've been saying.
    Kelleyaynn
    21,000 gallon (+ or -) in-ground plaster pool with Nautilus DE filter, 1 hp pump, and Zodiac G4 automatic vacuum.

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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    I would be led to believe that something might be wrong with the pool and they don't want it brought out but then again even if there is they don't have to fix it or give you money to fix it. They just risk losing the sale to you but if you really want the house maybe it's worth it to come out of pocket on your end.
    14,000 gallon IG plaster pool, Cartridge Filter

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    If they know something is wrong ... are they not require to disclose that? (although I guess this varies state to state)

    If it is not disclosed and somehow you can prove the seller knew about the problem beforehand, they could be held liable for the repair costs and your attorney fees. (Again, may vary state to state)

    I do not get their unwillingness to have the pooled "opened" and remain covered.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  16. Back To Top    #16

    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    For fifty bucks, I know someone who knows someone that'll open it up in the middle of the night!

    Seriously though, I'm with everyone else. If they don't want to open it for a full inspection, they're either not serious about selling the place, or they're hiding something. Guilty until proven innocent!

    As stated previously, the safety cover can definitely be put back on after inspection with the pool open. Ergo, the Sellers liability remains the same.

    Try not to let your feelings about the house be your final decision. Pool repairs can add up to some serious cash real quick! If you're anything like us during the last three houses we bought, we're dead broke after we walk out of closing. I definitely wouldn't want to walk into a new place with a $20,000 repair!

    As to your original question... Dunno how much you should ask them to put in escrow... Pool repairs can be from a 2 dollar o-ring, up to astronomical amounts of dollars!

    Rob B
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    It is likely they don't want to have to pay a pool service to keep the pool clean once it is opened in case your deal falls through.

    If the sale of the house is dependent on the results on an inspection, I would argue that they have to make all areas of the property available to inspect. That would be like them saying they bricked up the basement and you can inspect it only if you pay to put in a door to give the inspector access.

    If you are still in the negotiating stage you can ask for just about anything and they can counter or refuse. It all boils down to what are you willing to settle for. How much cash/credit would you have available if there were a serious issue with the pool? Could you afford a $1000 repair, a $5000 repair? What $ amount would be a deal breaker for you? Start higher than that number and use it as your bottom line.
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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    My opinion is to get the pool fully open and operational. That's the only way to be sure that any issues are discovered. It really is not that big of a deal to open a pool.

    I would do a bucket test to check for water loss, and I would want to make sure that all equipment is in good working condition. You can check the water chemistry, which will give you a good idea of how well the pool was maintained.

    Is there any expensive equipment such as a heater, salt chlorinator, automatic vacuum etc?

    Are there any construction or service records available?

    Can you find out whom they used for construction and service and request copies of all records?

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: How much to put in escrow?

    IMHO if they were willing to put enough money in escrow I'd actually prefer that to a full inspection. Get the abbreviated inspection and get the escrow money. Enough escrow money will enable you to fix any problem whereas even a good inspection could miss something. As you originally asked the key is figuring out how much be put in escrow. It'd be so hard to figure because pool values vary so much. I'd talk to a few pool installers and ask them to estimate how much it would cost if you had to replace the entire pool. That's what I'd ask for be put in escrow. It's the worse case scenario and you'd hopefully never use that much but it's not at all inconceivable that there is some serious damage and the pool would need to be replaced (or maybe filled in if you prefer....blasphemy!!)
    20K gal, vinyl, 3/4 HP pump, Hayward sand filter

  20. Back To Top    #20

    How much to put in escrow?

    Problem is a new pool could easily top 30k + $$$ I doubt the seller would do that?
    One of our Neighbors paid ~35k for their new pool but I will say its very nice, even has the fiber optics built into the shell, it's wicked at night
    18' x 33' Aqua leader AGP (~19k gal) w/hayward swimpro voyager cartridge filter and 2hp hayward pump.
    8 Gal LQ, hayward heater.

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