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Thread: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

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    Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Hello All,

    I have been reading through these forums for the past week but wanted to get a handle on pool ownership for myself. I know this is a extremely vague request but I'm a bit scared of buying this house and then regretting doing so. The house is perfect but it's pool may make me think otherwise.
    Here's the scenario.
    My parents in the UK have a pool and I was the pool boy so I know all about the upkeep/chemical costs involved. This, I am not worried about. What did concern me was the filter running cost and heating for this state. I now live in Colorado so firstly:

    1. How long will the pool be open for. I know this depends on the price you are willing to pay somewhat but do others with a heater manage to get maximum usage for say $100 more heating costs? CO has many days of sunshine but the ground freezes. It's an inground...

    2. Are there any issues regarding water with the local area? How do you refill if you would need to drain completely for any reason? The pool is about 30ft/16ft - 7/8 foot deep. Would this be a $500 water bill when you re-open it in the spring to fill up the couple of feet you drain out?

    3. what is the temperature that will hold during the summer months without heat – including/excluding solar cover? I have heard hearsay that pool owners have had to turn their heat off due to the huge gas prices. Is this true?

    4. Do you require fencing around the pool in this state (CO) per code? Home owners insurance requires this (Farmers) and the pool does not presently have this.

    This is the response I got from the present owner on a few items. The condition of the pool and equipment seems to be very good.
    Pool – Liner was replaced in 2001 and has a 15 yr transferable limited warranty.

    Heater was replace in 2002

    Filter – checking on date but it was in this century……….

    Winter cover is in the shed – was bought in 1996 and is in good shape. It will hold people walking on it though I wouldn't use it like a trampoline

    Summer cover – helps hold heat in. it is up in the back right corner of the yard

    Pool light is in working order

    All tools and equipment and chemicals go with the house

    I appreciate any help you can give me on this. I found a website yesterday that mentioned to heat and keep the filter running it would be around $100 - $120 extra. This is acceptable but is this figure nowhere close. I would love people to let me know what their costs are for heating and filtration and what temperature it gives them.

    great forum! I will be a regular visitor if we decide it's go. I believe I can trust you guys more than the local pool shop as they just see money in chemicals from my decision

    Regards

    Danny
    25k Inground Vinyl - 3ft to 10ft, Tagelus TA-60 Sand, Minimax 400 Heater, Save T3 autocover.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    I'll answer #4, but I live in New York State. You are saying no fence, I take it you mean no fence around the pool or the yard. If there is a fence around the yard, I would think that is OK. Also I am taking it that you are talking about an inground pool.

    In my town, for an inground pool, that is being sold without a fence there is no problem as long as the pool was built before a certain date. It's Grandfathered In. But to get House Insurance, I thought the insurance company required a fence.

    BUT, the new owners must get a CO (Certificate of Occupancy). That means that inorder to live the sold house, it is or must be brought up to code. New owners cannot use the Grandfather Clause. The new owners would have to put up a fence. In this town, it must be 4 foot high with a lockable gate. Home Insurance will require a fence, so I am sure someone will be putting up a fence very soon. I don't see how those owners have insurance without a fence.

    Your real estate agent should be pointing this out. Your real estate agent should be on your side. Ask some very pointed questions. Go so far as to go to the local Codes Office and ask questions.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Thanks for this response Hotrod.
    25k Inground Vinyl - 3ft to 10ft, Tagelus TA-60 Sand, Minimax 400 Heater, Save T3 autocover.

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Hello,
    If you buy the house, I would put a timer on the pool pump, just run it 8 hours a day. Make the real estate agent earn their money, ask about what was mentioned above.
    35000 in ground vinyl liner with cartridge filter
    Birmingham,AL

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Thanks for the response Nasty.
    This is what I have so far but as most Realtors are parasites, I would rather believe pool owners on this forum.

    If the energy bill is not something we can obtain, the questions I had were: Xcel Energy will give you a running monthly average for gas and electricity if you call and give them the address.(I called and they said an average cost over the last 12 months for this property was $154. It does not have air conditioning so this is about the same as my house. Excel said they use 540 kw/month electric, 106 therms/month gas. Not sure if this means they have not used the pool this year at all although it was sparkling and very warm but this may have just been to sell the home)

    1, What would be the rough running cost of filtration a month. Including and excluding heating That is probably tough to get a handle on other than hard chemical costs

    2. how long is the colorado season including excluding heating Typically Memorial Day (end of May) thru Labor Day (beginning of September) It is prohibitively high to heat a pool here in the winter.

    3. Are there any issues regarding water with the local area? How do you refill if you would need to drain completely for any reason? Not that I have heard, you would just have to pay for the water. On our pool, the contractor drains 50-70% of the water before covering it.

    4. Do you require fencing around the pool in this state? Home owners insurance requires this (Farmers) I don’t know. I would guess that it is an insurance company rule to protect themselves against accidental drownings in what is considered an “attractive nuisance.”

    5. what is the temperature that will hold during the summer months without heat – including/excluding solar cover? I would guess in the 60’s F

    6.Is this a Gas or Electric pool heater. Not sure which one it has We’ll have to ask

    7. what is the cost by yourselves to close the pool down I don’t think it is very expensive to “close it down”, the expense is in the maintenance – cleaning, heating, chemicals, etc
    25k Inground Vinyl - 3ft to 10ft, Tagelus TA-60 Sand, Minimax 400 Heater, Save T3 autocover.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy

    1. How long will the pool be open for. I know this depends on the price you are willing to pay somewhat but do others with a heater manage to get maximum usage for say $100 more heating costs? CO has many days of sunshine but the ground freezes. It's an inground...

    2. Are there any issues regarding water with the local area? How do you refill if you would need to drain completely for any reason? The pool is about 30ft/16ft - 7/8 foot deep. Would this be a $500 water bill when you re-open it in the spring to fill up the couple of feet you drain out?

    3. what is the temperature that will hold during the summer months without heat – including/excluding solar cover? I have heard hearsay that pool owners have had to turn their heat off due to the huge gas prices. Is this true?

    4. Do you require fencing around the pool in this state (CO) per code? Home owners insurance requires this (Farmers) and the pool does not presently have this.
    I'll give you my 2 cents for what its worth.

    1. Our pool freezes, Chicago winters can be brutal. I have an AG pool - I like my pool water warm, using my pool heater as necessary I maintain about 86 degrees. I usually don't need the heater in July, the solar cover does a great job maintaining the temp overnight, so in May, June and August, I would see about a $50-$75 monthly increase over a normal summer bill for our gas, depending on the monthly temps. A cooler than average summer and the bill goes up. Heaters are usually gas, there are alot of variables to how much your bill will increase, so it's hard to say.

    As for Electric, I saw another post today - that If you'll post the current ratings from the plate on the pump motor (or the model number) and the KWH rate for your utility, someone should be estimate your hourly cost of operation - (thank's John T!.) My bill goes up about $30-40 a month. But that too depends on the type of pump/filter combo you have and how much you run it. I have a 2hp 2 speed pump and run mine on low 24/7.

    2. It's not necessary to drain that much water, normally it's a few inches below the returns, so locate those to get an idea of how much? Maybe more like 30%? It's never a good idea to drain a pool entirely, depending on pool type lots of bad things can go wrong. You specified the liner was replaced in 2001, draining a vinyl lined pool too much could hurt the liner.... water prices very greatly around the country....that's a really tough one to answer. I have the highest water rates in the State of IL, here in Homer Glen, thanks to our private utility, IAW. I did a partial drain this spring, and replaced about 1/3 of my water. It was about a $20 increase on my normal bill, which is approximately $100 a month for $6,000 gallons of usage (including sewer charges and all sorts of ridiculous fees and extra charges for lost water, etc. Sorry, rant over... )

    3. Lot of variables here too, solar covers work great at retaining heat overnight and the thicker 12 ml blankets reportedly even better. They also cut down on chlorine destruction from the UV rays when the pools not used, and they cut down on water loss from evaporation. But I would say if you get full sun, the solar cover could easily help you get the water into the 80's. Outside air temp averages play a big role. If the avg temp is in the 80's, with a solar cover your water should be too. If the air temp drops overnight into the 50's obviously some of this will be lost if you don't use a cover.

    4. Our area requires it, if your yard doesn't have it the pool has to. For piece of mind, and to keep unwanted people out, it's probably a good idea. You don't say if you have kids, but just for your own protection, legal wise, I would recommend you have an extra umbrella liability policy and a fence.

    Good luck with your decision, hope this helps. If you do decide on it, at least you have TFP and you know the cost of maintaining your pool with BBB will keep your costs down.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Code is generally governed by your local municipality. If the house is inside the city limits, that would probably be the city/town. If not, it may be the county or another jurisdiction. One call to the city office should definitively answer this question- or at least direct you to who could answer. If the homeowner’s ins co requires fencing it’s a moot point- you’ll need a fence. You still need to find out what, if any, code requirements are however, so you are sure to comply with the minimum requirements. I’d hate to build a fence that satisfied the ins co only to find out the city had more stringent requirements. And, as was pointed out, codes do change over time. Realize also that you can be held liable for what happens on your property. If something happens (injury, drowning) you can be sued and not complying w/ ins company requirements could absolve them of any duty to pay on your behalf. If found liable, you would still be liable even if the ins co didn’t have to pay. If a fence is needed you may want to consider including it in any negotiations with the seller. Your agent can advise you on the different ways this can be handled.

    The cost of refilling the pool can be easily determined by contacting the water dept for rates. Take the rate times the gallons you’d be refilling, pool calc can help you figure # of gallons.

    Having rec’d the avg usage from the elec & gas co you probably have as much reliable info as you are going to be able to get regarding usage. Your usage will likely vary as you use the pool (and house) differently. You may like the pool warmer or colder, and need to run the filter longer or shorter depending on your maintenance schedule vs. theirs. You won’t get any closer to actual usage costs by asking someone else as there are even more variables involved – their pool may have a larger/smaller volume, more/less sun, more/less trees adding pollen, etc, etc. Check the current pool temp and then ask the seller if they are doing anything to create that temp- heater, solar cover, etc. That will give you an idea if you will be happy at the current usage.

    A local pool store could easily answer questions such as swimming season, avg. temps, and local customs for winterizing pools. You could even call and ask 2 or 3 different stores and compare the answers.
    20k white plaster with blue quartz, IntelliFlo VS, Quad DE 100
    1000 gal spa with natural stone waterfall
    Beach entry with 2 bubblers. Pool built Spring 2013

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    I would also suggest getting a pool store out there to see if the pool needs anything as part of your inspection process. My home inspector did not cover pools. My property has an AG pool that I intended to remove as I didn't want it. I now am enjoying it (!) but if I had it to do over again, I'd have gotten it inspected as there were a few things that I had to replace. That will give you some assurance and you can also use any issues as negotiating points.

    My pool has fencing around it, but I'm getting the whole yard fenced in addition (2 sides are already fenced). I'm getting 4' picket fence (pool code - closely spaced pickets - and 4' is all I'm allowed to have as I'm on a corner). For about 170 feet, it will cost about $2600. I have pets that I want to keep in, and a lot of young neighbor kids that I want to keep out, as well as a few 'hood dogs that like to wander into my new plantings.

    I recently had a 2-year-old wander away from her parents, get into my car in my garage and pull everything out and throw it (glasses, gps, door opener, etc). It was an unusual incident (my garage is normally closed and she escaped from her fenced yard -- thankfully, she didn't get hurt and my stuff is OK), but that was the final straw that convinced me to fence NOW.

    Sue

    ps - if you don't already have one, consider a $million umbrella policy. I've had one for years before buying this house as I prefer to be protected. It's only a few hundred per year.

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Thanks everybody for the responses. I really appreciate the honest help as this was not what I was getting from others (the friend of a friend of a friend has a pool and it's really expensive rubbish!)

    have a great weekend in yours

    danny
    25k Inground Vinyl - 3ft to 10ft, Tagelus TA-60 Sand, Minimax 400 Heater, Save T3 autocover.

  10. Back To Top    #10
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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Costs - chemicals -- I am currently using 1/3 - 1/2 bottle of bleach per day, so $0.50 per day max. I did use 1+ bottles of CYA from Walmart - don't remember price but maybe $5 or $6 each? And I used 1+ boxes of baking soda, maybe $3 max? I also used some pH Down that was here, but there are cheaper alternatives. I went through maybe 20 bottles of bleach tops to do my Baq to Chlorine conversion (at $1 each). Test kit was the most expensive item! And I bought a box of DE filter material for $12 or so.

    I did buy a nice set of stairs that I could have gone without for $200 from craigslist, a few floats and toys, a leaf rake, etc. I had the pool opened and will have it closed as I'd never done those things. I'll open it myself next year. I had to get some parts for the filter that were expensive. Filter now runs 9 hours per day. No heater -- I'm not even using the solar cover as it's been so hot lately.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    Danny.... don't forget to let us know what you decided to do; if you got the house and what was done about the fence.

    And keep on that real estate agent. You're paying.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Considering buying a house with pool - few questions..

    didn't purchase that house as ours is still on sale and there was an incredible cat smell in the basement that they could not get rid of
    Have my eyes on two others with pools though so expect me to be pestering over the next few months..

    Thanks again for giving me a good insight to what it takes to look after one of these babies......


    Danny
    25k Inground Vinyl - 3ft to 10ft, Tagelus TA-60 Sand, Minimax 400 Heater, Save T3 autocover.

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