Introduction

ps6000

New member
Jan 23, 2021
4
Los Angeles
Hi,

I am looking for a house with a pool and reading up on all the maintenance to keep a pool healthy. It has always been a dream of mine to own a pool. Coming from Massachusetts it was not realistic, but moving to Los Angeles it makes sense to have a pool that can be used most of the year. I have already picked up some valuable information in these forums.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,396
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
As someone that bought a house with a pool, I can share that it has worked out for me, big time, but not without some stumbles and unplanned expenses. I determined, through Real Estate comps, that I basically got my pool for free. Because in my area, they just don't add much, if anything, to the value (sale price) of a home. Sounds great, right? I saved $100K or so, between pool, landscaping and hardscaping.

Well, sort of. I inherited a pool that was poorly maintained, and had extensive damage to the finish from calcium scaling, and was constructed with an inferior quality coping that needed to be addressed. All of which was missed by me (having never owned a pool before) and worse, also all missed by my home inspector, even though he charged me extra to inspect the pool. Plus, I then wanted to add some new equipment to automate its care. So my "free pool" probably cost me about $20K. All in all, still a great deal, but definitely not free! For context, my pool was less than 5 years old when I bought the house.

And then there are the stories we've read here of folks that bought houses with pools that were much worse off than mine. Much, much. Some just needed more repairs than I faced (more money!). But others were so bad, and so well hidden from the buyer, that it likely devalued the buyer's investment, unless they chose to resell and defraud the next buyer, as they had been defrauded. And the older the pool, the more likely there are, at best, upgrades desired, or at worst, extensive repairs needed.

Now, I'm not trying to talk you out of buying a house with pool. Not at all. If things go your way, you can save 10s of thousand of dollars, and avoid the high-stress process of building your own pool. I lucked out in that the aesthetic tastes of the previous owners matched mine perfectly, and I just love how my pool looks and works and it's size and shape, etc. But even if you buy a pool that doesn't match your tastes, you can remodel it (updating tile and finish and decking and even shape to some extent) and still come out ahead compared to building. Way ahead.

So there are lots of possibilities, good and bad and everywhere in-between. But here is the main point. When you get your house inspected, don't rely on a home inspector for the pool. Even if they say they can do it, and offer an "add on" expense for doing it. Maybe do the home and termite inspections first, to be sure the house and property are sound, but then hire a pool inspector to go over the pool with a fine-tooth comb! One that specializes in pools, not just a home inspector looking to pad his bill. And allow a long enough escrow period to give yourself time to do all that.

Home warrantees will sometimes cover (or can be upgraded to cover) the cost of pool pumps or other similar pool equipment should they fail. In CA you generally get a home warranty with your new home purchase. But those warranties, and your home owner's insurance, will likely be of no use for a major-expense pool failure. The policies will probably be exempt from such things. So the only way to avoid such a pitfall is to find it before you buy. Then decide at that point whether fixing what is wrong is worth it, or if it can be used as part of the price negotiation. And as I mentioned, it is not beyond sellers to "conveniently forget to disclose" or even flat-out fraudulently hide pool defects, because they know an extensive pool repair can be as much as, or even more than, a brand new pool (because sometimes complete replacement is the only option and that means adding the expense of demolishing the existing pool on top of building a new one), and that will make it impossible to sell their house, even at a greatly reduced price!

Given all that, it's tempting to conclude you should build your own pool. You'll get exactly what you want that way, and it'll be sound (if you have a good contractor), and that's a way to go, but you can kiss that money goodby, especially if this next house is not going to be your "forever house." New pools are a very bad investment, and the money they cost has to be considered a discretionary-income luxury.

So... yes, buy house with pool. But... don't skimp on the pool inspection!

Oh, and welcome to TFP! Where we will share all manner of pool info, whether you asked for it or not, whether you want to hear it or not!! ;)
 
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ps6000

New member
Jan 23, 2021
4
Los Angeles
So... yes, buy house with pool. But... don't skimp on the pool inspection!

Oh, and welcome to TFP! Where we will share all manner of pool info, whether you asked for it or not, whether you want to hear it or not!! ;)
This is great advice. Thank you. Ill look into a special pool inspection.
 
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