Skimmer sinking. Neighbors retaining wall fell.

Poolsnotmygame

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2019
64
Massapequa, NY
Where did you get this information?

Was the pool professionally installed?

The price is very cheap for a professionally installed pool.
It was put in 20 years ago. Maybe that was the rate then? We know because the homeowners left us all the documentation that they were given and some of their own, just not the estimate they were given on the issue with the pool.
 

Poolsnotmygame

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2019
64
Massapequa, NY
I think you are missing to big picture here. You bought a house based on them selling a house with a pool and no material defects. That’s fraud. It’s not up to you to resolve it- it’s up to them. That home with the damaged pool disclosed would not have sold for Anywhere near what you paid-guaranteed. So , in essence, they stole from you.

call your lawyer now. Right now. Not after you think it might be repairable cheaply or not. Not after you determine why it failed. Why it failed is immaterial to the issue. They lied and covered a substantial know defect and are now liable for damages To make it right. Once they are on notice, then you can go about establishing the whys and how much. Even if it’s the neighbors fault, it happened before You bought the propertymso they would need to sue the neighbor Not you.

The lawyer will guide you through the steps needed to gather the evidence to prove in court they knew. They will also determine the sellers ability to pay. Once those are known, they can provide the possible range of options for you to consider (fix it yourself and place a lien on their new home, void the sales agreement and move out, attach their wages, etc). BTW if itmcan be proved that their RE knew, they will lose their license too.
I am talking to a lawyer. Or two. It’s just not a guaranteed win for us. The lawyer just said it sounds like you have a case. The most we have at the moment is that the neighbors knew they had it estimated to fix, and they guy was freaking out about it. I dont know the company they contacts etc. also, we were told this could go on for years before it’s settled. If we pay an attorney by the hour we could end up paying the lawyer almost everything we win if we do end up winning.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
783
MA
I finally got a pool guy to take a look. Told me to get the retaining wall fixed, that’s the problem. Once that’s fixed he’ll fix the pool for 20-30k.
I still maintain that it is a very slim possibility that the retaining wall failing is causing the pool to sink. The Earth simply doesn't move like that. It is far more likely that there was something buried below the pool when it was installed and that has rotted and now the ground is sinking into that cavity.
The other possibility is The pool started leaking and the water found some underground drainage which washed all the soil into it.
The best way to confirm this or prove it is incorrect is to have a simple boring done. They bore a small hole down as deep as they need to go to see what is in the soil beneath the depression. You will need this information for a proper fix and to get the correct amount of money from the lawsuit if it comes to that.


We’re talking to lawyers to go after the previous homeowners
Personally I would go after the home inspector as well. That is their whole job to point out possible catastrophes like this and make you aware of them. Granted he has clause in there that says he's not responsible for the swimming pool and I could see where he would not be responsible for things like plumbing leaks or plaster issues or things beyond his scope. But I'm surprised he didn't fall in the pool when he walked by the sunken corner, if he even bothered to walk around the pool. Somebody who is supposed to look for problems should certainly have spotted that low corner.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
783
MA
One more note on the competency of the home inspector. The patio is not part of the pool. If there were no pool there and there was a huge dip in an existing brick patio I would think that would fall under his scope of work.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
19,735
Maybe that was the rate then? We know because the homeowners left us all the documentation that they were given and some of their own, just not the estimate they were given on the issue with the pool.
You have the original receipt for the pool?

Is the original builder still in business where you can ask them about the pool?

Did the sellers give you a copy of an estimate to repair the pool?
 

Poolsnotmygame

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2019
64
Massapequa, NY
You have the original receipt for the pool?

Is the original builder still in business where you can ask them about the pool?

Did the sellers give you a copy of an estimate to repair the pool?
No they didn’t give an estimate copy, they never told me about it and deny they know about it. My neighbor told me that had it estimated.

the original builder sold the business so it’s not the original builder but another using the same name. I could see if they have any more information.

Yes I have a receipt for the pool.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,626
Morris Cnty NJ
It was quite common to do an inground for 20k back then with a concrete deck. Material was really cheap theres a ton of 20yo pools around me that were under 20k when built.
Problem with a whole new pool is it costs more. You would think having a hole helps but it doesnt. Anything mew would have to be bigger than what you have the walls have to sit on virgin ground otherwise theres engineering and site work involved. You can redesign that pool and make it look great. When they rip the corner out and redo it change to steel liner over stairs amd use cantilever coping. Either pour coping or use pavers. That and a new liner and deck and pool is totally different than what you have now. You need to check NY laws on disclosure. Here in NJ its lawyers fees on top of the undisclosed damage. The average lawyer would jump on this for a contingency case
 

Poolsnotmygame

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2019
64
Massapequa, NY
Update: called about 10 attorneys and maybe spoke to about 5 directly. We’ve either been told we have no case or they’re not interested albeit a few want money upfront to start it. I think my best move is to get a retaining wall for myself to at least stop the sinking or slow it down considerably before the pool is a complete fill in. Thanks everyone for your help, concern, and opinions. You’ve all helped me push this issue further than I probably would have on my own. If there’s anything else I’ll be sure to post it here should anyone in the future have a similar issue to deal with.
 
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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
285
Katy, Texas
Poolsnotmygame, I feel for your situation. Starting to resemble the 1948 Cary Grant movie, "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse." Mood lightening aside, I am astounded that New York apparently is so lacking in seller disclosure laws. Even down here in Texas, the Texas Property Code Section 5.008 puts severe liability on sellers, and even listing agents, for not disclosing everything about a property. When we sold our house three years ago, my agent really grilled us on everything. No matter how big, how small, how currently irrelevant, he said, we must disclose. Here's an example situation he sent me.

"Imagine that you sell your suburban home outside of Dallas, and neglect to mention on your disclosure form that there is a massive termite infestation eating away at the base of the home. You had treated the termites previously, and managed to keep them at bay just long enough to unload the home. The buyer closes on the home. Inevitably, the buyer discovers the issue and realizes that the cost of exterminating the critters and remediating the foundation of the house will be substantial. The buyer might sue you for breach of contract or fraud."

Surely New York has similar laws.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
96
NY
Ny does not require many disclosures, and to boot, every seller pays (I think $500?) a fine at closing to the buyer to absolve them of missing any disclosures. You are buying as is, unless you find a graveyard that the owners knew about under that retaining wall, you will most likely get nothing from them.
 

Poolsnotmygame

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2019
64
Massapequa, NY
Ny does not require many disclosures, and to boot, every seller pays (I think $500?) a fine at closing to the buyer to absolve them of missing any disclosures. You are buying as is, unless you find a graveyard that the owners knew about under that retaining wall, you will most likely get nothing from them.
This. They signed a disclosure agreement which is a $500 fee so that the seller doesn’t have to disclose anything to you. Our closing lawyer suggested this could fall differently under law into fraud but attorneys who actually handle this type of thing are really not excited to take the case if they want to at all. Don’t buy in NY guys. I can’t help but imagine the scenario later where I’d want to sell this house and lose a substantial amount in the sale of the home because they got an actual pool inspector who found the issue. I can’t pawn it off to some other couple like the other owners did. Here I thought they were excited to set a young couple up with the home like they were, only $ signs matter in the end.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
96
NY
Honestly, you should have noticed this. If they went out of their way to hide it they are ****** people but at the end of the day, you, your agent, or your inspector should have caught it. We found termite damage and required it be fixed and exterminated. I had the inspector come back at my expense. He refused to sign off on it officially but told me it was fine. I bought and found more damage that the owner hid by laminating fresh wood over damaged sills. Whenever I get their old mail I just throw it out now.

I’m sure you could sue for false inducement or some other fraud but good luck. Maybe go small claims and just get $3K or whatever the max is just to get something. You can always threaten to sue and give them a shot clock to settle just to see what happens.

anyway I’d say this looks like a loss to me.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
96
NY
It stinks that buying a house is such a learning experience when so much money is involved. And as you found out you can’t rely on anyone. Good luck.