Ready for those hot summer days? How refreshing it would be to come home in the afternoons and spend your weekends out by the pool.
Purchasing ahome with a poolcan be very exciting. The thought of having backyard barbeques and pool parties are what many home buyers envision when they purchase a home, especially one with a beautiful swimming pool already installed with the house. Financially speaking, it is usually much less expensive for someone that wants a swimming pool to purchase a house with one rather than building a new pool.
However, there are many questions that should be asked about the pool, as defective pools and/or pool equipment can result in unexpected and many times expensive repairs. Before purchasing ahouse with a swimming pool, it is highly recommended to get a pool inspection from a reputable swimming pool company. Most home inspectors are not familiar with pools and pool equipment enough to inspect it and therefore will not do so. A pool inspector will determine if your pool equipment is functioning properly, especially if the equipment relies on automation systems. It may appear as though everything is fine while the pool is “on”, but a pool inspector should be able to determine if pumps turn on and off at the selected times, whether all lights work properly and whether automated valves open and close as needed. Some repairs to these items may be minor or may require expensive electrical parts or computer components. Additionally, the pool inspector may be able to find water leaks in the pool plumbing around the equipment that can be repaired before a major problem occurs.
There are several questions to ask about the pool and pool equipment itself that can aid a buyer in predicting any near-future repairs that can be expected. One question to ask is who is maintaining the swimming pool. If a professional pool company is doing so, ask how often the pool is maintained and ask to see a maintenance record. It is important for the pool surface, especially a gunite (cement) pool, and the pool equipment in general that the chemical balance of the water be properly maintained regularly. The water chemistry should be tested at least bi-weekly as improper ph and calcium balances can shorten the life of plaster and pool equipment.
One should also ask about the equipment and find out the age of the pump motor. Most motors last about 4 to 5 years. The cost to replace is roughly about $500. Also, ask about the filtration system. What type of filter does the pool use to filter the water? Sand filters require a sand change every 4 to 5 years and can cost about $400. Cartridge filters should be cleaned at least twice per year and new cartridges can cost about $500.
What kind of surface does the pool have to hold the water? If it is a gunite pool, the surface is plaster and usually lasts about 10 to 12 years. However, poor water balance can accelerate the erosion of the plaster. Resurfacing of a pool can run from $7000 to $20,000, depending on the size of the pool and type of plaster. If the pool is a vinyl liner pool, you will want to know the age of the liner. Liners are usually changed every 7 years or so and can cost between $3200 to $6500, depending on the size of the pool. Finally, if the pool is a gunite pool and has ever “popped”, i.e. lifted out of the ground from its original formation, even slightly, DO NOT BUY THE HOUSE. This is going to be a costly repair and many times you would be better off building a new pool!
In summary, it is a good bargain to buy a buy a house with a pool rather than build a new pool. Just be sure that you do your research beforehand. It is expensive to build a pools and repairs are inevitable, so be prepared for those expenses. Replacing equipment is just as expensive as the initial purchase of the equipment, but you do save the initial expense of digging the pool. Not incurring that initial expense is quite a benefit!
TheMaria Thorn Team is happy to help you in the search for you new home. Call / text us at 225-286-9043
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