San Carlos Real Estate Agent, San Carlos Realtor Friday’s Off-Ramp: When Pools Go Bad… | The White Oaks Blog
San Carlos Real Estate August 14, 2009

Friday’s Off-Ramp: When Pools Go Bad…

by Chuck Gillooley


Pools and Boats

Someone once said that buying a boat is a bad idea, because they’re far more expensive to maintain than you expect, and ultimately you don’t use them nearly as much as you thought you would. Well, one can make the same argument about pools. The idea of having a pool is very desirable to many homeowners, especially on those occasional warm days in late summer. Believe me, there has been more than one occasion where I wished we had put a pool in our when we had the chance a few years back.

But if you talk to anyone who owns one, they’ll tell you the cost of maintaining and repairing a  pool isn’t insignificant.  Nonetheless, they diligently keep them in top running shape, and get many years of enjoyment out of them.  That’s not the point of this article.

Buying someone else’s problem.

During the course of house hunting, I see many pools.  Some are breathtaking, and others….well, they’ll take your breath away for a different reason.  The pool pictured above was at a bank-owned property that sold recently in Belmont.   I know the picture won’t do it justice, but there was some funky, smelly stuff growing in that water.  I can’t imagine how many mosquitoes started their brief life in that swamp.

I read a property report on different home where the cost of repairing the pool and getting it back in running shape was twice the cost of removing it!   That’s a pretty easy decision to make, right?   Often times when a home is being sold under distressed circumstances (foreclosure, short sale) the care and maintenance of the pool is the first thing that gets dropped.  Be careful in these situations that you’re not buying someone else’s problem.

Be realistic, and do your homework.

If you’re considering buying a home that has a pool, be completely honest with yourself and consider the following questions:

  1. Will you really use the pool that much?
  2. Do you know how much it costs each month to heat and maintain that particular pool?
  3. Does having a pool pose a safety concern for anyone in the household? (elders, toddlers)
  4. What’s the condition of the pool, the heater/pump, and the surrounding area (decks, etc)?

If the presence of a pool is the only thing that’s separating you from you’re dream home, find out what it would cost to get it removed and filled in.

Once you’re satisfied with the answers above, then dive in….literally.


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