Are you considering purchasing a home with an in-ground pool? Do you imagine hot, lazy afternoons, lounging by your pool with friends and family? Become an informed buyer, do your research, and ensure your real estate agent includes the appropriate clauses to protect you from unforeseen expenses on closing.
Unlike kitchen and bath renovations, or the addition of hardwood floors and crown moulding, a pool does not necessarily add value to the home equal to the cost of the pool. The fact is, that in most cases it adds little or no value to the home. Some buyers who view a home and love it, turn away from the purchase because of the existence of a pool. Your either love it and really want it, or you don’t.
Or course buying a home with a pool is much more appealing on a hot summer afternoon, rather in the cold dark days of winter. Often Sellers will display photos of the pool for perspective buyers as it appears during the summer months, to show it off at its best advantage.
If you are buying a home during the winter months, and the closing is set for the summer months after the pool has been opened, you need to insert clauses in your offer for protection from potential expenses. Ensure the pool will be opened by a professional pool company, and stipulate that in your offer. Ask that the paid invoice be left so you may take advantage of any guarantees or warranties in the event of problems. Also, request the Sellers have the pool company do a thorough inspection of the pool prior to closing date, and ask the Sellers to leave a certificate of inspection or similar from the pool company.
If the pool has a heater, ensure a clause is inserted in your offer whereby the sellers will warranty that it also will be in good working condition on closing date in addition to the chattels and fixtures.
Ask the Seller about various aspects of the pool prior to preparing an offer if the information is not contained in the listing.
- How old is the liner? How old is the pool?
- Were any repairs done to the pool in the last year, if so, by whom?
- Has the pool been opened and closed by a professional pool company?
- If the pool has a diving board, is the pool at a safe and proper depth to accommodate that?
- Is the pool completely fenced in?
- How high is the fence, and does it comply with the by-laws of your city.
- Is all the pool equipment staying on closing. Ensure this is stipulated in your Offer.
- If there is concrete or tiles around the perimeter of the pool, look for any cracks or loose tiles as these could be the source of leaks and future problems.
- Check the soil around the pool and pump for any signs of water saturation.
Ensure your real estate agent inserts a clause in your offer whereby the Seller guarantees that all chattels, fixtures and equipment are in good working order up to and including the day of closing. On closing day, after title has changed and you receive the
keys to your home, go and check everything to ensure everything is in good working order. The sellers are responsible until midnight on the day of closing, so if there is something not quite right, call your real estate agent to notify him/her and a report will be made to the listing agent and request the seller remedy any deficiencies.
Pools can be a source of great pleasure and fun for both you and for family and friends.
Just make sure you do your due diligence before you take the plunge!
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