Buyer’s Checklist: Spa and Pool Inspection

Floatation device in a pool ready for pool inspection.

Buying a new property is exciting, but don’t be wowed by the inclusion of a pool and forget the pool inspection! A poorly maintained pool or spa can not only suggest a poorly cared for home, it can also mean thousands of dollars in repair or reconstruction costs to make the property safe and functional for your family. Don’t get hosed by a lack of knowledge; instead, have some conditions and warning signs to look for going into the home buying process and then consider a pool inspection before signing the paperwork.

Before taking the plunge into a house purchase that includes a backyard pool or spa, there are important points to consider:

  1. Asset or Burden? – The first question to ask is if you will utilize a swimming pool. If not, don’t settle for a house in which you’ll have to care for one, or worse yet, pay for upkeep. You might think a swimming pool is an automatic asset as a buyer, but don’t be fooled. In warm climates, a pool might add a 10% resale value to a home, but that’s not true of everywhere! The winter weather in midwestern states, for instance, can damage and deteriorate a pool each year. Maintenance and pool inspection expenses can rack up to between $50-100 per month, even in good weather conditions. The water itself costs, along with heating, chemical balance, water filtration, liability, and mechanical problems that may arise in a pool inspection. In addition, every few years, a pool should be resurfaced. All in all, a pool can amount to an extra few thousand dollars each year for homeowners.
  2. Is the pool or spa up-to-date? – Hoses, pumps, liners, ladders, railing, slides, steps, diving boards – all of these may have cracks, safety concerns, or be in another state of disrepair. Only a pool inspection technician can fully investigate what may require repair and replacement. Even certain external pool conditions such as nearby outlets should be checked for proper circuit-interrupter devices that are missing from older pools. A lack of pool inspection services on pumps and heaters could result in electrocution.
  3. Proper Fencing – Erecting and maintaining proper fencing is critical to your family and guest safety, not to mention the neighborhood (if you have an open backyard). There are codes and local requirements for height and gate closing so as to prevent potential mishaps.
  4. Filling a Pool In – If you love a house but the pool inspection came up with a few thousand dollars in repair costs, you might consider filling it in. But this, too, can be extremely expensive. Quotes for larger pools have been up to $20,000.

Ultimately, deciding to buy a house with a pre-existing pool or spa comes down to money and time. A buyer must weigh the potential use and eventual resale value against repair, upkeep, and pool inspection costs. How do the sides measure out? It might end up being more beneficial to search for an equally lovable home and avoid pools altogether. But if you are considering taking the dive into a house investment, Inspect It 1st offers quality pool inspection services to give you all of the facts and figures for an informed decision.

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