Pool Vision: What Should I Ask When Buying a Home With a Pool?

April 28, 2017

By Blair Adams

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Photo © Dreamstime.com

Buying a home with a swimming pool can be a very gratifying—and nerve-wracking—experience. Instantly you are part of a growing segment of homeowners who are transforming their ordinary backyards into extraordinary living spaces. But before you sign on the dotted line, you may want do your due diligence. We asked real estate guru and television personality Sandra Rinomato (best known for hosting HGTV’s Property Virgins and Buy Herself) for her sage advice to home buyers wanting a pool paradise.

PSP: When hiring a home inspector, will they also look at backyard amenities such as swimming pools?

SR: Not necessarily, this type of inspection is not usually included as part of a standard home inspection. A pool specialist is often required to perform this task thoroughly and properly. Some home inspectors are capable of providing a rudimentary report, however, we recommend hiring a swimming pool expert.

PSP: Where can a home buyer find a qualified swimming pool inspector?

SR: Check with the pool company that currently services the property. They will have a list of qualified inspectors who can provide comprehensive reports.

PSP: What do you tell your clients who are purchasing a home with an existing swimming pool that want to have the pool inspected?

SR: Similar to a home inspection, the outcome of a pool inspection can play an important role in a client’s decision-making process regarding whether or not to buy a specific property. So we advise they consult with a qualified pool expert first, and if the time of year permits, have the inspection take place when the pool is in use. If you are purchasing in the winter months, get the closing report from the pool maintenance company. It should say the condition of the pool.

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Photo courtesy Sandra Rinomato Realty Inc.

PSP: What fallback does a buyer have should a seller’s home inspection say the swimming pool is in good working order, but finds out after the sale that it isn’t?

SR: A malfunctioning swimming pool could become an unnecessary and expensive obligation, to say nothing of the temporary loss of its enjoyment. Therefore, to avoid such an unwelcome predicament, we advise our clients not to simply rely on others, but rather conduct their own due diligence.

PSP: How important is it to include a condition of sale that the pool is in good working order?

SR: This is very important. A thorough swimming pool inspection will include, among other things, a review of the pool’s deck for possible cracks if it’s concrete, or signs of rot if the deck is wooden. As well, all of the pool’s mechanics and parts will be checked and evaluated. Any problems found relating to leaks, rust, or deterioration will be outlined. Receiving this information beforehand from your own trustworthy inspector is invaluable.

PSP: What have your clients typically done when purchasing
a residence with an existing swimming pool?

SR: They’ve listened closely to our advice with regard to protecting their potential investment by hiring a trained professional before they buy whose scope of expertise will prove beneficial and cost effective to them in the long run, regardless of the inspection’s results.

PSP: When purchasing a home with a pool, what questions should homebuyers ask their agent?

SR: There are many questions a homeowner should ask; however, the most crucial inquiries include: How old are the pool’s various parts? Does the equipment (e.g. heater, filter, and pump) function properly? Is the pool properly sealed (no leaks)? Are all of the elements within the pool’s enclosure up to current municipal code specifications? What is the life expectancy of the pool liner? Who currently maintains the pool and is it possible to speak with that person?

Sandra Rinomato operates her own full-service brokerage called Sandra Rinomato Realty Inc., in Toronto’s west end. She can be reached at (416) 565-3001 or visit her website at rinomato.com[3].

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: http://psp.poolspas.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/dreamstime_l_37065390.jpg
  2. [Image]: http://psp.poolspas.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Sandra_Rinomato__MG_4708-Edit-e1493305486874.jpg
  3. rinomato.com: http://rinomato.com

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