Market Conditions in Tucson>Question Details

Kc Czech, Home Buyer in Tucson, AZ

What is the deal with a home listed for sale and it stating the pool is empty? Does this mean the pool is broken?

Asked by Kc Czech, Tucson, AZ Tue Aug 30, 2011

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It means you need an agent. Most likely it is a lender owned property and they choose not to do the weekly chemicals, cleaning, water replenishment, etc. on the pool.

It may or may not be functional and will not really be able to be know until it is filled with water and able to operate...whether it does or not.

Bill Jones, agent
520-907-2218
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
Donna said it all. It just probably means that the seller's didn't want the maintenance or the liability of a filled pool. It may or may not be functional and that has to be considered in any purchase offer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
The house is either vacant or owned by someone who doesn't do maintenance for some reason. Or, as you suggest, maybe the pool doesn't hold water, but that would be my third guess as to why the pool is empty.

Provided there is a barrier around the pool, an empty pool is usually less of a hazard than a filled pool. A pool with water and no maintenance is a mosquito pond. Mosquitos are more than annoying. They carry West Nile Virus.

Without maintenance, a pool turns green and is an eyesore as well as a hazard.

And then there's the problem of animals of all species, including people, drowning in the pool.

Pools were designed to be filled with water. When it's empty, the water is not exerting outward pressure on the pool walls. The ground around the pool will still exert inward pressure on the pool walls, which can result in damage to the pool.

So if the pool wasn't leaking when it was drained, it might start leaking when it is filled.

It is not likely the seller is going to be willing to fill the pool so you can check whether it works. You can ask for this in your purchase contract, but it will cost the seller several hundred dollars. Expect to buy the pool as is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
could mean anything, some banks will not fill pools because of liability,
some will fill and have regular maintenance.
and yes it could mean it won't hold water,
this is something that you will have to get permission to fill during inspections or get a pool guy to look at
it ,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
The pool may be empty because the home is a foreclosure or short sale and the owner/lender is not willing to maintain it. The water may have evaporated and it could be a real mess. The pool equipment should be thoroughly inspected as the pump may have been damaged if it was running for a period when the water level was low.

VA or FHA require the pool be filled - either with water or covered over - for loan approval.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
It could be "broken" but most of the time it is because the property in question is a REO (Real Estate Owned, foreclosure) and they drain it for liability plus no one lives there to maintain it. Work with a local Realtor to help you with questions like these, most of the time working with a buyers agent looking at properties for sale on MLS you won't pay a thing.

Best of luck.
Spirit
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
No, a drained pool does not necessarily indicate a problem with the pool. If the house is a foreclosure/REO/distressed property than the property is probably sold "as-is" but the buyer may still have (and should have) inspections performed to determine any structural, functional or life-threatening issues. . Pools are often drained and covered to prevent liability issues especially if the house is vacant. The challenge for you as the Buyer is that the inspection of the pool will require filling the pool. Who will pay for the cost of this? The Purchase Contract states that, "Seller shall... have all utilities on... until close of escrow to enable Buyer to conduct... inmspections and walkthrough(s)." However, the seller may draw up a "rider" or "addendum" stating that costs are the Buyers. Your Broker/Realtor will help you negotiate this. You also should have an SPDS (Sellers Property Disclosure Statement) which discloses any known defects- including problems with the pool.
Web Reference: http://www.JohnEverhart.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
An empty pool isn't referring to the condition, and the only way to really clarify beyond that without going to the property would be to contact the listing agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
That should mean the pool has been drained and has no water. Without filling it up, there's no way to find out if the pump and filter system are operational. Also, there are certain loans, e.g., FHA, where the appraiser will require the pool to be filled before signing off on the appraisal - which might be the reason the seller's agent has stated it in the listing.

You should check with your Buyer's Agent/Realtor and your lender for further clarification.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
No, VA and most others now require the pool be empty and covered for liability purposes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
I think it means pool is dry, no water. Broken or Does not work could be found by viewing. Than you good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
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