Ashley and I had a first recently. We bought a house with an in-ground pool in the backyard. Now we’ve bought houses with above-grounds pools many times. But that’s an easy situation to remedy. Depending on the style of pool, you can either take a razor knife to the side or post a picture of the pool on social media with a line that reads, “Free — come and get it.” Both scenarios are quite effective at ridding yourself of these types of pools.
You may be wondering why we’d consider getting rid of an in-ground pool. The liability associated with having a pool at a rental should be deterrent enough. It’s just not worth the risk of keeping it. But since this pool was a permanent fixture, we knew getting rid of it might not be so easy. We also knew it probably wouldn’t be as inexpensive as the methods previously described.
So, with the pool in mind, Ashley and I decided to flip the house instead of keeping it.
This pool was nasty. I’m talking about nothing but algae and green water; and I ‘m pretty sure a swamp thing was living in the deep end. I wasn’t sure it could even be salvaged. So, we called around to get some quotes. We got one for getting the pool up and running and one to get it demolished and filled back in.
To fill it in was going to cost at least $3,000. Ouch. That was definitely not as affordable as doing away with the above-ground pool.
Next, the pool man gave us a scenario. He said because of the condition of the water, the amount of chemicals it would take to clear it would be bad for the liner.
He suggested having his crew pump the pool and clean the liner as they went. This would cost $1,300, barring any problems with the pump, which looked to be in serviceable shape.
I asked him for a worst-case scenario to decide if filling the pool in was still a better option. He told me that if they pumped the pool and found the liner was bad, it would cost around $5,000 to get it replaced.
Ashley and I decided having an in-ground pool for that price would be a great selling feature and would be worth the gamble. We gave them the green light, and they began to drain the pool.
As it turned out, swamp thing did not live in the pool. Instead, a family of bull frogs had taken up residence at the deep end. I’ve never seen frogs that big. They were huge, and so were their tadpoles. One tadpole was as big as my 4-year-old’s hand. It was amazing. We had a fun family night relocating the frogs to a nearby pond.
Once the frog eviction was complete, the pool man got back to me with some unsavory news. What we thought was our worst-case scenario had come true: the liner was bad.
We told them to replace it, and the guys went to work.
When they pulled the bad liner, we found something else. This pool had a sand bottom, which apparently is a bad thing. The pool man said we needed to vermiculite the bottom before we installed the new liner.
Now, I didn’t know vermiculite was a real word, much less what meant. But I found out it’s a mineral substitute for concrete used to smooth and harden the ground surface under the pool liner.
So, with the vermiculite, new liner, a $500 light and all the chemicals and accessories, we are now in this pool for $9,000. Which only improved the property value by $10,000, IE it just barley paid for itself.
We got the house under contract quickly. To my dismay, the buyers revealed their reluctance at having the pool and wondered how much it would cost to get rid of it.
In hindsight, we should have filled that sucker in.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.