This Part 1 on a pool home purchase and all aspects of pool ownership. I only wish I had this knowledge when I moved here over 20 years ago.
Experience has taught me that many people buying a waterfront pool home in southwest Florida have never had a pool before. Even those that have had a pool up north don’t necessarily know the ropes of pool ownership down here.
Nothing written here should discourage you from wanting a pool home by the waterside because nothing is better! But a little knowledge will smooth the way and I will share 21 years of knowledge gained while selling homes in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte.
The first thing to know is that eventually you will have problems with some aspects of the pool or its equipment. All pools will eventually leak at some point and it is rarely a catastrophic event. This was always my biggest worry when searching for a pool home on the waterfront. A pool in our area is concrete and plastic pipes and there is no rocket science to fixing them. However, you should know about how to detect a leak and what company to use to do that (or do it yourself): This topic will be covered in detail later on.
Starting from square one: You have engaged in a contract to purchase a pool home and during the inspection period in your contract you should have the home inspector examine the pool in every possible way. The pool surface, coping tiles, waterline tiles, blemishes on the bottom (most will have some), pool deck and pool equipment functionality. If something is out of line he will recommend a follow up with a pool expert.
Pool Care: For me my first pool experience came when I moved to Punta Gorda. I was intimated and lacked knowledge and hired a pool company to handle it. The cost in our area is very reasonable running around $125 per month. At that time as my real estate business was growing I had a slow stretch and decided to handle pool care on my own. Pool care here is very easy compared to up north because the Lanai pool cage blocks leaves and debri from entering the pool. Normally, you have a chlorine dispenser where you add the “hockey puck” shaped tablets and clean the filter a couple times a month and there was not much more too it. What ultimately happened to me was real estate business picked up and I forgot to take care of the pool. Nearly 2 months went by and I did not see any change in the pool water. This was a big lesson! Pool maintenance here is pretty easy. The only exception is during the rainy summer season where you will need to keep up on chemicals because algae can develop when the water becomes too fresh from frequent rain storms. Even then you can run to Pince-A-Penny to have them analyze your water and send you home with instructions on how to get your pool chemistry back in order (more on Pince-A-Penny later).