ATTENTION HOMEOWNERS: Buyer Beware

by Vaughn Berger
Red Square Pools

On our pool service route today I noticed 4 homes in an upscale neighborhood that were clearly Foreclosed and/or Vacated.  The telltale sign for most foreclosed homes is the grass and landscaping is burned out or missing all together.

I decided to walk these properties and noticed all 4 properties had pools BUT only 2 of 4 still had the pool equipment in tact.  It appears there are enterprising people out there stealing the equipment and likely liquidating the assets on popular classified websites like CraigsList.org or Ebay.com to unsuspecting pool owners.  The thugs that removed the equipment in the two houses clearly were from the pool industry as they had snaked the parts that are most likely to break or require replacement.

I realize we are in a recession, or post recession…I guess the definition really is subject to personal opinion based upon which side of the fence you’re sitting on with your personal finances, job situation, debt, etc.  Nonetheless, homeowners with pools need to be very careful these days where they consider buying USED equipment.  If you looking to save a buck due to limitations in your finances you may want to consider that front-end savings could cost you more in the long run.

Things to consider:

  • Used FILTRATION systems can crack and while they may look like they are in good condition, you’ll never know until it is pressurized.
  • Used PUMPS will likely require new gaskets, bearings and seals; they may have cracks if they ran dry for any extended period of time.
  • Used HEATERS are the worst as heat exchangers literally can be rusted out from the inside due to poor water chemistry.  At this point there’s no reason to salvage any parts as replacement parts can run you nearly as much as a brand new heater.

Here’s What I Tell My Customers:

  1. How long do you plan on living in your house?  If you think you’ll be enjoying your pool for more than 2 years, consider replacing with NEW equipment.  Often the efficiency of new technology provides enough savings due to electricity savings and ongoing operating costs.
  2. There are NO WARRANTIES with used equipment.  New equipment comes with manufacturer warranties ranging from 1-3 years…in many cases that includes parts AND labor.
  3. Filter systems are under tremendous pressure and if not in sound condition have been known to explode.  In some rare cases, people have become decapitated from compression bands that literally snapped while an unsuspecting homeowner was near their equipment.  Lids to filter systems have been known to explode sending the top lid literally 100 feet into the air.  Warranties not only protect your investment…they protect you.  Manufacture defects or abuse are not covered in USED equipment.
  4. Used pool pumps are normally 1, 1.5 or 2 horsepower.  These single speed pool pumps, over the course of time, become terribly inefficient and can cost the homeowner $100’s in electricity per month.  New variable speed motors are so efficient that a conservative ROI is 15-18 months.  These new pumps are saving people $50-$90/per month on their electric bill.  Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

If you have any questions or comments just drop us an email: vaughn@redsquarepools.com.   For all those pool NON-professionals that think stealing equipment is a profitable business…Good Luck!  Karma sucks and your clients are likely already calling me because of your lack of professionalism and shady practices.

Vaughn Berger (Owner)
Red Square Pools
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 530-7331
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About Red Square Pools

Thank you for checking out our blog...we appreciate you taking the time to read our posts. To be quite honest, our posts come from your questions. Red Square Pool's wants to clear up the confusion and frustration of maintaining your pool and spa. We simply want to make Pool Maintenance and Repair SIMPLIFIED!! Let us know what your thinking by dropping us an email at info@redsquarepools.com. Have a safe and happy swimming experience!

6 responses »

  1. […] Foreclosures MISSING Pool Equipment « Red Square Pools…….. (702 … […]

  2. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment. I appreciate your dedication. You do such a great job! Keep it up.

  3. I really feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. Would you mind updating your blog with more stuff about that?

  4. On Mon, May 30, 2011 at 11:43 PM, David H. wrote:

    Hi, I read your post on missing pool equip on foreclosed homes. I’m considering a HUD home that is not only empty and extremely dirty, but is missing some pool equip (sawed-off). Assuming there is no structural damage, what can someone expect as a ballpark average to get a medium sized pool up and running if you have to replace the pool equipment? Thanks for your time; I may end up talking to you soon!

  5. David,

    Sorry to hear about the equipment. There are a few things to consider when purchasing a HUD home with a pool:

    1. Structural damage to pool itself. In most cases, if house was uninhabited for a considerable time, the water was shut off and pool water started to evaporate. If pool surface is exposed to heat and wind it has a tendency to crack. New white plaster starts at $3-5K or pebble-tech $7-10K depending on size, steps, targets, tile condition, etc.

    2. Pool Equipment: Pump – 2HP Pump $650 or the new 3HP Variable Speed Pump $900 after rebate. (We’ll talk about the benefits at a later date)

    3. Pool Equipment: Filter – around $550 – $700

    4. Pool Equipment: Heater – $2200

    5. Pool Equipment: Solar – $3500

    6. Electrical and Plumbing Price TBD: Jandy Valves, PVC, etc. really depends on the configuration of your equipment.

    7. Tile Cleaning & Seal: Figure about $3.00 – $4.50 /linear foot

    8. If pool surface is in good condition, an Acid Wash may be in order: starts at $350.00

    9. Cool Decking Repair and/or Resurfacing: $3 – 8 square foot

    Hopefully, this gives you a ballpark of what your looking for as far as pricing. A site visit may be in order once you’ve committed to purchasing the house.

    Best Regards,

    Vaughn Berger
    Red Square Pools
    (702) 530-7331

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