So, you're looking at homes... maybe you've been toying with the idea of finally buying and owning a house with a backyard... oh! the possibilities open up; fence it? Playground? Hot tub? Yes, hot tub. But what if the home you find already has one installed?
Owning AND USING a hot tub can be a great relaxation device, especially after a long day. And with our cold winters, it feels extra good soaking in swirling pools of liquid therapy. But unless you've had a hot tub before you may not even know what to look for when searching for homes.
Chances are you're buying a preowned hot tub if you're purchasing one that's already installed in a house or outside of the house. However, you could buy a house that had a hot tub installed and never used but that's very unlikely. When looking at homes that have hot tubs that you know you want to use, make sure you see it in action before agreeing to buy the house because of the hot tub. Ask the homeowner to turn on the hot tub and stick around for a few minutes to make sure you don't notice anything odd happenings such as strange noises or any leaks. Also, beware of buying an empty hot tub as you simply cannot test it to see if it will work.
Look at the cartridge filter. If it looks torn or worn out you need to understand that you have to replace it before you'll be able to use it. While this is not an expensive replacement it can give you a little insight in how the hot tub has been cared for in the past. If it is really dirty or completely torn up, chances are the rest of the hot tub has not been maintained properly as well.
Check the thermostat. If the thermostat is not working properly the hot tub will be very unsafe to use because you will not know the exact temperature and it also could mean that there is something wrong with the heater, which can be a very large expense.
Check all of the seals for leaks. If any of the seals are leaking you'll have to replace those as well so check under the cabinet for dripping water or any puddles and check the motor for calcium stains or prior leaks.
Do your research. Before jumping at the chance to own a home with a hot tub do a little bit of research on the brand, make and model. If it has a lot of negative reviews or problematic issues you'll need to consider those in the future.
Have it properly inspected. Most inspectors will take a good look at a hot tub or swimming pool when inspecting a home but they may not know everything about this type of feature. Ask questions and take their advice if they feel that it is simply not worth the trouble to repair.
Read More: How to properly inspect a hot tub or pool
Review the offer. If you're buying the home because you love the hot tub make sure that the seller actually plans on leaving it. If it is a portable hot tub they could take it with them and then you'll end up with a home without the hot tub that you really wanted. Ask about the hot tub but don't play hardball if they're trying to sell it to you. Adding another $1000 onto the home price won't make a hill of beans difference to your monthly payment by much. If it works and you love it, consider adding it onto the home price.
Every situation is different so make sure you check with the make and model of the hot tub, the condition and have it inspected properly, especially if you're buying the home specifically for the backyard and the hot tub enjoyment.
Feel free to give me a call at any time for a complete list of homes that may offer a hot tub in the backyard or the outdoor living space you desire. Image by Jennifer C Flickr
Read more: Buying a home with a pool?