I just found a super sweet duplex for a great price. Minimal work needed. However, upon closer inspection it looks like there used to be a pool in the backyard. When I google earthed the house, sure enough there was a nasty old pool filled with junk. Im worried that the previous owners didn’t fill it correctly by taking out the pool and then filling it. They are asking $260k for it. If I confirm my suspicions that they just threw dirt into it, can I negotiate a cheaper price? Or is it okay to fill pools that way? If I ask for a cheaper price, how low should my offer be?
I have not removed a pool myself but my GC took me to a project where he was removing a pool.
If they did not jackhammer out the bottom of the pool, you basically have a large bowl underground that will cause drainage problems. Usually they will also jackhammer all of the concrete decking as well as the first 2 or 3 feet of the pool wall and throw it into what was the pool bottom. The rest gets filled with dirt.
If the picture you saw was a pool filled with broken concrete, they may have started the process when the picture was taken. If it had old refrigerators and such, you may also have some concerns about chemicals.
Unless you plan to dig down to the bottom there will be know way of knowing what they did. The seller knows this too and probably won't give you an honest answer as to how it was filled unless they can provide an invoice from an excavator detailing the work performed. As Greg mentioned, it will cause drainage issues in that immediate area if the pool bottom wasn't removed (in the deepest area at a minimum). It would be ok to fill the pool with dirt only if it was properly compacted as it was filled. Otherwise the yard in that area will slowly start to settle with rain and over time. You might soon have a pond in your backyard. Hard to say what kind of discount you could ask for.