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Need help. Just bought a house next to a pool owner (Update in post #33) - Page 2

post #21 of 37
I find this whole thing a bit odd...bu then I live in a rural area were people have ponds and streams and such on their property, and you can't exactly put a locking gate on those Keeping kids away from water features is an individual responsibility; gates in your own yard, child latches on your doors, etc.

But then, my parents live in the suburbs and have a pool, and the first thing they did was make make sure we all knew to lock the gate because they were afraid neighborhood children might wander in, and after we had our kids they installed a second fence to separate the pool from the house.

I think it would be appropriate to contact them, let them know you're considering moving to the neighborhood, and ask if they have a gate installed. If you like the house, I'd also rethink backing out just because of the pool- there's no guarantee that a neighbor somewhere else won't build a new pool shortly after you move in.
post #22 of 37
I wouldn't let the pool be a deal breaker, unless you foresee yourself not supervising your child in the future (meaning you'll allow them to free range or whatever). We have a pool (and trampoline and play structure) and are known as friendly, child-welcoming neighbors, and we've never had a child come into our yard w/o asking first.

Also, OP, just for your own peace of mind, no matter where you move, get one of those Radio Shack door alarms that go off when the door opens.
post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 
We are going to get an alarm for our fence if we go with the deal. And like Carrie said, I am not sure that the resident hasn't put a safety gate on already. We are going to have the roof inspected on Saturday so we are going to take a closer look then.

I really love the house. I just felt heartbroken because I got the house because I thought I was going to be able to let my kids run around the yard while I sit out and read a magazine on the deck. So much for a little relaxation, at least for a little while.

Actually, we have a small creek in the back of our current home and we have no fence. There are bushes right in front of the creek. We are always diligent about watching them, though. And yes, I know they can walk out the door and end up in the creek. I am just a worse senario person.
post #24 of 37
I don't think there's anything so bad about asking whether their gate locks (although even if they say yes, of course you can't assume it's always locked). They might appreciate the opportunity to add a lock rather than have a 6-foot privacy fence go up next to their smaller picket fence. I wouldn't be offended if a new neighbor asked about something like that.

ETA: I think you'll still be able to sit out there with a magazine while the girls play. I'm not sure how the pool specifically changes that. If your yard isn't fenced, then they could get to the road too, right? So having to watch and make sure they don't go in the road is the same, to me, as having to watch and make sure they don't go in the neighbor's yard/pool, and once you get settled and comfy I think both could be managed with a magazine -- when I sit outside with my kids, I can see them in my periphery and keep an ear tuned into them pretty easily, and if they disappear around a certain corner I always notice and follow to see what they're doing.
post #25 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies...

I want to thank everyone for their replies. I got a wide range of opinions and I really appreciate the help. As for those whose who said that I did not have a right to ask another to modify their area, you have a point. However, I think I am going to take the chance and ask if they have a locking gate. Hopefully the problem is already solved.

I am very good about watching my kids...actually, I'm probably too protective of them. I'll definitely add the door and fence alarms just to be safe.

I really did appreciate everything.....even the poem "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost.

Thanks everyone. Have a good evening.
post #26 of 37
Is your yard fenced?
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
yes. we share a fence three other neighbors. The two other fences are kind of shabby though and I think they are only four feet. The neighbor with just installed a new fence on the third side. My son is a climber so makes me kind of worried.

I just read how a three year old climbed his fence and drowned in the neighbor's pool.
post #28 of 37
Depending on where you live, there is often strict regulations about what kind of fence and security needs to be around a pool. I would check into local regulations about where you live and make sure their pool fence is up to regulation. Beyond that, I think that anything else you want to do needs to be on your property or you will likely offend your neighbors. I don't think there is anything wrong with letting them know your concerns at some point after you have met them--- they might come up with an even better solution that you have not thought of.
post #29 of 37
I think that if your kids are likely to escape the house and try to get in to the neighbor's pool, the door alarms are a good idea. But I would make an effort not to overreact, because there are always dangers, and that's why little kids need to be supervised. Your neighbor on the other side might have a big bag of rat poison in their unlocked shed, who knows?

I'm confused about the need for a taller fence-- if your son could climb the 3-4 foot fence, couldn't he get over the gate at the top of the stairs to the pool? Remember that your kids are growing and changing, and in two years, the situation will be completely different.

If you do talk to your new neighbors about the pool, I would be careful not to assume that they are careless, or haven't considered safety issues.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
I just felt heartbroken because I got the house because I thought I was going to be able to let my kids run around the yard while I sit out and read a magazine on the deck.
I don't get why you can't do this, if your yard is fenced.
post #31 of 37
I totally get wanting to have a lovely outdoor space where you can feel relaxed about your kids playing. I know your neighbours just put up a new picket fence, but honestly I think in your case I'd just go ahead and put up a taller privacy fence right next to it. Make sure the place where your kids would be playing is totally fenced in with a high and secure enough fence that you don't have to worry about them getting out. I don't think this is the only solution or the best solution for most people, but if what you are looking for is a safe-as-possible relaxing back yard then I think that's what you need to do.
post #32 of 37
Call your local code enforcement office. In our area, any pool over 24 inches deep is required to have an 8ft privacy fence with locking gate surrounding it. Then it's up to them to comply with code and not you left worrying about it. If that doesn't work, I vote you install your own privacy fence with locking gate.
post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 
Here's an update on what is going on. I spoke with my realtor who spoke with the owner's realtor about my concerns. I was informed that the neighbor does have a lock on the fence immediately around the fence. So my children will have to get over two locked fences to get to the pool. The owner said the neighbor is very nice and very careful about keeping the pool locked since there are so many kids in the neighborhood. That gives me a little bit more peace of mind.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by boopie2001 View Post
Here's an update on what is going on. I spoke with my realtor who spoke with the owner's realtor about my concerns. I was informed that the neighbor does have a lock on the fence immediately around the fence. So my children will have to get over two locked fences to get to the pool. The owner said the neighbor is very nice and very careful about keeping the pool locked since there are so many kids in the neighborhood. That gives me a little bit more peace of mind.
If it were me, I'd insist on talking with the neighbor personally, in addition to what the real estate agent. When I was house hunting, I had a real estate agent express my concern to the seller's agent, who talked to the the seller. The agent told me that my concerns were unwarranted, and I almost decided to go ahead with purchasing the house. However, I was skeptical that the agents communicated the seriousness of my concerns, and because the sellers were not local, I had the agent read a letter from me word for word over the telephone to the sellers with very specific questions from me. The sellers gave me answers that confirmed that my worries about the house were valid, and that the questions that I had originally asked the agents to convey to the sellers were never asked. I immediately pulled out of the deal.

My point is that "your agent"s primary goal is to get you to buy the house. It would be nice to think that the agent's first goal is that you will be happy with the house once you move in, but that is the agent's secondary, not primary goal.

So I suggest that you just knock on the door of the neighbor, introduce yourself, and have a little friendly chat, just to confirm what the agent told you the neighbor said.
post #35 of 37
I would talk to the neighbor too about locked gates.The seller and realtor just want to sell.

I would recommend you install your own fencing.We did chainlink,but it sounds like you will need a wood or vinyl one to discourage climbing.In OH they have the attractive nusiance laws where you could get sued when a child trespasses on your property seeing something they want to get into,and then they get harmed.Silly law IMO since it really should be the parents who watch their own kids.

I would be nervous about water and kids too.Just read of a toddler that drowned in a mini pond during a family gathering.Gotta watch these kids 24/7 and do some water safety lessons with them every year, so they will hopefully float not dorwned if they get into water unsupervised.My dh's brother drowned and he was 9 or 10!
post #36 of 37
Don't worry about the fence=rude issue.It is VERY common for new homeowners to move in and make adjustments to the house and property to fit THEIR needs.

Your first step though is a boundry survey.The mortgage survey is nothing.I found that out when I had estimates for fencing in our yard.Just hope that the survey does not show their fence is over,or anything else for that matter.When we moved in I had a surveyor marking out the boundary in the spring.Neighbor came out to see what was up,and I told him that I plan to have a fence installed,and was doing a survey to make sure I put the fence in the right place.Our fence has been up for 2 years now.
post #37 of 37
Thread Starter 
mattmma04,

thanks for the support and I am so sorry to hear about your brother. My husband and I talked about the fence and I think we are going to get one as soon as possible. I really don't feel comfortable with the fence that's there now. I was trying to find a isr (infant swimming resource) program but the nearest instructor is 2 hours away. I did find a YMCA program to enroll them and I will be constantly supervising them.
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