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New Homeowners Balk After Their Neighbors Demand They Fill In Their Pool A Child Drowned In

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When looking to buy a new home, do you ever take into consideration of a house’s history before signing all the official paperwork?

Despite the property’s morbid past, Redditor thepoolwhere and their husband were excited to have found the home they purchased for their family at an affordable price.

But as they settled and enjoyed the home’s winning feature, they were not greeted by the warmest welcoming committee.

After refusing to give in to a neighbor’s specific demand, the Original Poster (OP) visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for letting our kids play in the pool where a neighbors child died and for not getting rid of the pool?”

The Original Poster (OP) wrote:

“So when my husband and I were looking at houses we found this great one with a pool in the backyard. Normally it would have been out of our price range, but this one was a great deal.”

“The reason why was because one of the neighbors children had drowned in the pool last summer.”

“I know it’s really morbid, but my husband and I discussed it and we decided we could look past it. I mean we could never otherwise afford anything like it.”

“It was big enough that all our kids could finally have their own bedrooms.”

“When we had moved in the pool was empty and we didn’t see the point in filling it since at the time it was too cold out to go swimming anyway.”

“Since it’s getting hot out now we decided to finally fill it last week. Our kids had a great time swimming and were having fun laughing and playing games.”

“Later though husband was confronted by our neighbor (the one whose kid died) saying that the sounds of kids playing in the pool was traumatizing to his family and that we were horrible for letting our kids play in that pool after what happened.”

“Since then we’ve learned from an online post that several other people in the neighborhood similarly feel that we are being insensitive by letting out kids play in the pool.”

“Many of them thinking that the right thing to do would have been to get rid of the pool or fill it up.”

“Even considering it all though we don’t want to get rid of our pool. We never had a pool before, but now we’re really enjoying it and our kids do too.”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Redditors weighed in with their mostly “not the a**hole” responses.

“NTA….and you can’t change what happened before you moved in.” – Separate_Entrance_36

“Not only that, it is extremely expensive to remove/fill in a pool that is below ground. If they didnt have the money to put the pool in, they definitely dont have the money to take it out.”

“If the community is so traumatized by it then they can scoop together the tens of thousands of dollars to make themselves feel better.”

“And that would be assuming that OP actually wanted to not have the pool in the first place. Although honestly they are definitely a big financial drain if you dont have lots of money to throw at it. Speaking as someone who has lived in two houses with pools we couldnt afford.” – GoochMasterFlash

“Removing the pool would lose OP so much money and in more ways than one. First when OP purchased the property, they paid for the value added to the property by the presence of a pool.”

“If the pool isn’t there, OP will have paid extra for nothing. Then there is, like you mentioned, the cost of removal. And then the OP, not having a pool anymore, would miss out the the future value of the property for its absence.”

“And that’s just the financial impact, before accounting for just missing out on being able to enjoy having a pool, which was almost certainly part of the reason they decided to buy that house in the first place.”

“If the neighbors were so ate up about it, they should have bought the house themselves when it was on the market and removed it themselves. They must have known as soon as it went up for sale that whoever bought it would surely intend to use the pool.” – AgainPaintedInky

“Or moved. If the sound of kids having fun next door is that traumatizing, why would you stay?”

“Accidents happen. Its tragic and I can understand why the pool would upset you if your child drown in it, sounds like the folks who owned the house left after the traumatic event, hence OP getting a good deal on their new home, but the answer to the neighbor’s grief isn’t the new owners having to give up a part of the property they purchased.”

“The rest of the neighborhood is obnoxious to even suggest it. OP is NTA.” – slydog4100

“Regardless of the sounds of kids playing in the pool; most families wouldn’t be able to stay in the same house when they lost a child a few doors down.”

“I’m sorry that this will sound pretty crappy, but I was a lifeguard when I was 16-18. The 3 kids I needed to save were all between ages 3-8 and circumstance were because of negligent parent/guardians.”

“Either completely not looking at the kid while giving attention to another adult; or once sending the kid in ahead of them, assuming that they’d behave and not just jump in despite not being able to swim (the kid forget that they weren’t wearing the floatation gear they needed).”

“Which is a long way to say the neighbour may be feeling some guilt, and looking to project it to someone else. NTA.” – coffee_u

“NTA – I can understand how those sounds could be traumatizing to the family who lost the child, but it’s really not reasonable to expect that pool to never be used again. And calling you “horrible” for using your own pool is completely out of line, even if they’re grieving.”

“I hope you can come to some kind of an agreement that can respect their feelings, but in the end it’s your pool in your yard and it’s not anyone else’s business if you use it or not, regardless of what your neighbors think about it.” – BeepBlipBlapBloop

The OP later addressed a commeon concern raised in the thread.

“We’ve noticed a lot of comments are telling us to put in a fence. We already have a tall fence that is completely solid (not see through) and we always keep the gate locked.”

“Also the child in question died while swimming during a pool party.”

Losing a child in a tragic accident is something no parent should ever face.

And while the grieving parent in the OP’s situation deserved sympathy, many Redditors still believed the OP’s family was entitled to enjoying the very pool that sealed the deal for them in purchasing the home.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo