Who has had a pool?

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ThankYouJack
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Who has had a pool?

Post by ThankYouJack »

Who has had or built a pool, do you have kids, what kind did you have and how did/do you like it?

Unless you've owned a pool please don't respond with a pool is a waste of money, you should instead invest, play it super safe financially and watch your portfolio grow.
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

we have an above ground pool from costco. put it up in the summer and take it down the rest of the year.

my kids love it. it is like 18x9 feet or so. yesterday, my 5 year old was playing outside and asked me if it was time to put it up yet.
remomnyc
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by remomnyc »

We had a pool in my teens. It was great for parties, but otherwise not used regularly after the first summer. I was envious of all the kids who hung out at the community pool, which we couldn't join because we had one. My parents were never home and I am shocked that my siblings and our friends did not suffer grievous injuries given the stupid things we did. While we were sleeping, someone climbed our fence and used our pool and nearly drowned. The insurance company said our fence was not secure and my dad ended up paying six figures to the trespassers. When my parents bought their last house, the first thing they did was fill in the pool and pave over it. Even though they didn't want a pool, they bought the house with a pool because it was cheaper than the ones without one.
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czeckers
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by czeckers »

Our current house has an above ground pool that was installed by the previous owner. Prior to this we never had a pool and I was generally ambivalent about them.

During the summer our kids use it almost daily, though usually just for a brief dip. The pool is fairly labor intensive. Every day you have to check pH, chlorine level, etc. If you have trees nearby you also have to vacuum. We live in a cold climate so have to open/close the pool every season.

Growing up, many of my friends had in-ground pools and I figured that was the norm. I actually really like the above ground pool, and if I were installing one, I'd definitely go that route, opting for a 30' diameter pool. I find that in-ground pools have a small shallow end and a small deep end and most of the pool is a slanted transition between the shallow and deep ends. The shallow end is too small to play games and the deep end is still too small to do much plus diving boards are a liability. The above ground pool with a uniform depth is great. In my area, an above ground pool installation is about $8K for the 30' pool whereas an in-ground pool with concrete deck, fence, and landscaping runs $60-$100K.

With respect to house resale value, my gestalt is that half the buyers will see it as a plus and half will see it as a liability. However I'm not a real estate professional.

Hope this helps.
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Gill
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by Gill »

Much depends on where you live. I’ve lived in Florida 41 years and wouldn’t be without one. When I lived in Western New York, no thanks.
Gill
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knpstr
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by knpstr »

Have an in-ground pool here in Michigan. No heater. Opening and closing is no big deal. Open to close is May through September. With a heater you can lengthen the season.

We like it. We didn't seek it out, but the house we liked the best just happen to also have a pool. Recently got a Kreepy Krauly and would highly recommend one, it sweeps the pool on it's own.

I don't think I'd put a pool in if we didn't have one, but I am also glad we have it (if that makes any sense).
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goblue100
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by goblue100 »

I have an in-ground pool. It's a waste of money, you should invest the money in a balanced fund instead. :)
I am serious, if I could go back and not do the pool, I would. I've threatened to fill it in, but my wife won't let me. I will say the 4 or 5 times we use it a year, it's ok, but I'd rather have put the initial expense $35,000 + the yearly upkeep ($2400) in a vacation fund and go to Caribbean or Hawaii more often. You will use it often the first year or two but once the novelty wears off and the kids get older, you most likely won't.
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jebmke
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by jebmke »

We have an in-ground pool. Came with the house. Mid Atlantic state. We enjoy using it but I wouldn't put one in if one wasn't already there. Increasingly we are losing days in the summer to climbing temperatures. Some days the pool is just to warm to use.
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alfaspider
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by alfaspider »

We have a pool that came with the house. Sometimes it's a pain, but it's also nice to have around. One thing I'd highly recommend (especially if you are in a buggy area) is a full bugscreen canopy for it. Ours came with one and it makes maintenance much easier without leaves and other debris falling in. Also, since we have a toddler, it provides some peace of mind as the door can be closed and has a high handle.

Check out the troublefree pool forum for some great tips on chemicals (hint: you don't need anything from the pool store).
eli80
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by eli80 »

We live in NE Ohio. Put it in about 15 years ago. Kids were 7 and 11 at the time. My regret was not doing it a couple of years earlier. It was a gathering spot for friends. We still enjoy it now although not as much because the kids no longer live in the area.

Ours is an in ground vinyl liner pool. It is essentially like an above ground pool with steel sides and a light weight concrete bottom with a vinyl liner covering it all. I don't think there is that much work to it but my wife would disagree. However, she is one of those types of people that are bothered by any little bit of debris in the bottom. For her it needs to be spotless if people are coming over.

Initially our pool use bromine for sanitizing. Not that big of a deal to fill the bromine reservoir once a week or so. We had a new liner put in a couple of years ago and switched to a salt generator system. It has made things even easier. Not need to check and balance the pH as much. We have a heater so we 4.5 months or so use out of it each summer.

I have a neighbor who put his in a year before me. He moans about it all the time. Probably wishes he never put it in. He also is a guy that is not very handy. I don't mind doing maintenance things. If you are inclined to do it - do it.
smitcat
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by smitcat »

We have an inground pool with heater decks etc - came with the house. It was used often for about 3 years when our daughter was young but before she started many other 'activities'. Since then the pool gets used maybe 2-3 time a year and for a short period of time when it does get used.
All in all it has been a drain of time and money for very little paybacks - would have been better off without it.
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

forgot to add.. yes, if you don't have a salt water pool it is a lot of work... but i bought a salt water colorinator off amazon for about 150 dollars for my above ground pool.. and its magical. once setup is done. i don't have to do much the rest of the year as far as chemicals.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by SmileyFace »

We put in a pool about 15 or 16 years ago when our kids were young. 20' x 40' inground. No regrets - some of my fondest memories are spending time out in the pool with the kids after work or on the weekends. Now that the kids are older (in college) they still like to use it when home for the summer and my wife and I still enjoy it as well. I find it relaxing just sitting out there with a book or unwinding out there with Gin/Tonic after work. My wife likes to swim laps. If we were to move we might reconsider now that we don't have young kids but while we stay we aren't planning on filling it in. People say "You could drive to the beach or a public pool instead" but I wouldn't do that on a regular basis - noisy (and potentially dirty) and I can't enjoy a drink there. I like having my own backyard oasis.
It is far less maintenance (for us) than everyone without a pool claims it to be. It is less than an hour weekly to vacuum and balance chemicals. When we open it in the spring and close it in the fall its a few hours. However - we put it in an area of our property that is relatively free of leaves - I imagine there might be a bit more maintenance if you try to nestle one between a lot of trees. I also do NOT have a salt water pool and don't consider it a lot of work by any means.
(You were smart to say "If you don't own a pool please don't respond" - there was another thread last year sometime where there were lots of negative comments about "waste of money" ... "too much time" ... etc. - and you guessed it - those were mostly from folks who didn't own one).
alfaspider
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by alfaspider »

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:01 am forgot to add.. yes, if you don't have a salt water pool it is a lot of work... but i bought a salt water colorinator off amazon for about 150 dollars for my above ground pool.. and its magical. once setup is done. i don't have to do much the rest of the year as far as chemicals.
Caution: converting a chlorine/bromine in-ground pool to salt water is a much more involved process. Simply switching to salt water can cause a lot of damage to equipment.
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

alfaspider wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:08 am
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:01 am forgot to add.. yes, if you don't have a salt water pool it is a lot of work... but i bought a salt water colorinator off amazon for about 150 dollars for my above ground pool.. and its magical. once setup is done. i don't have to do much the rest of the year as far as chemicals.
Caution: converting a chlorine/bromine in-ground pool to salt water is a much more involved process. Simply switching to salt water can cause a lot of damage to equipment.
thanks for adding that. that is an important distinction. a great example is if you have a heater loop i believe for salt water the heat exchanger has to be titanium and not aluminum, just as an example.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by SmileyFace »

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:15 am
alfaspider wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:08 am
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:01 am forgot to add.. yes, if you don't have a salt water pool it is a lot of work... but i bought a salt water colorinator off amazon for about 150 dollars for my above ground pool.. and its magical. once setup is done. i don't have to do much the rest of the year as far as chemicals.
Caution: converting a chlorine/bromine in-ground pool to salt water is a much more involved process. Simply switching to salt water can cause a lot of damage to equipment.
thanks for adding that. that is an important distinction. a great example is if you have a heater loop i believe for salt water the heat exchanger has to be titanium and not aluminum, just as an example.
I don't get the "lot of work" comment - perhaps you can define to the OP what this means to you?
For me - I spend about an hour on the weekend to vacuum, backwash, balance chemicals after an overnight shock (The majority of this hour is in the vacuum process which I could cut down if I wasn't too cheap to buy an auto-vac - but having a salt-water pool doesn't negate the need to vacuum does it?? Do leaves, hair, debris disappear on their own with salt?). When I first open the pool I do have to check chemical balance a bit more frequently (takes an entire 5 minutes a few times a week). The most time I spend is with vaccumming which I would still have to do with salt water unless I'm missing some of the magic that comes with salt. Doing chemical re balancing is at most 10 minutes a week (test the water and adjust). Perhaps I'm just lucky and have no problems with my routine?
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KSOC
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by KSOC »

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:46 am we have an above ground pool from costco. put it up in the summer and take it down the rest of the year.

my kids love it. it is like 18x9 feet or so. yesterday, my 5 year old was playing outside and asked me if it was time to put it up yet.
This.

We bought a home (with limited time frame) with an inground pool in Florida. It is not screened. That's good as the sun heats the pool & helps prevent certain algae. Bad because the neighbors have leaf bearing trees. Two kids, they were young. Kids grown up & out of the house. Pool gets little activity other than me servicing/maintaining. I'm not gonna fill in the pool as the home & pool fit together & I believe the pool enhances the value. Lush tropical foliage surrounds. It's really the only reason we discuss downsizing. When budgets are tight a pool is costly. As the budget loosens it's nice to have for get togethers/cook outs, but still a PITA.
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njboater74
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by njboater74 »

I bought a house with an inground pool. Some say a pool doesn't add value, and maybe that's true in the aggregate, but personally, I know I paid a premium to get a house with a pool. It was worth it for me.

It's a great experience for kids. They love having their friends come over and it's a great outdoor activity for the summer months. For me, it's like having a little vacation spot in the backyard.

I don't own a salt water pool, but don't feel the maintenance is much. I spend a 2-3 minutes a day making sure there is the right amount of chlorine and pH balance. It's a minor effort, like brushing your teeth. I do agree that a salt water pool would be easier.

What are your main concerns? If you aren't sure you'd like it, an above ground is substantially cheaper and may provide you a comparable experience. Then if you love it, you can decide if you want to make a larger investment to the inground.
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samta09
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by samta09 »

We just moved in to our new house with an unground pool. It was a little overwhelming at first because I had never owned one but gotten more comfortable and knowledgeable in terms of daily/weekly maintenances. Trouble free pool.com or TFP is a great resource.

I ended up using the bleach instead of chlorine tablets since they both are chlorine but bleach is cheaper and does not contain cyanuric acid (CYA), which will build up over time, preventing the chlorine to kill algae. Go to TFP for more info on this.

I also have the robot vacuum that cleans the pool periodically. Without this thing, I don’t think I’d enjoy the pool as much as too much time is spent cleaning the pool. It does a really good job cleaning debris on wall and bottom of pool. Basically, i’d set it to clean every 2 days and forget about it.

I have a 2 and 5 years old and they seem to enjoy it every much. I can see it would get less use as kids become older. I’m working on getting the fence to cover the rest of the pool to prevent accidents. I must say, this was the biggest risk for us since we have small children so I’m taking all precautions to mitigate this problem.

Unless your pool equipment breaks, I can’t see the annual expense tops $1k, that’s including opening and closing, plus any chemicals for the pool.
chambers136
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by chambers136 »

We have an in ground pool that came with the house. I wasn't real excited about it at first, but I've actually found it very easy to maintain. I spend probably $150/year on it using the BBB(Bleach, Borax, Baking Soda) method. I'm surprised as I read through a few of these posts how much money people spend to maintain. If you're capable of managing and understanding your own finances, you're capable of managing the chemistry of your pool. If you have it set up right and don't have a large amount of foreign materials (leaves, etc) falling in, the pH remains stable for weeks or months, I have a pump to add chlorine. I will often check the chlorine level every few days, which takes less than 5 minutes. I can leave on vacation for a few weeks and just need to get a few worms out, chlorine level remains stable due to the timed addition of chlorine. I've found it not at all to be the money/time consumer that I've heard it was.
smitcat
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by smitcat »

samta09 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:29 am We just moved in to our new house with an unground pool. It was a little overwhelming at first because I had never owned one but gotten more comfortable and knowledgeable in terms of daily/weekly maintenances. Trouble free pool.com or TFP is a great resource.

I ended up using the bleach instead of chlorine tablets since they both are chlorine but bleach is cheaper and does not contain cyanuric acid (CYA), which will build up over time, preventing the chlorine to kill algae. Go to TFP for more info on this.

I also have the robot vacuum that cleans the pool periodically. Without this thing, I don’t think I’d enjoy the pool as much as too much time is spent cleaning the pool. It does a really good job cleaning debris on wall and bottom of pool. Basically, i’d set it to clean every 2 days and forget about it.

I have a 2 and 5 years old and they seem to enjoy it every much. I can see it would get less use as kids become older. I’m working on getting the fence to cover the rest of the pool to prevent accidents. I must say, this was the biggest risk for us since we have small children so I’m taking all precautions to mitigate this problem.

Unless your pool equipment breaks, I can’t see the annual expense tops $1k, that’s including opening and closing, plus any chemicals for the pool.
Yearly costs vary but here is a start.....
$500+ - electric
$400 - chemicals (summer,winter,testing,etc)
$500+ - replacment items (robot pool vac parts, pump, cover, water bags, etc)
$400+ - fencing/gates/landscaping related to the pool

Evenatually the pool itself will need some service which will be expensive (liner, resurface/repairs).
Your mileage maty vary but that is an average of ours.
open_circuit
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by open_circuit »

We had a very inexpensive above-ground pool for two years, then built an in-ground pool. We started with the above ground pool when the kids were about 4 and 3, and moved away from the house with the in-ground pool when they were 8 and 7. We owned and operated the in-ground pool for about 2.5 years before leaving that house.

In ground pool was a lap pool, about 35 x 12 ft, 5-ish ft deep in middle, with attached hot tub. We had salt water chlorination, cartridge filter, and a large natural gas heater.

We moved to a very different climate when we left the in-ground pool home behind. Even if we had remained in an area where in-ground pools are practical, I don't think I'd want one again. The kids did enjoy the pool, but I found the in-ground pool to be too much stress and work. I'm quite happy to have many good (indoor and outdoor) public pools available where I live now, and can use them for very low cost. Also, our neighborhood HOA operates a pool from Memorial day to Labor day, which we can use for no additional cost, since it is paid from HOA dues. We did not have these amenities in our previous neighborhood.
forgeblast
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by forgeblast »

18' above ground pool (the slope of the land has it about 3 feet from the ground on one side and full open on the other.
Its not something I use a lot, its more for my daughter and wife.
I had one growing up that was a huge pain, this one is much more manageable.
Hoping to build a deck this year or next.
chevca
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by chevca »

My parents got a pool when we were young. I was about 10 when it went in... it was an in-ground 18x36 and we lived in MN. For my dad, his yard and the pool were his fav thing to take care of and he had them looking great when seasons allowed. For him it was no big deal and not a lot of work. I should add, he had the auto vac thing he called "the robot" and that made things easy... and it did get to be more work as years went by, trees matured, and more and more junk always got in the pool. For me, I wouldn't like it or want to put the time in.

It was great having the pool when we were young. It got used all the time during the summer months between us and our friends. Then we kids got older, moved out, the folks got older, and it got used less and less over the years. My folks would have neighbors and their little ones over to use it somewhat often. They liked that having folks over. I wouldn't like that, don't want to entertain the neighborhood kids.

After dad passed, my mom wanted little to nothing to do with the pool and had it filled in. Mom since passed and sis is not living in the house. It's much better that it's just a nice looking yard now. Sis wouldn't take care of it, and whether she decides to stay, or rent it, or sell it, no pool is better either way.

I would imagine that a fairly common life cycle of a pool where one family stays in the same house for darn near ever. It may be different if the house is sold many times... and I imagine location plays a part in it. It was great for our family and dad when we were young. Personally, I would never have one. Somewhat like home ownership, I think it's a personal and lifestyle choice.
runner3081
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by runner3081 »

The house we bought 5-years ago had a pool and we still live there. We did not pay a premium whatsoever for the pool and it was not a "must have" when we were shopping.

-It is considered a "play pool". Sort of a kidney shape that goes from 3-5 feet deep with sitting benches around the edge.

We use it daily from about late May through September. My daughter is 5 and we look forward it to every evening. It is a nice break from the 105+ degree weather that drones on in AZ. While I am at work, my wife and daughter also use it in the morning.

Yearly Chemical Cost = $125 (I can't believe the insane amounts of chemical costs I see, I would prefer not to swim in a toxic dump of chemicals).

Chlorine and testing strips are about all we have needed. Also, a couple of bottle of liquid Chlorine shock.

It takes me about 10 minutes per week, max, to check the levels, add chlorine, sweep and backwash the sand filter (backwash 1x per month). We do have a Hayward Vac, that does most of the heavy lifting :)

We did have to replace the sand filter, it was $999.

We use the troublefreepool forums for insight into maintenance.

To be honest, our biggest issue about the pool are the dang bees that fly around it!
goblue100
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by goblue100 »

smitcat wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:47 am
samta09 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:29 am We just moved in to our new house with an unground pool. It was a little overwhelming at first because I had never owned one but gotten more comfortable and knowledgeable in terms of daily/weekly maintenances. Trouble free pool.com or TFP is a great resource.

I ended up using the bleach instead of chlorine tablets since they both are chlorine but bleach is cheaper and does not contain cyanuric acid (CYA), which will build up over time, preventing the chlorine to kill algae. Go to TFP for more info on this.

I also have the robot vacuum that cleans the pool periodically. Without this thing, I don’t think I’d enjoy the pool as much as too much time is spent cleaning the pool. It does a really good job cleaning debris on wall and bottom of pool. Basically, i’d set it to clean every 2 days and forget about it.

I have a 2 and 5 years old and they seem to enjoy it every much. I can see it would get less use as kids become older. I’m working on getting the fence to cover the rest of the pool to prevent accidents. I must say, this was the biggest risk for us since we have small children so I’m taking all precautions to mitigate this problem.

Unless your pool equipment breaks, I can’t see the annual expense tops $1k, that’s including opening and closing, plus any chemicals for the pool.
Yearly costs vary but here is a start.....
$500+ - electric
$400 - chemicals (summer,winter,testing,etc)
$500+ - replacment items (robot pool vac parts, pump, cover, water bags, etc)
$400+ - fencing/gates/landscaping related to the pool

Evenatually the pool itself will need some service which will be expensive (liner, resurface/repairs).
Your mileage maty vary but that is an average of ours.
I would say my expenses are in this ballpark. I don't spend $400 a year on fencing / landscaping. People that are saying under $200 a year in chemical costs are delusional, or have kiddie pools. Maybe with a salt cell it is possible, but a replacement salt cell is what, $800? Either that or they keep their chlorine level below the needed level to kill the nasty bugs like cryptosporidium. I'm in sunny Texas, so my 20,000 gallon pool needs about 4 gallons of bleach and a gallon of muriatic acid a week, from at least May till September. Probably half that the rest of the year. That's $80 a month for about 4 months, and say $30 a month for 8 months. Also use about 15 pounds of baking soda to get alkalinity up a year, I use a bucket of chlorine tabs for stabilizer ($70). I'd say that all adds up to about $800. That sounds a little high, so call it $600.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns
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UpsetRaptor
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by UpsetRaptor »

Bought a house with an inground fiberglass pool. Was skeptical at first, but like it a lot now. The kids love it, and it's nice to be the "fun" house that all the kids' friends want to play at. Great for hosting, easy at-home birthday parties, etc.

Fiberglass has pros and cons vs concrete, but the big pro is less all-around maintenance (both work and money - less cleaning, no liner to replace, less chemical interaction with pool wall means less chemical usage, don't need to run pump as much, no algae buildup so no acid treatments, etc). Average annual cost for us of chemicals, water, and electricity, is around $1K/yr. We haven't had anything "big" go wrong yet though.

Once the kids are gone it'll probably be nothing more for us than a hole in the ground, might fill it in.

Troublefreepool.com is the DIY boglehead forum of pool ownership. They're all pro-pool if you're still in decision mode, but if you decide to get one, check them out.
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tyrion
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by tyrion »

We just moved to a house with a pool. We had considered putting one in, but moving ended up being a better choice for us - now we have several other things which our last house lacked.

The pool was on our must-have list. My wife grew up with one, and the kids (10 and 12) spend most of their time in the pool when we visit the in-laws (during the summers, of course - not so much in the winter).

I would heartily second Trouble Free Pool. After firing the pool guy who had the CYA above 180 and PH under 7, I've managed to get the pool in working order. Chemicals are not expensive - just bleach and acid. The local pool store has an exchange program for gallon bottles so you just pay form the chemicals, not the containers.

I ditched the suction cleaner for a pool robot, and it's been awesome. There are some nearby trees (including oak trees which drop acorns) and the robot makes quick work of all that stuff. Well, not quick as the cycle time is two hours. But it's quiet and automated.

If you're handy and like to work around the house the pool maintenance is no big deal. Trouble Free Pool and youtube videos cover everything you need to know.
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verbose
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by verbose »

We bought a house with an existing above-ground pool in 1998 in the midwest. The pool was usable from late May through late August. It was 36k gallons, about 3 feet deep throughout, rounded-rectangle shaped.

Most of the existing pool equipment was in missing or in poor condition when we bought the house--that was largely due to the fact that we were buying a house from a divorcing couple and the husband took everything he could.

But we discovered a few things about maintaining an above-ground pool in the midwest:

- Most pool equipment and components last from one to three seasons before failing: hoses, skimmer, vacuum, winter cover, summer cover, etc.

- We lived there about eight years and had to replace the filter and the pump. I don't know how old they were before failing.

- You get what you pay for. Cheap hoses burst earlier. Cheap clamps come loose.

- Never use cheap chemicals--it's a false economy. They just don't work.

- Find a good pool store. You'll be there a lot. They will know your name. Buy your chemicals there--not at Walmart.

- We had to remove a mature tree that had grown over the pool and was dropping debris in it. Before we removed that tree, keeping the water in quality was impossible. Some neighbors were horrified we had a perfectly healthy large tree removed. Well, it was that or the pool and we chose the pool. They couldn't co-exist.

- Chemical adjustment is a daily task, twice daily during heat waves. If you ever want to use the pool, you can't skip that. So maybe you only swim in it on Saturdays, but you can only do that if you were out there every day during the week testing chemicals.

- Color-blind people cannot adjust the chemicals. Excellent color vision is required to read the water tests.

- Chemicals should be kept inside the home where it's climate-controlled--not in a shed or garage.

- It took me two years to get the chemical routine down to where I could actually get the water to be consistently clear. Some of that depends on the natural characteristics of the municipal water you use to fill the pool. There isn't an instruction manual for it.

- Critters will climb in the pool and die. Frogs, birds, ducks. It's your job to fish them out of there and dispose of them.

- Pool antifreeze is not optional if you don't want to be fixing pipes and filling a pool in the middle of January. We actually had to do that twice.

- Pool services do not service above-ground pools: do it yourself or get rid of the pool.

- The pool might seem expensive (chemicals and electricity), but the expenses are only June - August. When annualized, it's not that much.

- In the midwest, run the pump 24 hours a day. Either the pool is open or closed--the climate is too hot during the summer and too much stuff gets blown into the pool to turn off the pump at night.

- Fencing matters. Our fence was very inadequate because it went up in the 1970s with the pool. I'm not sure why the original insurance company agreed to cover the home, but they did. When we wanted to switch home insurers about five years later, no insurance company would take us. Eventually we sold the house. Read the municipal code and follow it exactly.

- The plumbing for above-ground pools is not standard and yours may not be done correctly. Ours was a mess. We had a central drain (no reason for that, but we couldn't remove it and someone had to go under water in 60-degree water to plug it when closing the pool). The circulation was very poor because the return was too close to the skimmer. So my husband jerry-rigged three additional returns, with plumbing hanging under the ledge of the pool all around.

- With all that water, keeping a safe electric supply to the pool is difficult but very important. Our pump once spent an entire season running off a 100-foot extension cord. That was less than ideal, but we were trying to find the break in the underground conduit.

- Once you know how pools work, you will never be able to trust community or hotel pools again. They need to do nearly as much to keep the chemical balance correct, and do you really think the teenager who checks your pool pass while he's on his phone is up to that? No. Our community pool on a 4th of July in a heat wave had cloudy water, no chlorine smell, water temp at least 90 degrees, and was filled with swimmers--that's called sharing bathwater with a hundred sweaty people, though most didn't realize it.

Note that we sold this house in 2007, and we had the pool routine settled by 2003, so online pool forums were not a thing. I'm sure I could have used them in 1999 when the pool spent most of the summer green.

Would we get a pool again? Maybe. But not one like that. In our climate, we would get a small in-ground heated spa (like a hot tub, but can be hot or cool). Mostly all we wanted to do was soak in it, so it didn't need to be nearly as large as it was. Also, we usually spent time in the pool in the evening due to work schedules. Except for heat waves, the pool wasn't warm enough for an evening soak and it couldn't be heated due to its size. We moved before our kids reached prime pool age, which I would say is at least 7 years old. Littler kids get tired of the pool very quickly, besides requiring an adult to be physically in the pool and in reach at all times. You could easily spend more time changing a toddler in and out of her swimsuit than the toddler spends swimming.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by unclescrooge »

goblue100 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:14 am I have an in-ground pool. It's a waste of money, you should invest the money in a balanced fund instead. :)
I am serious, if I could go back and not do the pool, I would. I've threatened to fill it in, but my wife won't let me. I will say the 4 or 5 times we use it a year, it's ok, but I'd rather have put the initial expense $35,000 + the yearly upkeep ($2400) in a vacation fund and go to Caribbean or Hawaii more often. You will use it often the first year or two but once the novelty wears off and the kids get older, you most likely won't.
Isn't the use dependent on the individual?
chambers136
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by chambers136 »

goblue100 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:36 pm People that are saying under $200 a year in chemical costs are delusional, or have kiddie pools.
Or we just understand how to maintain a pool?
AlD
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by AlD »

I was a first time home buyer 8 years ago. Since the area I was looking in has really hot summers, I was looking for a house that already had an in-ground pool (I love swimming). During pool season, I use it on average about 3 times per week. It's especially nice during heat waves to take a dip and cool down right before going to bed; we use the A/C sparingly because we are cheap =) We like to host pool parties and it can be a nice alternative to expensive vacations (staycations can be nice), although it's sometimes a battle trying to convince the girlfriend that laying by the pool in our backyard is not much different than doing the same thing in (insert name of expensive hotel/resort in tropical location here_________). Sometimes she wins those battles and we end up laying by a pool in Cabo.

We don't have kids and don't plan on having any.

I love my pool, but it is definitely an added expense/headache. Repairs can be pricey, especially if you are not handy and unable to do them yourself.

Below is a list of issues and items purchased over the last 8 years (keep in mind, this pool was only 3 years old when I purchased the house in 2010)

2011
- Repair two pieces of pool coping that came loose ($400)
- Repair crack in pool sweep PVC elbow and replace pressure gauge ($350)
- Replace broken pool light ($375)
- Remove and replace mastic ($650)
- Replace faulty flow-switch ($170)
- Replace temperature sensor ($70)
- Install Letro Legend Pool Sweep ($880) - Should last 10 years, but bags need to be replaced every other season ($30)

The above were repair estimates from the pool builder (cost of materials and labor). I repaired/replaced some of these items myself at a fraction of the cost. Below, where I noted "-DIY," I am just posting the cost of the part.

2012
- Pole Brush ($25) - DIY - replace every 3 or 4 years
- Leaf net ($25) - DIY - replace every 2 or 3 years

2013
- Replacement pool sweep bag ($30- replace every other year)- DIY
- Replace broken back-up valve on pool sweep ($40) -DIY

2014
- Replace old power hungry 2HP pump with a variable speed pump ($1,600) - Professionally installed so as to get a ($200) rebate from local utility provider. New pump also required a firmware upgrade on control panel which eliminated DIY as an option for me.
- Replace Salt Cell ($450)- DIY

2015
- Pool cover ($200) - DIY - Purchased at peak of California drought to help conserve water. Worked great, but requires replacement every other season, even though I bought the 16Mil, which is the heaviest they sold.

2016
- Professional leak test ($550)- Pool was losing 2 inches of water every day. Cause- leaking drain that fed the waterfall pump (dodged a bullet since we were able to just cap the drain; we never ran the waterfall anyways). To repair leaky pipe would require completely draining, cutting out the area above the leak and a full re-plaster = $15K-$20K. I opted to install the $2 plug myself! lol

2017
- Cartridge filter housing cracked- replace unit ($780) - DIY

The plaster is still in decent shape, but from what I understand, replastering after 15-20 years is typical and will run anywhere from $10K-$15K.

Where I live we have heavy clay soil. The pool deck sinks 2" in the summer (when the clay dries and contracts) and rises back to the level of the coping in the winter (when the clay is wet and expands). This is likely the reason the waterfall drain developed a leak. I'm really hoping the floor drain that feeds the filter does not also develop a leak.

I maintain the pool myself.
I brush walls every other week, clean leaf baskets and net leaves that the skimmer missed (30-45 minutes).
I clean the pleated filter cartridges once or twice per year (2 hours each time).

I spend on average $150/year on Salt, Chlorine, CYA and Muriatic Acid.

I estimate an additional $50/month on the power bill due to the pool pump. Heating the pool can be very expensive, so we don't.

As mentioned by others, if you plan to maintain water chemistry yourself, look into the troublefreepool website/forum for tips. The big chain pool stores try to sell you all sorts of overpriced/unnecessary chemicals.
I strongly recommend using a Salt System (they are almost set it and forget it).

Back of the napkin math for annual cost of the pool (repairs, maintenance, electricity etc.) is around $1,200 per year. When a re-plaster is needed, that annual figure will jump up quite a bit.

Having said all this, I still enjoy the pool. However, I can see how as I get older and use the pool less, I may want to fill it in or move to a house that doesn't have one.

:sharebeer
goblue100
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by goblue100 »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:52 pm
goblue100 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:14 am I have an in-ground pool. It's a waste of money, you should invest the money in a balanced fund instead. :)
I am serious, if I could go back and not do the pool, I would. I've threatened to fill it in, but my wife won't let me. I will say the 4 or 5 times we use it a year, it's ok, but I'd rather have put the initial expense $35,000 + the yearly upkeep ($2400) in a vacation fund and go to Caribbean or Hawaii more often. You will use it often the first year or two but once the novelty wears off and the kids get older, you most likely won't.
Isn't the use dependent on the individual?
It is. I'm describing our experience. We have one child, grown now. I have one friend who has a pool that uses it 3 or 4 times a week (his kids are grown also), and another friend who is like me, and wishes it was gone. YMMV.
Or we just understand how to maintain a pool? by chambers136
I suspect they have no idea how to maintain a pool. I know all the cost cutting methods and I test it myself. 4 gallons of bleach a week is $12. A gallon of acid is $7. I can't keep my chlorine above 1 ppm and my ph between 7.2 and 7.6 with less. I have a stabilizer level of ~30ppm.
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns
open_circuit
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by open_circuit »

verbose wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:47 pm - Chemicals should be kept inside the home where it's climate-controlled--not in a shed or garage.
Which chemicals are you referring to? We used muriatic acid to adjust PH in our pool. I would never store that inside my living space.
gtaylor
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by gtaylor »

verbose wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:47 pm Once you know how pools work, you will never be able to trust community or hotel pools again. They need to do nearly as much to keep the chemical balance correct, and do you really think the teenager who checks your pool pass while he's on his phone is up to that? No. Our community pool on a 4th of July in a heat wave had cloudy water, no chlorine smell, water temp at least 90 degrees, and was filled with swimmers--that's called sharing bathwater with a hundred sweaty people, though most didn't realize it.
I used to be one of those teenagers :)

It's actually not as bad as you think, certainly not at larger pools. Larger operations are considerably more automated and proactive. The one I worked at had automatic sensor-controlled chlorine and acid feeders. So the chlorine and pH were generally spot-on. The place was closed one day a week for whatever water maintenance was needed, often shocking or other chemicals. The real health hazard there was the snack shop...

Later I owed a house in Massachusetts with an in ground pool in the front yard (!). It was in poor repair and certainly not worth any cost to revamp, so we buried it. Glad we did...
Arabesque
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by Arabesque »

I would never own a pool, but it's not about resale, saving, maintenance, or germs. I know someone whose child drown in their pool.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by SmileyFace »

Arabesque wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:13 pm I would never own a pool, but it's not about resale, saving, maintenance, or germs. I know someone whose child drown in their pool.
I know someone whose child died in a car accident but I still own a car.
samta09
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by samta09 »

DaftInvestor wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:33 pm
Arabesque wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:13 pm I would never own a pool, but it's not about resale, saving, maintenance, or germs. I know someone whose child drown in their pool.
I know someone whose child died in a car accident but I still own a car.
Lol
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tyrion
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by tyrion »

DaftInvestor wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:33 pm
Arabesque wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:13 pm I would never own a pool, but it's not about resale, saving, maintenance, or germs. I know someone whose child drown in their pool.
I know someone whose child died in a car accident but I still own a car.
I was going to say something similar but didn't want to sound callous. And unfortunately I did have a high school friend who lost his toddler brother in a pool drowning.

I'm not sure I would own a pool with very young kids. And if I did I would have redundant security measures on it - a physical barrier (locks on doors, gated pool fence), an alarm (on the doors, or motion sensing), probably a pool cover too. And I would teach my kids to swim at the earliest possible opportunity.
btenny
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by btenny »

I do not have a pool now that I am old and retired and do not spend the summers in Phoenix. Not having a pool to take care of was a key factor is selecting our retirement home.

When I was younger we always had a pool. We built the pool in our first home (in my twenties) before we had our first kid. We lived in that home for 8 years. It was fantastic to come home and flop in the pool or play with my kid and my wife when it was hot outside. It took some work to keep it clean but that was OK. It was a in ground pool with chlorine cleaning.

I bought my second home (also in Phoenix) when my family got larger. It had a big in ground pool. We loved that house and pool. The kids used the pool almost every day for 6+ months a year. So did all their friends. I used it pretty often and also loved to set outside by it as well. But it was a beast to keep clean due to various factors. It also cost a bunch for chemicals and electricity. It was a chlorine based system. We kept that house until the kids were all grown and gone.

Good Luck.
smitcat
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by smitcat »

chambers136 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:57 pm
goblue100 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:36 pm People that are saying under $200 a year in chemical costs are delusional, or have kiddie pools.
Or we just understand how to maintain a pool?
Or you have greatly different sized pools in different areas of the country made or differing materials.
One size does not fit all with these answers.
hfj
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by hfj »

When we bought our house a decade or so ago, it came with an in ground pool. It took a little while to get up to speed, but we handled the maintenance ourselves for the most part. I was fun for awhile in the summers but as our kids grew older they used it less and less. We filled in a couple of years ago. It was the combination of the need for regular maintenance (a bunch of trees around made that more work) and leaking, not only of the pool itself but the solar system as well. When we started losing over an inch a day, we took it as an opportunity to just fill it in. The cost to remove it was partially offset by the incentives from the county for replacing pools/lawns with low water drought friendly landscaping. The operating costs weren't so bad, but for us, since we didn't swim much, getting rid of the responsibility of owning a pool turned out to be a good decision.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by JoeRetire »

ThankYouJack wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:41 am Who has had or built a pool, do you have kids, what kind did you have and how did/do you like it?
When my sons were 5 and 2, we built an in-ground 36 foot vinyl liner pool. It was the best yard thing we ever did. Even though the New England summer is short, I don't regret it a minute.

Wife and sons had a great time, along with much of the neighborhood. Kids learned to swim and dive. Pool parties and barbecues were lots of fun. I learned to keep it clean efficiently and only had to spend a few hours per week at it.

We had the pool for 18 years before we decided to fill it in. At that point the kids were out of the house and we weren't really using it any longer. A few hot days each year I wish we still had the pool.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
offtheback
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by offtheback »

Happy pool owner here.

We had a in ground pool built 3 years ago, and can't wait to use it this year - come on spring!

We went with a salt water chlorine generator and we have an automatic safety cover. Our pool expenses are very, very low on a yearly basis with the SWCG - we use about a gallon of muriatic acid each month. Yearly we do add around a bag of salt and and some CYA periodically to top those values up. So expenses for chemicals are low. We us the TFP (Trouble Free Pool) method already mentioned above and a good TF-100 test kit that the works with the Trouble Free Pool method to keep track of all the values needed to keep the pool in great crystal clear shape. The TFP method is a more updated version of the BBB method...

Our expectation is that the SWCG cell will last several years as we run it at a very low % due to the cover...time will tell on that though. The theory is that the expense of a new cell is about the same as buying bleach over the life of the SWCG.

Our pool is used from April-November. We have a sport play pool style 15x30 size with depth of 4ft-5ft.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by SmileyFace »

tyrion wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:51 pm
DaftInvestor wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:33 pm
Arabesque wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:13 pm I would never own a pool, but it's not about resale, saving, maintenance, or germs. I know someone whose child drown in their pool.
I know someone whose child died in a car accident but I still own a car.
I was going to say something similar but didn't want to sound callous. And unfortunately I did have a high school friend who lost his toddler brother in a pool drowning.

I'm not sure I would own a pool with very young kids. And if I did I would have redundant security measures on it - a physical barrier (locks on doors, gated pool fence), an alarm (on the doors, or motion sensing), probably a pool cover too. And I would teach my kids to swim at the earliest possible opportunity.
Exactly - proper precautions are necessary. Also - I didn't mean to sound callous.
That's not to say that with all the precautions an accident can't still happen - but the likelihood is reduced greatly (similar to likelihood of there being less of a chance with a car seat / using seat belt / not allowing you kids to play in the car alone while the car's running / driving cautiously with kids in car / etc.). DO NOT get a slide installed goes a long way to avoiding most children pool accidents and deaths. (And little known fact - serious injury incidents are higher with trampolines)
jebmke
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by jebmke »

AlD wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:00 pm Replace old power hungry 2HP pump with a variable speed pump ($1,600)
Were you happy with this replacement? I have thought about changing ours out. Our pump motor is very near the side of our sunroom and can be quite noisy. Does a variable speed pump run longer but slower than a typical single speed (we run ours for about 10 hours during the day)?
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
SocalLiving
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by SocalLiving »

We bought our house 3 years ago with an in-ground pool.
We love our pool! We have two boys, ages 9 and 12 and all summer the whole family uses our pool every single day.
We use it from April to October. We don't need to heat the pool because we use a bubble cover that heats it to 88-90 in the summer.

We have had to spend money fixing a major pool leak, and we pay for pool service. We also installed a fence around the pool. Owning a pool is definitely not cheap, but it makes the summer so much fun. You really do have to love swimming to make it worth while. All our neighbors have pools, but they only use their pool a few times a year and many of them regret owning one.

About safety-one big reason we wanted a pool was that I knew it would make our boys stronger swimmers. Living in southern california, they go to so many pool parties. Even though they learnt to swim in classes, I wanted them to be able to swim every single day so that they continue to improve. We also pay for life guard lessons for every one in the family. And although my boys are now strong swimmers, they are never in the pool without adult supervision. Not even for a minute.
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El Greco
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by El Greco »

30 year pool owner here in the Northeast. It was in the house when we moved in. Large, in ground, vinyl liner. I like to make a joke by saying that the inscription on my tombstone will read: NEVER OWN A POOL

That being said, a pool is very nice. And expensive. I would not put one in if I lived in the Northeast, as you only get about 3 months of the year out of it. However, now that I'm thinking of retiring in Florida, I'm considering buying a home that has one.
jebmke
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by jebmke »

SocalLiving wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:22 pm 88-90 in the summer
Wow! When ours gets that hot we stop using it.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
MindTheGAAP
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Re: Who has had a pool?

Post by MindTheGAAP »

Dallas Texas here - my inlaws put one in 6.5 years ago now and they absolutely love it. Granted we're in TX so you can use it often between April and October.

We have 3 kids that love their pool (including their parents) and we live close enough (~200 yards) that we get plenty of use and access to it.
My BIL and SIL live about 15 minutes away and use it.
My other BIL and SIL now own a pool at their house so they use it less.

All of that to say - I don't have a financial burden from the pool - but I know my MIL considers it one of her best decision. My FIL was worried it would get used for the first summer and then hardly at all - could not be farther from the truth.
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute" - William Feather
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