Car, Remodel or Pool?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

Hi All,

A very happy Sunday to all. My DW and I are at a crossroads and would love to get input from the great minds of people on this forum. I always found the posts here extremely insightful. My DW and I are looking at the pros / cons of upcoming major purchase or remodel and want to see what would be the best for our situation.

Background: Family of 4 (Early 40s with two boys 11 and 9 years old). Very active family. We're out 6 days out of the week pre-covid. DW is SAHM. I make between $160-190k depending on bonus which is about 20% of pay. NW $1.7M. No debt except mortgage of $350k. 401k is about $700k and brokerage is at $100k. We're planning to take money from our brokerage and / or taking equity or finance the purchase.

Below list is what is competing for our upcoming expenditures.

1) New car - Telsa Y - approximately $54k OTD. Tesla recently reduced $3000 and you can say this is my dream car. We recently sold our 2nd car as it was ageing and been wanting to replace this. We originally wanted the Outback but the tech of Tesla enticed me. We also looked at the Model 3 but it was just too cramped and small for me.

2) Remodel - My job is pretty much full time work from home. As our boys grow, we would like them to have their own room. In order to give them their own room, I have to vacate one of the bedroom I have been using as an office. The estimates we have been getting to remodel is about $80-100k which will add about 500 sq ft to our home. Our homes are well priced in the area and if we were to sell, we will definitely recoup the cost. Our house is currently 3 bedroom / 2 baths and about 1700 sq ft. Our home will become about $2200 sq ft. It currently appraised at $900k (we recently refinanced). I can potentially move my office to the master bedroom but it will be very cramped. I can't open camp out in the living room or dining as I am in meetings all day.

3) Pool - As a family, we frequently wish we bought a house with a pool. Our boys are active and loves jumping into a pool. I think I would put good use to it but previous times we were at an apartment with a pool, I barely used it. A pool will cost approximately $60k

Thoughts?
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
poker27
Posts: 815
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by poker27 »

$1.7M in your early 40s? I would do # 1 and 2.

I don’t know where you are located, but $60k is a lot for a pool (not counting maintenance) I’d imagine you could do 60 driving vacations to a place with a pool.
runner3081
Posts: 3575
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by runner3081 »

poker27 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:12 pm $1.7M in your early 40s? I would do # 1 and 2.

I don’t know where you are located, but $60k is a lot for a pool (not counting maintenance) I’d imagine you could do 60 driving vacations to a place with a pool.
Pool maintenance isn't really that bad.
neilpilot
Posts: 3414
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by neilpilot »

poker27 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:12 pm $1.7M in your early 40s? I would do # 1 and 2.

I don’t know where you are located, but $60k is a lot for a pool (not counting maintenance) I’d imagine you could do 60 driving vacations to a place with a pool.
Maybe NW of $1.7M does not take into account mortgage? Also, when I estimate NW I tend to discount the face value of tax deferred accounts for the future tax burden. So unless the OP has other significant assets not listed maybe the NW is closer to $1.1-1.2m.
squirm
Posts: 2946
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by squirm »

agree, pool maintenance isn't a big deal.

i'd do #2, you''re investing into your house.
Broken Man 1999
Posts: 5051
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
Location: West coast of Florida, inland on high ground!

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

DW and DDs lobbied me hard to put in a pool. No way I would have cut down our many oak trees to clear room for a pool.

Instead, we became social members of the local country club, and all of us enjoyed the pool when we desired.

Also, no pool responsibilities for ME, not to mention losing so much shade and considering the initial cost.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
Outer Marker
Posts: 1004
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:01 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by Outer Marker »

harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:08 pm Background: Family of 4 (Early 40s with two boys 11 and 9 years old). Very active family. We're out 6 days out of the week pre-covid. DW is SAHM. I make between $160-190k depending on bonus which is about 20% of pay. NW $1.7M. No debt except mortgage of $350k. 401k is about $700k and brokerage is at $100k. We're planning to take money from our brokerage and / or taking equity or finance the purchase.
Thoughts?
These all sound like bad ideas, particularly as you're spending down investments to do so. You have two young boys, but no mention of 529 plans and financing college. In your 40's with 1.7M, you're on your way, but by no means at the finish line. I would not sacrifice the prospect of early financial independence for purely discretionary consumption. Of the three, the least-worst option is home renovations that will add value and comfort, and not immediately depreciate or require ongoing maintenance. Would highly recommend a read through "the Millionaire Next Door."
SimonJester
Posts: 2173
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:39 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by SimonJester »

I vote #2, once your boys hit their teen years they are really going to be miserable sharing a room.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
UpperNwGuy
Posts: 4120
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Outer Marker wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:42 pm These all sound like bad ideas, particularly as you're spending down investments to do so.
+1
User avatar
Ged
Posts: 3923
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:48 pm
Location: Roke

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by Ged »

A car is a depreciating asset, and a pool club works well as an alternative to a pool. #2 is the obvious choice.

500 sq feet though is a BIG bedroom. I would sharpen my pencil a bit on that. In new construction homes the average master bedroom size is 224 square feet.

Don't forget the impact on real estate taxes.
User avatar
UpsetRaptor
Posts: 692
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:15 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by UpsetRaptor »

SimonJester wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:11 pm I vote #2, once your boys hit their teen years they are really going to be miserable sharing a room.
Agree with this, I’d do the home renovation. And I say that as a happy pool owner.
Flyer24
Moderator
Posts: 2114
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:21 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by Flyer24 »

Option 2 seems like the best use of your money. Sounds like you are doing well financially. The pool price seems quite high. Mine was $22K but maybe it is just your area.
TheNightsToCome
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by TheNightsToCome »

Number 2 is the winner, and it's not close in my book.

If you want the kids to have their own rooms as they grow, and if you work from home, then there is no other choice.

You'll enjoy the more appropriate house for as long as you live there, but you'll probably get over the car, and you might end up regretting the pool.
mortfree
Posts: 2403
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by mortfree »

I wouldn’t spend 80-100k just so I can work from home. Why can’t you camp out in the living room, dining room or if you have a basement? I use various rooms in the house when I have to call into meetings.

Maybe I’m missing something but you have 3 bedrooms (once you get rid of your office stuff) and potentially only 7 years until your oldest leaves home.

Maybe my personal idea of a 3br home is different than your reality.

Reminds me of the prayer room thread from a few months ago.
teCh0010
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:20 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by teCh0010 »

I was in this situation. We lived in a 3/2 2000sq ft house with two youg boys. They each had their own room, but I desperately needed an office. My wife wanted a pool. My parents lived out of state so a guest bedroom would be nice.

We looked at a few options. We could have expanded up by finishing the attic into two bedrooms. We could have a pool built for 40k to 60k.

We ended up moving. Got more space, a better Floorplan, a pool, and a three car garage. The 100k to 120k we would have spent on remodeling just became equity in the new house.
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

Outer Marker wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:42 pm
harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:08 pm Background: Family of 4 (Early 40s with two boys 11 and 9 years old). Very active family. We're out 6 days out of the week pre-covid. DW is SAHM. I make between $160-190k depending on bonus which is about 20% of pay. NW $1.7M. No debt except mortgage of $350k. 401k is about $700k and brokerage is at $100k. We're planning to take money from our brokerage and / or taking equity or finance the purchase.
Thoughts?
These all sound like bad ideas, particularly as you're spending down investments to do so. You have two young boys, but no mention of 529 plans and financing college. In your 40's with 1.7M, you're on your way, but by no means at the finish line. I would not sacrifice the prospect of early financial independence for purely discretionary consumption. Of the three, the least-worst option is home renovations that will add value and comfort, and not immediately depreciate or require ongoing maintenance. Would highly recommend a read through "the Millionaire Next Door."
We do have 529s and combined value is $50k.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

Ged wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:22 pm A car is a depreciating asset, and a pool club works well as an alternative to a pool. #2 is the obvious choice.

500 sq feet though is a BIG bedroom. I would sharpen my pencil a bit on that. In new construction homes the average master bedroom size is 224 square feet.

Don't forget the impact on real estate taxes.
Pool clubs acceptance fees are ridiculous around here ($100k?) and is by invitation only. We don't have much interest in such society. The 500 SQ ft would also include adding a bathroom for the boys. They currently use ours lol.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

Flyer24 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:30 pm Option 2 seems like the best use of your money. Sounds like you are doing well financially. The pool price seems quite high. Mine was $22K but maybe it is just your area.
It's the going rate in Southern California. I had 2 friends who recently got it done and both were around $60k for a basic setup. I wish it was $30k, it would be a no brainer!
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

poker27 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:12 pm $1.7M in your early 40s? I would do # 1 and 2.

I don’t know where you are located, but $60k is a lot for a pool (not counting maintenance) I’d imagine you could do 60 driving vacations to a place with a pool.
It's unfortunately the going rate around here :( I heard business is booming because of the lockdown.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
HomeStretch
Posts: 4991
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by HomeStretch »

#2.

#3 over #1 - your kids will remember growing up with a pool long after your Tesla is forgotten. :happy
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

mortfree wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:04 pm I wouldn’t spend 80-100k just so I can work from home. Why can’t you camp out in the living room, dining room or if you have a basement? I use various rooms in the house when I have to call into meetings.

Maybe I’m missing something but you have 3 bedrooms (once you get rid of your office stuff) and potentially only 7 years until your oldest leaves home.

Maybe my personal idea of a 3br home is different than your reality.

Reminds me of the prayer room thread from a few months ago.
I use a table stop speaker for my meetings as I can be in 4-5 meetings an hour each. I can't wear headphones that long. It gets sweaty. I can't keep shushing my wife, who stays at home, each time I unmute myself. It can get really old if I have to move into a room each time I get a call.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

HomeStretch wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:20 pm #2.

#3 over #1 - your kids will remember growing up with a pool long after your Tesla is forgotten. :happy
Great point.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

neilpilot wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:03 pm
poker27 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:12 pm $1.7M in your early 40s? I would do # 1 and 2.

I don’t know where you are located, but $60k is a lot for a pool (not counting maintenance) I’d imagine you could do 60 driving vacations to a place with a pool.
Maybe NW of $1.7M does not take into account mortgage? Also, when I estimate NW I tend to discount the face value of tax deferred accounts for the future tax burden. So unless the OP has other significant assets not listed maybe the NW is closer to $1.1-1.2m.
The math also includes 529s and both of our pensions which I didn't list. The plan is to retire here then cash out. It only considers our equity.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
teCh0010
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:20 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by teCh0010 »

Flyer24 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:30 pm Option 2 seems like the best use of your money. Sounds like you are doing well financially. The pool price seems quite high. Mine was $22K but maybe it is just your area.
How long ago? The prices have gone up substantially. 20 years ago you could get a vinyl liner pool for 18k, now in the lcol area I'm in you are looking at 40k for vinyl.
sport
Posts: 9550
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by sport »

teCh0010 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:04 pm I was in this situation. We lived in a 3/2 2000sq ft house with two youg boys. They each had their own room, but I desperately needed an office. My wife wanted a pool. My parents lived out of state so a guest bedroom would be nice.

We looked at a few options. We could have expanded up by finishing the attic into two bedrooms. We could have a pool built for 40k to 60k.

We ended up moving. Got more space, a better Floorplan, a pool, and a three car garage. The 100k to 120k we would have spent on remodeling just became equity in the new house.
Perhaps this is the best option. Rather than go through the hassle of construction, it may make more sense to find the house you really want. You might end up with the number of bedrooms you want and a pool.
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

We're actually going to see a house tomorrow that is exactly this listed just under $1M. Problem is the property tax. We're now paying $6000 but a $1M home will be double.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
5280Tim
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:33 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by 5280Tim »

As an alternative to a remodel/add-on, you could look at something like this: https://www.studio-shed.com/home-office-spaces/

It would give you a separate office with climate control and could be had for much less than your listed renovation cost. A Murphy bed would also make it a great guest space that provides some privacy.
ronno2018
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:31 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by ronno2018 »

I vote remodel or move to a bigger house with a pool. Don't worry about property taxes. Once boys are in college downsize if needed. Buy some nice electric bikes -- make sure new home is within biking distance to groceries. https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/ ... cargo-bike
davebo
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:02 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by davebo »

I would definitely rule out #1, that wouldn't even be in the running.

Since doing both the addition and the pool would be for the kid's benefit, I'd ask them which one that they would prefer. Do the pool now and continue sharing a room. Or do the addition and no pool. If you're in CA, I'd probably do the pool if nobody can decide.
CZjc1330
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:15 am
Location: Palm Beach , FL

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by CZjc1330 »

Do # 2 by all means. Wait a few more yrs for the car.
Definitely think a hundred times before building a pool. Most people tire of them in a yr or two. But if you go for the pool, increase your personal liability/umbrella insurance by another million. Neighbor kids even if they sneak in and guests suffering an accident will lead to a lawsuit. I think # 2 really makes the most sense. Good luck!
runner540
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:43 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by runner540 »

harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:28 pm We're actually going to see a house tomorrow that is exactly this listed just under $1M. Problem is the property tax. We're now paying $6000 but a $1M home will be double.
$500/month is a problem? You’re talking about spending 9-10 years of that on a car or pool or add on, and you save a ton of hassle with construction, permitting, etc
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

runner540 wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:34 am
harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:28 pm We're actually going to see a house tomorrow that is exactly this listed just under $1M. Problem is the property tax. We're now paying $6000 but a $1M home will be double.
$500/month is a problem? You’re talking about spending 9-10 years of that on a car or pool or add on, and you save a ton of hassle with construction, permitting, etc
I don't think it'll be cakewalk to find a home that meets our needs and get an offer accepted on contingent upon us selling our home.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

5280Tim wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:51 pm As an alternative to a remodel/add-on, you could look at something like this: https://www.studio-shed.com/home-office-spaces/

It would give you a separate office with climate control and could be had for much less than your listed renovation cost. A Murphy bed would also make it a great guest space that provides some privacy.
We looked at this too as LA county really loosened regulations on ADU's to ease the housing shortage. It may cost around $120k for the unit, electrical and plumbing.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
runswithscissors
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:25 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by runswithscissors »

Flyer24 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:30 pm Option 2 seems like the best use of your money. Sounds like you are doing well financially. The pool price seems quite high. Mine was $22K but maybe it is just your area.
I just got quoted $71K for a 16' x 30' underground pool not including any decking around it (VHCOL area).
Compound
Posts: 835
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by Compound »

sport wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:51 pm
teCh0010 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:04 pm I was in this situation. We lived in a 3/2 2000sq ft house with two youg boys. They each had their own room, but I desperately needed an office. My wife wanted a pool. My parents lived out of state so a guest bedroom would be nice.

We looked at a few options. We could have expanded up by finishing the attic into two bedrooms. We could have a pool built for 40k to 60k.

We ended up moving. Got more space, a better Floorplan, a pool, and a three car garage. The 100k to 120k we would have spent on remodeling just became equity in the new house.
Perhaps this is the best option. Rather than go through the hassle of construction, it may make more sense to find the house you really want. You might end up with the number of bedrooms you want and a pool.
Put me in this camp as well. Exactly what I was thinking. Sounds like it’s time to move.
neilpilot
Posts: 3414
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by neilpilot »

runswithscissors wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:53 am
Flyer24 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:30 pm Option 2 seems like the best use of your money. Sounds like you are doing well financially. The pool price seems quite high. Mine was $22K but maybe it is just your area.
I just got quoted $71K for a 16' x 30' underground pool not including any decking around it (VHCOL area).
Underground pools are typically way more expensive than an in ground pool. :sharebeer :sharebeer
User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11136
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I guess I’m a spendthrift, but I’d be tempted to do all 3.

You know your sons better than I do, but teenage boys start wanting to spend time with, uh, not family. So, that’s a slight demure on the pool, but if it will enhance you and your wife’s life, and might be a bribe to have your sons spend time at the house, go for it. I’m not a pool person (give me a hot tub and/or sauna instead), but my wife’s enjoyment of life took a significant hike once we had a pool.

If you can’t buy a house that better suits your needs, do the remodel.

I assume your job is pretty solid. You sound like a family that saves/invests. Sometimes, money is for spending. So, for me, 2 (or new house),3,1 in that order, with the thought that perhaps all 3 are okay. Just don’t become accustomed to spending like a drunken sailor :D
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
CycloRista
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:53 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by CycloRista »

Vote for #2 remodel 1st and maybe #1 new car if you need it...

I'm not a fan of pools or boats. Not everyone desires a pool on property which may impact the sale of your home later on. Your insurance rates will go up and depending where you live (applicable laws) you may have to build a fence around it.
User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 6538
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by bottlecap »

I lean toward pool. Your kids will enjoy it and presumably so will you. I also presume you could use it most months out of the year in SoCal.

Move your office into the bedroom when the kids need/want their own rooms. Most jobs don't require a lot of space and you’re not doing anything with the bedroom during the day anyway. Plus, you can work by the pool on your laptop.

JT
lazydavid
Posts: 3342
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by lazydavid »

Just practically speaking, even if you want a new car I would avoid the Model Y for a bit. All new Tesla models have had significant teething issues, and the QC on early Model Ys has been horrific. If the past is any guide, by next fall they should be much better.

Like others have said, I would think you could find a bigger house with a pool for less than the incremental $140k you'd be looking to spend on those items at your current house, so that would be my first choice. And if you have enough liquid assets to cashflow those projects, I wouldn't necessarily worry about a contingent sale keeping you from the house you set your eyes on. $140k will cover quite a few months of $6000 mortgage payments.
hightower
Posts: 786
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:28 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by hightower »

This is fun. Basically a post asking how I would spend your money:)

1. I like the Model Y as well. I could plunk down 54k for that car this year too. And it would be nice. Very nice. But, I've spent 38k cash on a new car in the past and it felt like a silly thing to spend that much money on. So, I have a hard time actually pulling the trigger on 54k. And we make quite a bit more than you each year. I say skip the fancy car and get something more reasonably priced. I like the 20% rule for how much car one can afford. 20% of your yearly income is the price point to shop at. For you that would be around 32-38k cash...no auto loans allowed;)
2. That's a very expensive remodel to just add a little bit of sq footage to a house. If you're even thinking you might want to sell some day, then I'd say just go ahead and shop for a new house now. Why risk putting 100k into your current house when the market could tank in a couple years (or whenever) before you want to move and then you've lost quite a bit of equity and all that cash. Plus, it's a HEADACHE renovating a home. I spent 7 years renovating an entire house in the city and I'd never do it again. It takes way more time, way more money, and way more patience then you'd think.

3. Pools are a colossal waste of money and have huge ongoing maintenance costs. Steer clear IMO.

In other words, I'm not a fan of any of the above 3 ideas. If you want another bedroom for your kids, I'd start house hunting instead. Try to keep your mortgage size the same. Now is still a good time to do it. Houses are selling, mortgage rates are stupid low. That's what I'd be focused on if I were you.
Normchad
Posts: 1318
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by Normchad »

I might be wrong, but I would always just pack up and move. I think it is the most expedient, and most cost-effective way to get what you want.

A remodel, especially one that adds square footage, will take a lot longer, cost a lot more, and strain your marriage a lot more than you can imagine. (So I've been told).

I made the move 10 years ago. I moved across town, switched the kids school, etc. It cost me about $100K to make the move with fees and differences in home prices. It was absolutely the best decision for us. We got a bigger house, a better house, a better neighborhood, better schools, and a community pool. Now according to Zillow, the differences in price appreciation between our last home and this, most of that $100K has been offset now.

BTW, with a NW of 1.7M in your mid-40s, you're doing awesome. And because you've done so awesome, I think you have some flexibility here to do something really nice for your family.

Best of luck to you!
robphoto
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:42 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by robphoto »

Everyone's looking at the choices between these options, but I'm surprised nobody's asked about their overall budget.

It sounds awful tight to me to do these sorts of things on 160,000 a year, depending on one job.
catdoctor
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:30 am

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by catdoctor »

#2, no to #3
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 20705
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by Watty »

What is your situation as far a savings for college for the kids? You have only got about six or seven years until that starts and you will have two kids in college at the same time.

If that is not rock solid then that would be my first priority.
harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:08 pm Very active family. We're out 6 days out of the week pre-covid.
Unless you are in an area where a pool can be used year round then any pool you put in might not be usable until next spring. Hopefully the pandemic will be under control by then and you will be able to go out more by then. You may not want to stay at home a lot to use the pool once things are more normal.

If you will mainly use the pool between Memorial Day and Labor day then also remember that you may want to do things like take a two week vacation. That does not leave a lot of time to use the pool.

One thing you did not mention was if having a pool would add much value to your home. Often they don't and they can even make a house harder to sell.

Adding a pool does not sound like a great idea to me especially if you are not in an area where you can use the pool year round.
harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:08 pm 1) New car - Telsa Y - approximately $54k OTD. Tesla recently reduced $3000 and you can say this is my dream car.
You don't have a lot of money outside your home equity and your retirement accounts so you can't afford this yet.

In about five years you will also have also have teenage drivers and that car will not work well for them. If you are going to buy a second car then get something that will be a practical car for them to learn to drive on.

Save the dream car for when you can easily pay cash for it.

harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:08 pm I can't open camp out in the living room or dining as I am in meetings all day.
If these are formal living and dining rooms then how often to you actually use them?

If you do not use them much then one option would be to at lease temporally convert one of them to be a home office. In some houses that could be as simple as putting up a partial wall and a door which would be a minor cost. Later on these could be removed if you want to convert it back once the kids have moved out of the house.
User avatar
galving
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:47 pm
Location: US Gulf Coast

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by galving »

harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:08 pm Hi All,

A very happy Sunday to all. My DW and I are at a crossroads and would love to get input from the great minds of people on this forum. I always found the posts here extremely insightful. My DW and I are looking at the pros / cons of upcoming major purchase or remodel and want to see what would be the best for our situation.

Background: Family of 4 (Early 40s with two boys 11 and 9 years old). Very active family. We're out 6 days out of the week pre-covid. DW is SAHM. I make between $160-190k depending on bonus which is about 20% of pay. NW $1.7M. No debt except mortgage of $350k. 401k is about $700k and brokerage is at $100k. We're planning to take money from our brokerage and / or taking equity or finance the purchase.

Below list is what is competing for our upcoming expenditures.

1) New car - Telsa Y - approximately $54k OTD. Tesla recently reduced $3000 and you can say this is my dream car. We recently sold our 2nd car as it was ageing and been wanting to replace this. We originally wanted the Outback but the tech of Tesla enticed me. We also looked at the Model 3 but it was just too cramped and small for me.

2) Remodel - My job is pretty much full time work from home. As our boys grow, we would like them to have their own room. In order to give them their own room, I have to vacate one of the bedroom I have been using as an office. The estimates we have been getting to remodel is about $80-100k which will add about 500 sq ft to our home. Our homes are well priced in the area and if we were to sell, we will definitely recoup the cost. Our house is currently 3 bedroom / 2 baths and about 1700 sq ft. Our home will become about $2200 sq ft. It currently appraised at $900k (we recently refinanced). I can potentially move my office to the master bedroom but it will be very cramped. I can't open camp out in the living room or dining as I am in meetings all day.

3) Pool - As a family, we frequently wish we bought a house with a pool. Our boys are active and loves jumping into a pool. I think I would put good use to it but previous times we were at an apartment with a pool, I barely used it. A pool will cost approximately $60k

Thoughts?
Remodel is likely the smartest financial move, where you're likely to recoup your investment.

We put in a pool and love it. We're in TX and probably get almost 10 months of swimming out of it. If we count the hot tub, we're in the pool all year long. It cost roughly the small as your quoted remodel, and we put the pool in for us not for an investment.

I love Tesla as well, but am content to wait on that one because BMW still makes attractive alternatives!
User avatar
galving
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:47 pm
Location: US Gulf Coast

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by galving »

harrychan wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:08 pm Hi All,

A very happy Sunday to all. My DW and I are at a crossroads and would love to get input from the great minds of people on this forum. I always found the posts here extremely insightful. My DW and I are looking at the pros / cons of upcoming major purchase or remodel and want to see what would be the best for our situation.

Background: Family of 4 (Early 40s with two boys 11 and 9 years old). Very active family. We're out 6 days out of the week pre-covid. DW is SAHM. I make between $160-190k depending on bonus which is about 20% of pay. NW $1.7M. No debt except mortgage of $350k. 401k is about $700k and brokerage is at $100k. We're planning to take money from our brokerage and / or taking equity or finance the purchase.

Below list is what is competing for our upcoming expenditures.

1) New car - Telsa Y - approximately $54k OTD. Tesla recently reduced $3000 and you can say this is my dream car. We recently sold our 2nd car as it was ageing and been wanting to replace this. We originally wanted the Outback but the tech of Tesla enticed me. We also looked at the Model 3 but it was just too cramped and small for me.

2) Remodel - My job is pretty much full time work from home. As our boys grow, we would like them to have their own room. In order to give them their own room, I have to vacate one of the bedroom I have been using as an office. The estimates we have been getting to remodel is about $80-100k which will add about 500 sq ft to our home. Our homes are well priced in the area and if we were to sell, we will definitely recoup the cost. Our house is currently 3 bedroom / 2 baths and about 1700 sq ft. Our home will become about $2200 sq ft. It currently appraised at $900k (we recently refinanced). I can potentially move my office to the master bedroom but it will be very cramped. I can't open camp out in the living room or dining as I am in meetings all day.

3) Pool - As a family, we frequently wish we bought a house with a pool. Our boys are active and loves jumping into a pool. I think I would put good use to it but previous times we were at an apartment with a pool, I barely used it. A pool will cost approximately $60k

Thoughts?
Remodel is likely the smartest financial move, where you're likely to recoup your investment.

We put in a pool and love it. We're in TX and probably get almost 10 months of swimming out of it. If we count the hot tub, we're in the pool all year long. It cost roughly the small as your quoted remodel, and we put the pool in for us not for an investment.

I love Tesla as well, but am content to wait on that one because BMW still makes attractive alternatives!
ddurrett896
Posts: 1368
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by ddurrett896 »

If you need a second car, you have to go with #1 first.

I would do 1 and 3 now, then 2 if you need it in the future. I'm tying this sitting at my "office" (kitchen table) but I do have a small desk in the master that I can use if needed.

Every person I know with a pool says as the kids get older, the get used less frequently. I'd do that now while the kids will enjoy it. One of the kids might be away in college in 7 years which will open back up the office if needed.
neilpilot
Posts: 3414
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by neilpilot »

ddurrett896 wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:12 am If you need a second car, you have to go with #1 first.
...or with 1a - buy the Outback and invest the residual
Topic Author
harrychan
Posts: 1740
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:37 pm
Location: Pasadena

Re: Car, Remodel or Pool?

Post by harrychan »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:56 am I guess I’m a spendthrift, but I’d be tempted to do all 3.

You know your sons better than I do, but teenage boys start wanting to spend time with, uh, not family. So, that’s a slight demure on the pool, but if it will enhance you and your wife’s life, and might be a bribe to have your sons spend time at the house, go for it. I’m not a pool person (give me a hot tub and/or sauna instead), but my wife’s enjoyment of life took a significant hike once we had a pool.

If you can’t buy a house that better suits your needs, do the remodel.

I assume your job is pretty solid. You sound like a family that saves/invests. Sometimes, money is for spending. So, for me, 2 (or new house),3,1 in that order, with the thought that perhaps all 3 are okay. Just don’t become accustomed to spending like a drunken sailor :D
We are extremely frugal. I only buy clothes from discount stores and still wear them for 8+ years. I make my own coffee and we still have furniture from when we just got married 13 years ago. We put our money where are priorities are which is an affordable private school, giving and now this. The car is definitely a "reward" for me. :)
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Post Reply