New cars or Pool?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Beach
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New cars or Pool?

Post by Beach » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:44 am

We realize both are bad investments but torn between the two. We have 2 old, paid off cars which we are considering replacing with a new Toyota 4Runner and a Nissan Leaf for around town driving. The cars are showing their age and repairs are part of our budget around $175/mo.

Our kids are 4 and 6 so we feel we are in the ideal pool building time in our lives as well.

We are maxed out on 401K, Roth and have 6 months Emergency fund tucked away. Trying to decide between spending $50K+ on new vehicles or spend $60-70K on a new pool.

If you could pick between the two, what would you do...or something else?

RoadHouseFan
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by RoadHouseFan » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:51 am

Purchase the cars and get a membership to a water park. Pools are a major headache.

psteinx
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by psteinx » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:52 am

Given only those choices, I (and I think many others on here) would favor the cars.

You presumably needs cars, at some point, and the high upfront cost will likely be at least partially offset by lower operating costs. If your current cars are old enough, then reliability may be an issue too.

Many folks, including myself, are fairly negative on pools, even for folks who like swimming, etc. There's a high upfront cost and ongoing maintenance. And there's a question of how much usage the pool will get, after the novelty wears off.

Furthermore, and this is a biggie, given your kids' ages, there is a real safety issue of having a pool. Pools kill - potentially your own kids, potentially other kids (and conceivably adults, too).

Of course, to some extent, the value of a pool is situational. If you're in Arizona or south Texas or whatever, and have no other pool available, and your finances are quite secure, then a pool is at least potentially relatively more attractive. But my guess is that most folks in such environments have some access to pools outside of their own house - neighbors' pools, community pools and the like.

Search this forum for others' discussion of the burdens of pools, and how new buyers sometimes want to fill in existing pools.
Last edited by psteinx on Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

new2bogle
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by new2bogle » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:55 am

I would not get a pool. Several of my aunts/uncles have pools and they claim it is the biggest money sink in maintenance costs. Another multi-millionaire friend I know ($50+ million) doesn't use his heated pool's heating capabilities because "it is too expensive". He is known to be a cheapskate though :D

PFInterest
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by PFInterest » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:57 am

no pool!

pindevil
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by pindevil » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:57 am

RoadHouseFan wrote:Purchase the cars and get a membership to a water park. Pools are a major headache.
As a pool owner, I can confirm they are a headache...Not worth the hassle.

MI_bogle
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by MI_bogle » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:59 am

luderiffic wrote:We realize both are bad investments but torn between the two. We have 2 old, paid off cars which we are considering replacing with a new Toyota 4Runner and a Nissan Leaf for around town driving. The cars are showing their age and repairs are part of our budget around $175/mo.

Our kids are 4 and 6 so we feel we are in the ideal pool building time in our lives as well.

We are maxed out on 401K, Roth and have 6 months Emergency fund tucked away. Trying to decide between spending $50K+ on new vehicles or spend $60-70K on a new pool.

If you could pick between the two, what would you do...or something else?
Well, neither are actually investments... they are expenses. So there's that

I would buy the vehicles if you need them. Pools are great but I don't think you get your money's worth. Think of all the memories you could make on some fantastic family vacations, or other added value to your kids lives for 70K

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dm200
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by dm200 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:00 pm

No pool!

I second the idea of family travel and vacations.

Our son, now in his late 30's, recently commented that he is now grateful for the family trips to various parts of the country (California twice, Texas, Florida twice) when he was young or very young.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:06 pm

Summer weekends out by the pool with the kids are some of the greatest memories I have.
Maintenance total for us was about 1 hour weekly so not a major hassle.
I have no regrets on having spent the money on the pool.
However, I also believe in good reliable transportation so tough choice - if the cars are approaching or over 10 years I'd go cars - otherwise I'd go pool.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:07 pm

My former neighbor just spent $15K for a new pool liner.
My former neighbor spent on the order of no less than 2 hours per weekend come fall straining leaves out of his pool.
My former neighbor has used his pool exactly 3 times in the 8 years he lived in the home.
My former neighbor upgraded his living conditions when they moved to a new HOA that has someone else maintaining and cleaning the pool. :)
The new owners have no idea how many leaves fall into that pool each year. :twisted:
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Watty
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Watty » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:09 pm

One big negative of a pool that people often overlook is that unless you have a huge lot you will no longer have a back yard for the kids to play in. Don't underestimate the downside to that.


If you build the pool you will still need to replace the cars in the near future so you are really only talking about delaying the purchase for a few years.

The question is really if you should spend $60-70K on a new pool.

Assuming you can afford it there really isn't one right answer to that since it is really a question of the "opportunity cost" of what else you could spend the money on.

For example (in made up numbers) if you left the money invested for 20 years you might be able to retire five+ years earlier. Is the pool worth working five more years? It all depends on you.

You have only got about 12 years until your six year old will start college. One thing to consider is that if you already have enough saved up to pay for their college. There are all sorts of opinions on how much you should pay for a kids college but choosing to build a pool now and having a kid that would later need student loans would seem to be a poor trade off to me.
Last edited by Watty on Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Watty
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Watty » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:13 pm

psteinx wrote:Furthermore, and this is a biggie, given your kids' ages, there is a real safety issue of having a pool. Pools kill - potentially your own kids, potentially other kids.
+1

A quick Google found this. I would assume that many of the non-fatal drownings caused brain damage or other life long injuries.
CPSC’s latest data show there were 355 reported fatal child drownings in pools and spas in 2013, with 283 involving children younger than 5. This is a decrease from 397 and 302, respectively, in 2010. Other key findings include:

Between 2013 and 2015, an estimated 5,600 children younger than 15 years old were treated each year in hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal drownings in pools or spas.
Between 2011 and 2013, the majority of fatal drowning victims were younger than 5 (77 percent of victims younger than 15 years old).
Between 2013 and 2015, the majority of hospital emergency room-treated non-fatal drowning victims were younger than 5 years old (77 percent of victims younger than 15 years old).
For children younger than 15 years old, almost two-thirds of the fatal drowning victims were boys.
For children younger than 5 years old, residential locations made up 57 percent of non-fatal and 87 percent of fatal reported drowning incidents.
Note: CPSC’s report addresses non-fatal drownings for the period from 2013 through 2015 and fatal drownings for the period from 2011 through 2013, reflecting a lag in the reporting of fatal drowning statistics.
https://www.cpsc.gov/content/new-cpsc-r ... since-2010

bloom2708
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:17 pm

If I lived in Phoenix I would build the pool and look to replace one car within the next year.

Since I live in Fargo I would not build the pool. We have 19 days you could use a pool. :oops:

A 4runner and Leaf do seem to be polar opposites on the car spectrum. Do they have to be new? or gently used?
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fishmonger
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by fishmonger » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:21 pm

[/quote] Well, neither are actually investments... they are expenses. So there's that[/quote]

Even worse, a pool could be a major negative in terms of your property value/salability. I know that I would not purchase a home with a pool. Of course this depends on where you live

orca91
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by orca91 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:30 pm

Watty wrote:If you build the pool you will still need to replace the cars in the near future so you are really only talking about delaying the purchase for a few years.
This was my thinking also.... If OP gets the pool, how does that fix the car issue? If they buy the pool, then they have two old jalopies that will only last so much longer anyway... or, cost a bunch in maintenance.

I don't see how this is an either, or situation. It seems more like a needs vs. wants situation.

Beach
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Beach » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:33 pm

Great stuff guys...
dm200 wrote:No pool!

I second the idea of family travel and vacations.

Our son, now in his late 30's, recently commented that he is now grateful for the family trips to various parts of the country (California twice, Texas, Florida twice) when he was young or very young.
We are kinda limited on the amount of vacations we can take because of the amount of paid time off we get yearly. But a great suggestion!
DaftInvestor wrote:Summer weekends out by the pool with the kids are some of the greatest memories I have.
Maintenance total for us was about 1 hour weekly so not a major hassle.
I have no regrets on having spent the money on the pool.
However, I also believe in good reliable transportation so tough choice - if the cars are approaching or over 10 years I'd go cars - otherwise I'd go pool.
Car #1 is 12 years old - Car #2 is 9 years old - Both have 145K on them
Watty wrote:One big negative of a pool that people often overlook is that unless you have a huge lot you will no longer have a back yard for the kids to play in. Don't underestimate the downside to that.
We have 2 acres thankfully!
psteinx wrote:Furthermore, and this is a biggie, given your kids' ages, there is a real safety issue of having a pool. Pools kill - potentially your own kids, potentially other kids.
Our kids are accident prone! Both boys of course :(
bloom2708 wrote:If I lived in Phoenix I would build the pool and look to replace one car within the next year.

Since I live in Fargo I would not build the pool. We have 19 days you could use a pool. :oops:

A 4runner and Leaf do seem to be polar opposites on the car spectrum. Do they have to be new? or gently used?

The 4runner is for family trips, hopefully camping trips too. The Leaf is for going to and from work. My wife and I work together at the same building so we are able to carpool!
fishmonger wrote:
Well, neither are actually investments... they are expenses. So there's that[/quote]

Even worse, a pool could be a major negative in terms of your property value/salability. I know that I would not purchase a home with a pool. Of course this depends on where you live[/quote]

This is a real problem, thank you for pointing this out.

davebo
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by davebo » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:35 pm

My 69 year old parents just put in a pool for some reason. My parents raised 5 kids in a 1600 SF house and money was, at times, tight growing up because my dad's business. They went through a 10-12 year period where my dad's business was completely in the toilet and then me and him started an e-commerce business together that's been very successful. The business has been going pretty strong for close to 12 years now.

My dad was always a cheapskate and recently he seems to have gotten comfortable spending money on stuff. They moved into a house that is close to 3x as big as the one I grew up in and they put in a $60K pool. While I kinda like being able to bring my kids over there, I don't think I would ever put one in. I know for sure he pays for the annual maintenance and that is something like $3200/year.

I don't know though, a pool can be worth it if you actually use the pool but that's the big question. I'm sure there is a sweet spot where kids love to go swimming, but I would imagine that by 5th/6th grade kids are out of that phase.

Like others have said, I would probably join the local pool.

goldenBorder
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by goldenBorder » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:38 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:Summer weekends out by the pool with the kids are some of the greatest memories I have.
Maintenance total for us was about 1 hour weekly so not a major hassle.
I have no regrets on having spent the money on the pool.
However, I also believe in good reliable transportation so tough choice - if the cars are approaching or over 10 years I'd go cars - otherwise I'd go pool.
I'm a 20 year pool owner and maintainer. Are you pool people? My wife and kids are in the pool every nice day of the summer. I am not.

Pros: I see my family/ friends almost every weekend that pool is open. Lots of memories and lots of outdoor time away from TV/iPad for kids. Kids learned to swim before they walked.

Cons: Short pool season in midwest. I live by lots of trees. Pool is like having another child. It needs your attention.

If you plan to care for your own pool read up on BBB method.

msk
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by msk » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:51 pm

My observations are that pools get used for 2 to 4 years max and then everyone, even kids, lose interest. Treat it as a 3 year consumable purchase and then the money is gone. Most cars can be treated as 10-year consumables. Get a cheap, above-ground pool with plastic walls and it'll be weathered to death by the time the kids have lost interest. In the meantime it'll be fantastic fun. I have a pool that I pay people to maintain. Silly and very little used. But it's decor for the garden. Has nice fountain nozzles built in that DW switches on when we have a party :beer

10YearPlan
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by 10YearPlan » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:27 pm

Sometimes I feel like my sole purpose on this forum is to be the devil on your other shoulder saying " buy it" or "take that vacation" or, in this case, "build that pool".

We have a pool. We use it regularly. My kids are 9 and 12 and they're like fish. There are definitely some cons, which have been pointed out several times already. We didn't build it, but we did recently replaster/refinish the coping, which was definitely a cost. There are also some pros. For example, some pools are not as high maintenance as depicted and they can be incredibly fun, especially if you like to entertain at your home, which we do. If I compare the fun we have with our costs to maintain, I would say we "break even" in that analysis. And we only use our pool 3 months per year. If you live in a climate where you'd get a lot of use out of it, it's definitely worth exploring. If you live in Minnesota, then I'd say pass.

All that said, sounds like you need new cars regardless of the pool situation. I'd be inclined to replace at least one car now and another next year. And see if you're still interested in a pool next year.

btenny
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by btenny » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:35 pm

Buy one of those portable pools that have metal fence edge and a plastic liner instead of a permanent in ground pool. They are cheap and easy to install. It is easy to drain and decommission for the winter. The kids will love it. They do not care if the pool is fancy. It is wet. You can take them out easily and repair them easily. Then you can also buy one slightly used car to replace the oldest car.

Good Luck.

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lthenderson
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:40 pm

For a 4 and 6 year old, I would think about a different kind of pool. MUCH MUCH cheaper and they have just as much fun. It's also a very easy DIY project.

https://www.amazon.com/Intex-12ft-Metal ... B00OX5B8CW

tim1999
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by tim1999 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:41 pm

I would just get a membership to either a public or private pool. The cars are going to die someday and will need to be replaced eventually. Here in PA, a pool adds nothing to the value of a house, in fact many see it as a negative. When I see a house with a pool for sale, my first thought is "I wonder how much it will cost to fill it in" though I do understand that they have their fans.

If you must have a pool at home, perhaps get an above-ground model that will be considerably cheaper and can be demolished fairly easily and disposed of when the kids lose interest. Though I understand that many neighborhood HOA's prohibit these, should you live in one.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:46 pm

goldenBorder wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Summer weekends out by the pool with the kids are some of the greatest memories I have.
Maintenance total for us was about 1 hour weekly so not a major hassle.
I have no regrets on having spent the money on the pool.
However, I also believe in good reliable transportation so tough choice - if the cars are approaching or over 10 years I'd go cars - otherwise I'd go pool.
I'm a 20 year pool owner and maintainer. Are you pool people? My wife and kids are in the pool every nice day of the summer. I am not.

Pros: I see my family/ friends almost every weekend that pool is open. Lots of memories and lots of outdoor time away from TV/iPad for kids. Kids learned to swim before they walked.

Cons: Short pool season in midwest. I live by lots of trees. Pool is like having another child. It needs your attention.

If you plan to care for your own pool read up on BBB method.
Yes - we are pool people. We like going on vacations but you can't do that every weekend or evening. Some say you can go to the beach or public place - but I can't drink gin-and-tonics at the beach as I won't be able to drive home (and drinking is frowned upon) and I sure wouldn't take the time to get somewhere as often as I've used the pool - I oftentimes would dip in the pool at 7PM on a summer evening with the kids if around during the week. Kids are older now - but we played with them for years in the pool; taught them how to swim; etc. And then when they aged we started playing games such as pool volley-ball - so there was still family time - when they weren't consuming the space with their friends. The OP used the word "investment" - I wouldn't' call either a pool or cars an investment but I'm convinced I got my money's worth out of my pool (approximately $30K all-in 18 years ago). I don't think I would have done it if I had aging cars I couldn't otherwise afford to replace however.
It sounds like some people just might not know if they are pool-people or not until they get one (someone said something about only using it for 3 years - certainly not the case for us or anyone else I know that put one in).

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C4NT
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by C4NT » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:05 pm

I think a big part of the equation comes down to how often you will get to use it - which is dictated by the area of the country that you live in.

We live in South Florida and my kids were in our unheated pool this weekend. I wouldn't get in it yet, but they had some fun. We can swim in it fairly comfortably from late March to early October.

Pools increase the price of homes down here.

I don't think that they are that much work. Yard work is definitely more time consuming, so I look at our pool and patio as less grass to mow and less landscaping to take care of on the weekends.

head gamez
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by head gamez » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:24 pm

Buying a pool vs a car...? Cant help with that.

However, as a pool owner I do think of mine as an investment. The memories that we have had in the 5 years of ownership have been great. My kids are 10 and 6 now, and I love the fact that there friends and parents come over on the weekends. During the week, we will usually fire up the Kamado and swim and cooke out. On the weekends, we usually have folks over. I love it.

Also, dont let non pool owners convince you of the hassle and crazy cost that may not even exist. Our pool was $25k all in. 18x36 with 8' deep end and a diving board. THis is a vinyl liner pool (typical of central NC). I spend less than an hour a week on maintenance, and less than $100/ year on supplies. For a Salt Water Chlorine Generator pool like we have, the only thing that ever needs to be added is salt (due to splash out or draining after lots of rain) and Stabilizer. I have had to add baking soda a couple of times, and borax a couple of times.

If you are really serious about a pool, then check out https://www.troublefreepool.com/content ... b608b7e4bb. It is the Bogleheads of the pool world.

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Alexa9
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Alexa9 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:27 pm

If you buy used cars you might be able to accomplish both.
A reliable vehicle is a need. A pool is a want. So get the cars first and see if you can afford the pool.

rg422
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by rg422 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:33 pm

I would try to do both, if I were in your shoes. You may go a little over your stated budget, but if you purchased two used vehicles in decent shape you may have enough for a pool, assuming you’re NOT building a fancy pool (BG mentality). My wife and I are both 32 and 31, and though, we max out our 401Ks, ROTHS and HSA we like to enjoy our money as well. Sounds cliché, but you only live once and your kids will only be kids once.

- Richard

ddurrett896
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:36 pm

luderiffic wrote:spend $60-70K on a new pool.
Where do you live? $60-$70k is crazy for a pool unless you go with gunite and that's still a stretch.

In southern VA, you can get an average size liner pool for around $20k and fibergalss for $25. The pp who's neighbor just replaced his liner for $15k is not the average. A basic liner cost around $1,000, so figure labor and that the cost every 7-10 years.

livesoft
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by livesoft » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:40 pm

We don't have a pool, but our kids never lacked for a pool because all the neighbors have pools and there are many community pools. And two people in the immediate family even worked as lifeguards. :)
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aquaman
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by aquaman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:52 pm

Although the decision has obvious and important financial components, this is largely a lifestyle issue, which only you can answer.

From a resale standpoint, whether a pool is a negative or a positive really depends on where you are geographically and what type of house you have. In a number of areas, private residential pools are a highly sought after amenity, such that if a house does not have a nice private pool and the lot is not suitable for it, the resale value suffers. In many other areas, the exact opposite is true.

If you are interested in figuring out the maintenance costs of a pool, head over to troublefreepool.com, which is like Bogleheads for pool owners. Bogleheads is a superb website, but a discussion of pool ownership is way outside the scope of knowledge of most of its members, so you're going to receive a lot of inconsistent and downright incorrect information based on third hand knowledge.
Last edited by aquaman on Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aquaman
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by aquaman » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:15 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:My former neighbor just spent $15K for a new pool liner.
Are you sure it was a liner? Vinyl pool liners cost $1K-$5K.

Based on the cost, it sounds like your neighbor had his pool resurfaced with a pebble or quartz aggregate, in which case he won't have to do it again for 20-25+ years.

This actually underscores the overall point, which is that a properly set up pool actually doesn't require much work and can be fairly inexpensive to operate. On the other hand, poorly set up and sloppily maintained pools can be a huge headache. If you are building a pool or buying a house with a pool, a gunite pebble or quartz saltwater pool located away from all leafy trees and which comes with a variable speed pump and pool automation is going to require very little maintenance and will have low operating costs. A pool heater would further extend your swimming season and, depending on your climate, can be quite inexpensive to run.
Last edited by aquaman on Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Atilla
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Atilla » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:16 pm

Get 2 new cars and a membership to a fancy private country club pool. :mrgreen:
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Beach
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Beach » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:25 pm

Great thoughts from everybody...thank you
ddurrett896 wrote:
luderiffic wrote:spend $60-70K on a new pool.
Where do you live? $60-$70k is crazy for a pool unless you go with gunite and that's still a stretch.

In southern VA, you can get an average size liner pool for around $20k and fibergalss for $25. The pp who's neighbor just replaced his liner for $15k is not the average. A basic liner cost around $1,000, so figure labor and that the cost every 7-10 years.
We are in the Memphis area, Pool season is from May to Oct. The $60-$70K is a good guesstimate to have a gunite pool, along with a built in hottub, firepit and deck. It could go higher I suppose if we go nuts.

ddurrett896
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:21 pm

luderiffic wrote: The $60-$70K is a good guesstimate to have a gunite pool, along with a built in hottub, firepit and deck. It could go higher I suppose if we go nuts.
I'm in your same boat with 3 young kids and the wife wants the ability to let the kids swim without having to load up the car. Skip the firepit and deck and do a liner pool.

All in your looking at $25k MAX for the liner pool with $35k left over for a 4runner. I drove a 96' 4runner and now drive a 12' and absolutely love it!

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KSOC
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by KSOC » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:23 pm

I live in Central Florida. Moved from up north. Bought a pool home in 2004. Kids were 9 & 11. I guess I wanted it then. It was fun for a few years. Kids eventually stopped using, wife and I only on a few occasions. I don't have any trees in my yard that lose leaves, but all the neighbors have old giant oaks. You get the picture. I'm the guy that cleans & services the pool.

I love my house, but can't wait for retirement (at least 4 years) and downsizing. What a pain in my butt it has become. Not about to pay someone just to scoop leaves.

If I had a do over, NO POOL!
Too soon old, too late smart.

rgs92
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by rgs92 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:01 pm

Each time I looked for a house, I would not consider one with a pool. So it's very unclear how it affects the resale value of your house.
Only get a pool if it something you really want for your happiness. Only you can answer that one.
(I guess the same would apply to getting a new Porsche...)

malabargold
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by malabargold » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:34 pm

Pool owner for 30 years.
Easy to care for in my opinion.
But drown-proof the kids and watch out
for the attractive nuisance

Smurf
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Smurf » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:57 pm

We built a pool last year. It's still new to us, but it has already created great memories for our family. I'd ignore "pools kill" and all the other generic statements you'll hear on here. They are all made by people who have never owned a pool and watch too much TV. If you're on track for retirement and can can afford it, buy the cars and the pool. :beer

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badbreath
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by badbreath » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:15 pm

How about a car pool (ok bad joke)
Pools are a pain to take care of and do not get used much. We had one and I had it removed two years ago since no one was using it and it just took up space in my backyard.

I vote for cars!
“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” Groucho Marx

blinx77
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by blinx77 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:49 pm

We live in walking distance of a great community pool. Tons of our neighbors are members and it is somewhat of a social scene.

We have small backyards.

Virtually nobody in the neighborhood has a pool.

One of our neighbors had trouble selling their house. They finally got a buyer when they agreed to fill in the pool.

Just one data point, but no pool for us.

chuppi
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by chuppi » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:29 am

I bought a house with a pool. This is my second year. It will cost some money to maintain. I do chemical balance and cleaning myself. Lot of learning but I have figured it out now. I don't have any problem doing work around the house. There is a cost to having a pool in the backyard. I found a small leak in the pool and I am still investigating. :(

Now for the good part. The half summer I got to use the pool, we had so much fun. we had friends and family over all the time. My kids would spend couple of hours a day in pool (they are 2 and 4) and would hate to get out. I am not regretting it. I know I can afford it.

If you are building one yourself my suggestion is
- Go with a smaller pool. mine is ~ 13K gallon. It takes lot less chlorine, less water use, easy to clean etc....
- Go with rectangular - you can easily use the pool cover. covers help with heat retention and reduces evaporation. It's a pain to get it on and off if the pool is not rectangular
- Get solar heater if you can. Water gets pretty warm in my pool and that is the reason kids don't want to get out
- Fence is a must at least until your kids are expert swimmers.

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House Blend
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by House Blend » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:47 am

chuppi wrote:- Fence is a must at least until your kids are expert swimmers.
Maybe it depends on local ordinances, but where I grew up (SoCal), you don't have any choice in the matter.

Fencing/walls must surround the pool and any gates must auto-close, or you won't get the construction permit, and your insurance company may drop you.

Having grown up in a house that at first didn't have a pool, and later did, and having done a fair bit of the maintenance, I'd say my preference is to have friends and neighbors with pools, rather than one of my own.

Likewise, I'd much rather have a friend with a boat than own a boat...

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greg24
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by greg24 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:02 am

Focusing on the car portion...

If you two commute together, how about you compromise. Buy one new car, and keep one older cheap one.

aquaman
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by aquaman » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:23 pm

House Blend wrote:
chuppi wrote:- Fence is a must at least until your kids are expert swimmers.
Maybe it depends on local ordinances, but where I grew up (SoCal), you don't have any choice in the matter.

Fencing/walls must surround the pool and any gates must auto-close, or you won't get the construction permit, and your insurance company may drop you.
That's not what he was talking about. In addition to having a fully fenced in yard, you can have an additional permanent or removable fence around the pool. This is something that's sometimes done by pool owners with very small kids.

There are numerous other safety options out there, such as safety covers (both manual as well as automatic), pool alarms, etc...
chuppi wrote:- Go with a smaller pool. mine is ~ 13K gallon. It takes lot less chlorine, less water use, easy to clean etc....
A smaller pool does cost a little bit less to maintain, but the cost differential tends to be pretty small. Overall, it comes down to what you're looking for: a lot of pool owners feel that if you're going to have a pool, you might as well have one where you can swim, dive into, etc..., as the costs are not really that different between the two.
Having grown up in a house that at first didn't have a pool, and later did, and having done a fair bit of the maintenance, I'd say my preference is to have friends and neighbors with pools, rather than one of my own.
The concept isn't that different from that of yard maintenance. Just like you can hire a company to take care of your yard, you can completely outsource all pool maintenance for $80-$125/month (this is for a saltwater pool, which can be serviced every two weeks; a chlorine pool requires weekly maintenance, so the maintenance costs would be higher).
KSOC wrote:I live in Central Florida. Moved from up north. Bought a pool home in 2004. Kids were 9 & 11. I guess I wanted it then. It was fun for a few years. Kids eventually stopped using, wife and I only on a few occasions. I don't have any trees in my yard that lose leaves, but all the neighbors have old giant oaks. You get the picture. I'm the guy that cleans & services the pool.

I love my house, but can't wait for retirement (at least 4 years) and downsizing. What a pain in my butt it has become. Not about to pay someone just to scoop leaves.

If I had a do over, NO POOL!
Why don't you cover the pool, so that you don't end up having to scoop out all those leaves? Alternatively, if you don't use it, why don't you winterize and close the pool until you're getting ready to sell the house?

why3not
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by why3not » Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:50 pm

I didn't read more than the first few responses, so I will just give some quick anecdotal thoughts.

1) Had pools for 20+ years now, all while raising kids. Never had near drownings by any of my kids & they generally are all self taught swimmers. Care & common sense by parents during the first few years until they turn into fish goes a long way.
2) I self maintain my pool. I have found automatic vacuums & a salt water converter keep my pool maintenance time to generally <1/2 hour a week. 2-4x per year I have to clean my filter which takes an hour or so. After the overhanging live oaks dump their leaves, I have to spend about 2-3 hours cleaning the pool & then repeat it a few weeks later after they dump their pollen. So total maintenance is probably around 25-35 hours a year (pool open year around but too cold to swim in 6 months of the year)
3) We live by the ocean & while my wife & I generally prefer the beach, the kids from about 4-5 years old on on have preferred the pool.
4) Some of the best times of my live include family pool time. My wife calls it her happy place.
5) Friends (with kids) are always up for coming over & having some drinks & a bit food while the kids swim - this is a nice low stress way to host a slow afternoon summer get together.
6) We are fortunate to have a largely private back yard & live where a pool can be swam in 6 months & lounged by 10 months a year.
7) My son stopped using the pool much after about 15 YO, the girls haven't slowed down yet but in a few more years may be more intrested in tanning then splashing around with their dad :(

I can categorically state that me, my wife & 3 kids all got much more enjoyment out of a pool than we would having driven 5 year newer cars. Everyone is different & the same may not apply to you.

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KSOC
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Location: Central Florida

Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by KSOC » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:24 pm

KSOC wrote:I live in Central Florida. Moved from up north. Bought a pool home in 2004. Kids were 9 & 11. I guess I wanted it then. It was fun for a few years. Kids eventually stopped using, wife and I only on a few occasions. I don't have any trees in my yard that lose leaves, but all the neighbors have old giant oaks. You get the picture. I'm the guy that cleans & services the pool.

I love my house, but can't wait for retirement (at least 4 years) and downsizing. What a pain in my butt it has become. Not about to pay someone just to scoop leaves.

If I had a do over, NO POOL!
Why don't you cover the pool, so that you don't end up having to scoop out all those leaves? Alternatively, if you don't use it, why don't you winterize and close the pool until you're getting ready to sell the house?


This was discussed, but determined one of the attributes of the pool is the aesthetics. It's a very tropical setting & I have the water jets positioned to make the "babbling brook" sound. So from our screened porch & kitchen window we enjoy it. It's a lot to keep after though, admittedly made difficult by the neighborhood trees.It is definitely an asset in Florida because it is a classic older pool home with plenty of palms, bougainvillea & other flowering shrubs. Won't do it again.
Too soon old, too late smart.

c078342
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by c078342 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:42 pm

My 2 cents -- where do you live? Are pools 12 month / year niceties, or 3 month / year? In any case, you spend much more time in your cars than you would in a pool. As others have mentioned, join a swim club. This is particularly true if you enjoy cars, but based on your current and projected buys, you aren't.

Beach
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by Beach » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:53 pm

c078342 wrote:My 2 cents -- where do you live? Are pools 12 month / year niceties, or 3 month / year? In any case, you spend much more time in your cars than you would in a pool. As others have mentioned, join a swim club. This is particularly true if you enjoy cars, but based on your current and projected buys, you aren't.
We live in West Tennessee, swimming season is from May to Oct. Being outside is tolerable between Mar to Nov/Dec. The idea of joining a swim/golf club isn't very appealing as you must continue to pay fees during months with no use as well. Typical membership fees around here for those types of places are between $200-$400/mo plus an "initiation" fee.

I also am quite fanatical about cars, but my priorities have switched once I realized how much money I was blowing and wasting on financing things I couldn't afford. (FWIW, I used to own a new corvette when I was 26 because I thought I had earned it after graduating college and landing a steady, "real" job)

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praxis
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Re: New cars or Pool?

Post by praxis » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:50 pm

Most of our friends and we belong to a local health club that has 3 great pools
Some of us swim for fitness, all of us bring the kids to swim many days each week all summer.
There's even what they call a zero-entry end on the family pool that goes from 1" slowly to 6" for toddlers.
But the big incentive is that we all use the health club for many things, not just swimming.
The club has classes like spinning, weight training, step, zumba, pilates and yoga. Many cardio and weight training areas.
There are tennis and racquetball and basketball courts and a good cafe with healthy food and a coffee/cocktail bar.
Many of our kids grow up with fitness as a priority because of this environment.
One of our sons was a 4 year varsity swimmer in HS. He has gills.
And our membership ($100/month/family) pays for crystal-clear pool maintenance.

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