Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

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rhatfiel
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Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by rhatfiel »

Question: We currently don't use a financial advisor, so I appreciate this forums perspective. My wife and I are both 35 with a 3.5 year old daughter. We built a house 3 years ago on 3.5 acres at the perfect timing before material prices went up and before the housing market went crazy. We've always been conservative with our money, and often lived well under our means as far as our income.

We're seriously contemplating putting an inground pool in to enjoy with our daughter for the next 15-20 years. Total price tag would likely be around $100K. Of course with our conservative mindset, we are tossing around whether the price tag will be worth it and how it plays in to our long-term goals (ideally retire 55-60). Being the contractor is at least a year out, we'd likely divert our annual savings post-tax that we typically send to the brokerage account in order to pay cash. We won't have any impact to our retirement savings levels.

Below is our current financial status. Would love thoughts/feedback on whether it financially would make sense on pulling the trigger on the pool. Thanks in advance!

Emergency funds: 6 months of expenses assuming $0 of income to offset
Debt: $385.5K @ 2.875% 30 yr fixed mortgage w/ just under 28 years remaining (38% equity in home)
Income 1: $207K base + $35K bonus
Income 2: $55K base + no bonus
Age: 35/35

Current investable assets:
His 401(k) = $303K (+$20.5K annual contribution +4% employer match)
Her 403(b)/Alt Retirement Plan = $99K (+$20.5K annual elective contribution +$5K required annual contribution +12% employer match)
His IRA (only rollovers from prior employers) = $71.2K
Her IRA (only rollovers from prior employers) = $30.5K
HSA = $16K
529 = $6.5K
Taxable Vanguard Brokerage = $308.2K
Emergency Savings = $36K

Total portfolio: $868K

Annual Contributions
$20.5K his 401k + 4% company match
$5K her Alternate Retirement Plan + $5.9K employer matching contributions
$20.5K her 403b
$56K taxable
ponyboy
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by ponyboy »

Where do you live? Can you use the pool year round? In terms of can you afford it, yeah, it appears you can.

We live in PA and thought about an inground pool but reconsidered. We're around the same age as you, make slightly less and have about double the portfolio size with an almost paid off house. We still couldnt justify the price of something we can use only 4 months a year, maybe 5.

We're going with an above ground pool next year. Not a huge one since our child is only 2, but something we can get in and play around. When we're sick of it, we'll tear it down and get a bigger if he loves it. Couple hundred bucks for an above ground vs $75k for inground.

I know above ground pools arent trendy or hip, but they are a lot of fun. Plus, you can dispose of them when finished and it costs a fraction of the price. If we lived somewhere in the US where it was warm most of the year, we would probably pull the trigger on an inground.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by JoeRetire »

rhatfiel wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:06 amMy wife and I are both 35 with a 3.5 year old daughter.

We're seriously contemplating putting an inground pool in to enjoy with our daughter for the next 15-20 years. Total price tag would likely be around $100K.

Would love thoughts/feedback on whether it financially would make sense on pulling the trigger on the pool.
Financially a $100k pool doesn't make sense.

But this is a lifestyle issue, not a financial issue. You can afford it if you want to. We put in a pool (inground, but not $100k) when our children were young and it was one of the best things we ever did. Family fun for 18 years.

We live in a seaside community in an HOA with small lots, so no pool. But my wife loves pools. So occasionally, we go to a terrific public pool a few towns over. It costs $4 for the day. My wife is happy.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
This is gonna be my time. Time to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down my chin. I proclaim this: The Summer of George!
runner3081
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by runner3081 »

ponyboy wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:12 am Where do you live? Can you use the pool year round? In terms of can you afford it, yeah, it appears you can.
You can't use a pool year round anywhere, unless you pay significant heating costs. Even in AZ, pools are a May through September thing, at best.
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lthenderson
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by lthenderson »

What are your annual expenses? You put nearly 100k of your $300k income into retirement. Are your annual expenses another $50k or $200k? Without this it is impossible to say if you can afford one.
DoubleComma
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by DoubleComma »

I’m not the typical BH, I think pools (boats and second homes) are all fantastic. Rarely do any make “financial sense”, but it’s more of a lifestyle and priority choice.

So I’ve built a couple pools, and I’m very familiar with friends and families who have all built pools too…none cost $100k.

Where does the $100k budget come from.

My most recent pool build, 2016, was mid $40k. At the same time I also did full landscaping in the back yard, so the combined cost started to approach $100k but didn’t actually get to that level. My point is if your pool build is truly $100k get more bids, think about the must haves vs the nice to haves and ensure you are not overspending on things you won’t value a couple years later.

Second, if the $100k is inclusive of landscaping, IMO that is something that you “need” to do, so separate the pool from the landscaping so you can make a financial choice on the actual cost of the pool.

Last thing, I grew up with a pool and have had a pool for over 20 years of my adult life. At no point do I look and think it’s not worth it, it cost to much to maintain, or we don’t use it enough. Personally I use the pool several times a week from May - Sept. When the kids were small they would push it from late April to early Oct, but they have wises up as they have grown older.

Tons of experience and help on Trouble Free Pools. They can help you design, Select the best equipment for you location and pool type, teach DIY maintenance and can validate costs.
Topic Author
rhatfiel
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by rhatfiel »

lthenderson wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:01 am What are your annual expenses? You put nearly 100k of your $300k income into retirement. Are your annual expenses another $50k or $200k? Without this it is impossible to say if you can afford one.
Annual expenses are about $70K to $80K.
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rhatfiel
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by rhatfiel »

DoubleComma wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:30 am I’m not the typical BH, I think pools (boats and second homes) are all fantastic. Rarely do any make “financial sense”, but it’s more of a lifestyle and priority choice.

So I’ve built a couple pools, and I’m very familiar with friends and families who have all built pools too…none cost $100k.

Where does the $100k budget come from.

My most recent pool build, 2016, was mid $40k. At the same time I also did full landscaping in the back yard, so the combined cost started to approach $100k but didn’t actually get to that level. My point is if your pool build is truly $100k get more bids, think about the must haves vs the nice to haves and ensure you are not overspending on things you won’t value a couple years later.

Second, if the $100k is inclusive of landscaping, IMO that is something that you “need” to do, so separate the pool from the landscaping so you can make a financial choice on the actual cost of the pool.

Last thing, I grew up with a pool and have had a pool for over 20 years of my adult life. At no point do I look and think it’s not worth it, it cost to much to maintain, or we don’t use it enough. Personally I use the pool several times a week from May - Sept. When the kids were small they would push it from late April to early Oct, but they have wises up as they have grown older.

Tons of experience and help on Trouble Free Pools. They can help you design, Select the best equipment for you location and pool type, teach DIY maintenance and can validate costs.
Thanks for the extensive reply and insights. Much appreciated!

The $100k is a rough budget for a 14'x35' fiberglass pool with 10' concrete deck on one side and 6' concrete deck around the other 3 sides with paver coping edging the pool plus a 300 sqft paver patio extension to an existing much smaller paver patio to connect to the pool deck and auto-cover. Around here, all fiberglass pools I've been quoted start in the mid-$60k for the pool shell, plumbing, electric, pump, etc. installed. Definitely welcome any suggestions based on the above if there are other routes we could go to cut cost while not overly cutting the quality of the output.
kada
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by kada »

If y'all love where you live I vote do it. Things like this are what make happy memories for you to reflect on in retirement. (fwiw wife and I also 35, just had first kid a week ago, have already been bouncing around the idea of a pool when they hit elementary age which IMO is a great time to pull the trigger)

Short term/direct financial view is they are a loss in terms of tracking ROI etc. However, I believe things like this can invigorate you so you are that much more fired up about life at work, meeting new people, etc which can indirectly increase wealth as well. If you have coworkers, clients, etc that can come hang out for an afternoon at the pool and connect with family etc that is powerful stuff. And FUN :sharebeer. Or you have an awesome weekend relaxing y'all are in high spirits to start the week at work, make good impressions etc. It's only when you don't adequately plan do things like this become burdensome and I highly doubt that would happen to y'all.
MarkerFM
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by MarkerFM »

We have had pools and enjoyed them but they didn't get tons of use, especially as kids grew and did sports, camps, etc. At one point we had two houses with pools. Currently have just one. So, we aren't anti-pool.

Looking at your numbers, it appears you live below your means and could afford it.

I think the budget for a pool today including deck, etc. is $100K minimum, so that's about right.

What doesn't feel right is putting a $100K pool in a house that looks like you are valuing at $625K after the recent run-up in prices?
DoubleComma
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by DoubleComma »

rhatfiel wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:45 am
DoubleComma wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:30 am I’m not the typical BH, I think pools (boats and second homes) are all fantastic. Rarely do any make “financial sense”, but it’s more of a lifestyle and priority choice.

So I’ve built a couple pools, and I’m very familiar with friends and families who have all built pools too…none cost $100k.

Where does the $100k budget come from.

My most recent pool build, 2016, was mid $40k. At the same time I also did full landscaping in the back yard, so the combined cost started to approach $100k but didn’t actually get to that level. My point is if your pool build is truly $100k get more bids, think about the must haves vs the nice to haves and ensure you are not overspending on things you won’t value a couple years later.

Second, if the $100k is inclusive of landscaping, IMO that is something that you “need” to do, so separate the pool from the landscaping so you can make a financial choice on the actual cost of the pool.

Last thing, I grew up with a pool and have had a pool for over 20 years of my adult life. At no point do I look and think it’s not worth it, it cost to much to maintain, or we don’t use it enough. Personally I use the pool several times a week from May - Sept. When the kids were small they would push it from late April to early Oct, but they have wises up as they have grown older.

Tons of experience and help on Trouble Free Pools. They can help you design, Select the best equipment for you location and pool type, teach DIY maintenance and can validate costs.
Thanks for the extensive reply and insights. Much appreciated!

The $100k is a rough budget for a 14'x35' fiberglass pool with 10' concrete deck on one side and 6' concrete deck around the other 3 sides with paver coping edging the pool plus a 300 sqft paver patio extension to an existing much smaller paver patio to connect to the pool deck and auto-cover. Around here, all fiberglass pools I've been quoted start in the mid-$60k for the pool shell, plumbing, electric, pump, etc. installed. Definitely welcome any suggestions based on the above if there are other routes we could go to cut cost while not overly cutting the quality of the output.
First this is get on Trouble Free Pools. Its a very active and welcoming community. They have current data based on region, build type and lots of suggestions to maximize value, usability and enjoyment.

Personally I believe that gunite and plaster (or quartz/pebbleTec/etc) is superior pool. I suggest getting a couple quotes.

TFP will have more information that you can imagine.
quietseas
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by quietseas »

The most Boglehead thing to do would be to encourage your neighbors to put in pools, and then have your kids use their pools. You can bring beer and chips for the pool party every weekend which is a lot cheaper than building the pool, maintaining it, insuring it, then filling it in once you no longer want it.
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rhatfiel
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by rhatfiel »

quietseas wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:39 pm The most Boglehead thing to do would be to encourage your neighbors to put in pools, and then have your kids use their pools. You can bring beer and chips for the pool party every weekend which is a lot cheaper than building the pool, maintaining it, insuring it, then filling it in once you no longer want it.
Love this reply :D :oops: :sharebeer
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AnnetteLouisan
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

I think you’d get much more out of this than you’d put in. A no brainer yes, do it.
Californiastate
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by Californiastate »

We also put a pool in when the children were young. I think we received 15 years of heavy use until they went away to school. It was 27k in '97. In hindsight it was worth it. Those 15 years were priceless. Now it's used a lot less but the maintenance never stops.
ktdintex
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by ktdintex »

We put in an in ground gunite pool 2 years ago, when I was 48. Fortunately, we did this right before the huge run up in pool prices, but the pool was still over $100K due to the size of the pool itself and massive amount of travertine decking. So as someone who has actually built a pool and lived with it for a few years, here are a few thoughts:

It isn't a wise financial decision, but life isn't about living off the bare minimum all the time. If you think you're going to stay in the house a long time, I do think your kids will love it, especially when they start having their friends over. Our pool is used almost every day in the summer, and quite a bit during the winter because we use for swimming laps (our pool is looooong).

Definitely go to Trouble Free Pools forum. You can earn more about the various types of pools, typical costs, and issue unique to your area. And how to take care of the pool yourself. You mentioned fiberglass pools. That's pretty rare in Texas, where most pools are gunite (basically concrete). But you can get good advice on TFP forum about the various types of pools.

As for a few pool design issues, get a heater, and possible a chiller depending on where you live. I don't think you mentioned what part of the country you're located. I'm in Texas, so the the pool is usable for a good part of the year. But the season is surprisingly shorter than I expected, if we didn't have a pool heater. Without the heater, I would use the pool from May - Sept / October. The heater adds a month of usable time at each end, as well as the occasional warm day in the winter.

My pool gets crazy hot in July and August, so our chiller helps keep it tolerable.

Strongly consider doing a salt water pool. It's a misunderstood system because the pool is still chlorinated. The salt system automatically generates chlorine continuously. It makes maintenance so much easier, and the water tastes and feels better compared to the acid based chlorine tablets of most pools. It also makes leaving for vacation easier because you don't need someone to add chlorine tablets while you're gone.

Bottom line, get over TFP forum and start reading.
searhapsody
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by searhapsody »

runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:28 am
ponyboy wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:12 am Where do you live? Can you use the pool year round? In terms of can you afford it, yeah, it appears you can.
You can't use a pool year round anywhere, unless you pay significant heating costs. Even in AZ, pools are a May through September thing, at best.
Our family uses ours year round without a pool heater. I am not a fan of winter swims (Jan/feb) but after a run or workout, the kids don't seem to mind.
rich126
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by rich126 »

A swimming pool is one of those things that almost never makes sense financially. It is more of a decision that a family wants. I had a large one in Scottsdale for a while. While it looked great in the back yard, especially lit up at night (probably scored me a number of points with dates!), it wasn't something I wanted but when you are shopping for a home, unless your budget is unlimited, you have to make trade offs.

People not familiar with AZ may think that you can use it year round because it is so hot but once things start cooling off the pool gets chilly quickly and w/o a heater you can't use it from November through March and even longer than that if you are like me and don't like chilly water.

I do regret I wasn't into swimming since as you get older swimming can be a great exercise but I often used it 15-25 times a year. And my estimated cost back then (2019) was probably $300 a month when you factor in: resurfacing (maybe every 10-20 years but costly), draining/filling the pool, monthly maintenance, water bill, electric, frequent repairs on the pump/filter/cleaning parts. I ended up selling the house but if I hadn't, I would have likely removed the pool anyhow since it was an expense I didn't need in retirement.

I'm guessing a pool may be similar to a fireplace/woodstove. I recall asking an agent about whether it would pay to convert my fireplace to a wood stove and she said the views on that are pretty evenly divided.
----------------------------- | If you think something is important and it doesn't involve the health of someone, think again. Life goes too fast, enjoy it and be nice.
Yoshida26
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by Yoshida26 »

I live in Florida, and put a 13k gallon salt water pool / hot tub combo in 7 years ago for approx 55k. I paid cash as I didn't want a 10 year loan on the pool. Also in Florida, they put liens on your house while they are building, and until they get their money back. Both those reasons are why I paid cash for it. The pools here now are running 60-65k and are taking a year or more to complete. Mine took 4 months. I have two kids 14/9 now and we hardly ever user the pool or hot tub. Maybe 2-3 times a year. I keep saying I wish i could just pour dirt over it and call it a day. We have to take water in weekly or bi-weekly for water test. The cost of putting in chemicals and supplies can start to add up over time. The time it takes to clean and scrub the pool, or driving to the pool store, or scrubbing the deck, it al just starts to add up. The cost to replaces parts can start to add up as well. My automatic cleaner hose, one hose piece cost nearly 30.00 and they break often. It takes 9 of them for my whole pool. Just be ready for a lifetime of expenses that you will probably never recoup. :dollar :dollar :dollar
illumination
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by illumination »

Just make sure you really want a pool and explore some of the negatives. I live in climate that probably has the longest "pool season " of anywhere, my kids use the pool around 20 days a year. If you have something like a nearby county club or rec center that has a pool, you might want to look into it. Kids like swimming with other people. I may fill my pool in when the kids have grown and moved out, even that's really expensive.

The care and maintenance of a pool can get annoying (especially if you feel no one uses it). I used to have a pool guy, but he was largely worthless, just dropped some chlorine tabs in and left. Now I do it myself (have a salt water pool). There are ongoing costs for energy and equipment. It's usually not too bad, but the price of chlorine for example has spiked something like 400%. The price of acid has almost doubled. Pipes break, leaks happen. Filters need to be broken down and cleaned, pumps, automation and sweepers break. Every few years, it's not uncommon to have to drain refill a pool. What direction are water prices likely headed? Some parts of the country, refilling a pool is really expensive (fortunately where I live it's not) Also budget in for a fence to surround the pool when the kids are younger. Once my kids were proficient swimmers, we took it down. It was a huge eye sore in the yard to have that massive fence.

Heating an entire pool is absurdly expensive in energy costs if you are thinking of doing that in the "off season". I have natural gas heater, I don't use it to heat the entire pool as it's about the same price to go stay in a resort and use their pool. I do use a heater though for the spa, even that's not cheap imo.
runner3081
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by runner3081 »

searhapsody wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 9:31 am
runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:28 am
ponyboy wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:12 am Where do you live? Can you use the pool year round? In terms of can you afford it, yeah, it appears you can.
You can't use a pool year round anywhere, unless you pay significant heating costs. Even in AZ, pools are a May through September thing, at best.
Our family uses ours year round without a pool heater. I am not a fan of winter swims (Jan/feb) but after a run or workout, the kids don't seem to mind.
I guess I am a wuss. If it isn't 86 degrees or warmer, I don't get in! Even in AZ winter, the pool drops into the 50's. Not sure how that is doable.
searhapsody
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by searhapsody »

runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:28 am
ponyboy wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:12 am Where do you live? Can you use the pool year round? In terms of can you afford it, yeah, it appears you can.
You can't use a pool year round anywhere, unless you pay significant heating costs. Even in AZ, pools are a May through September thing, at best.
cableguy
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by cableguy »

My advice. Get the pool. You'll love it. HOWEVER...when purchasing a pool, your first phone call shouldn't be to the pool company. Find a reputable landscape design firm that specializes in backyards with pools. You want to see drawings, images, etc. of what everything will look like...in the day, in the night, 5 years from now when the plants grow out, where the BBQ will go, the fire pit, etc. The pool guy just does the pool. The pool is just one piece of the puzzle. Don't deal with just the pool guy. I can't stress that enough. Get a GC / Landscape Designer that leads the entire project. Oh....if you find someone that can do your job right away....run. Run fast. The good ones are booked out for at least 6 months. There are a lot of fly by night operators out there. If you can spend $100k on this....do it right and enjoy it!
Carguy85
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by Carguy85 »

$100k is about right for a well equipped middle of the road fiberglass pool back yard project ... ours was done in 2019 and the base op price was $60k ... heater, lights, salt system, automatic cover, concrete and landscape rapidly approached $100k. Our pool is not one you see on the backyard oasis pool shows but is very nice ...what Id call a well equipped Camry...gets the job done and should last a long long time. I wouldn’t even begin to consider anything with a liner. Nothing but $$$ and probs. I’ve been in our pool twice for about 5 minutes each time since we had it done but the family enjoys it and I suppose I like looking at it.
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rhatfiel
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by rhatfiel »

cableguy wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 8:45 am My advice. Get the pool. You'll love it. HOWEVER...when purchasing a pool, your first phone call shouldn't be to the pool company. Find a reputable landscape design firm that specializes in backyards with pools. You want to see drawings, images, etc. of what everything will look like...in the day, in the night, 5 years from now when the plants grow out, where the BBQ will go, the fire pit, etc. The pool guy just does the pool. The pool is just one piece of the puzzle. Don't deal with just the pool guy. I can't stress that enough. Get a GC / Landscape Designer that leads the entire project. Oh....if you find someone that can do your job right away....run. Run fast. The good ones are booked out for at least 6 months. There are a lot of fly by night operators out there. If you can spend $100k on this....do it right and enjoy it!
Thanks for the advice! Exactly the path we’re going…$100K is for a pool, patio and backyard package from one of the most reputable design groups in the area. And you’re right, they are booked to summer/fall 2023.
NYCaviator
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by NYCaviator »

Are you able to use this year round? Are you planning on staying in this house long term? Do you guys swim a lot to the point that you'd make it worth the cost? If not, you're probably never going to get that $100k back when you go to sell.

Don't forget to budget for maintenance and utility costs. Pools require quite a bit of maintenance and there's lots that can go wrong (and they aren't cheap to fix...).

Personally, I'd hesitate to get a pool with a kid that young. You really need to fence off the pool until they are older (which may or may not be included in that 100k) and have learned how to swim. Pools are dangerous in general (hence the higher insurance rates when you have them), but they're especially dangerous when you have little kids.
Valuethinker
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by Valuethinker »

rhatfiel wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:45 am
DoubleComma wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:30 am I’m not the typical BH, I think pools (boats and second homes) are all fantastic. Rarely do any make “financial sense”, but it’s more of a lifestyle and priority choice.

So I’ve built a couple pools, and I’m very familiar with friends and families who have all built pools too…none cost $100k.

Where does the $100k budget come from.

My most recent pool build, 2016, was mid $40k. At the same time I also did full landscaping in the back yard, so the combined cost started to approach $100k but didn’t actually get to that level. My point is if your pool build is truly $100k get more bids, think about the must haves vs the nice to haves and ensure you are not overspending on things you won’t value a couple years later.

Second, if the $100k is inclusive of landscaping, IMO that is something that you “need” to do, so separate the pool from the landscaping so you can make a financial choice on the actual cost of the pool.

Last thing, I grew up with a pool and have had a pool for over 20 years of my adult life. At no point do I look and think it’s not worth it, it cost to much to maintain, or we don’t use it enough. Personally I use the pool several times a week from May - Sept. When the kids were small they would push it from late April to early Oct, but they have wises up as they have grown older.

Tons of experience and help on Trouble Free Pools. They can help you design, Select the best equipment for you location and pool type, teach DIY maintenance and can validate costs.
Thanks for the extensive reply and insights. Much appreciated!

The $100k is a rough budget for a 14'x35' fiberglass pool with 10' concrete deck on one side and 6' concrete deck around the other 3 sides with paver coping edging the pool plus a 300 sqft paver patio extension to an existing much smaller paver patio to connect to the pool deck and auto-cover. Around here, all fiberglass pools I've been quoted start in the mid-$60k for the pool shell, plumbing, electric, pump, etc. installed. Definitely welcome any suggestions based on the above if there are other routes we could go to cut cost while not overly cutting the quality of the output.
If you are going to do this:

- different pool pumps have different energy requirements. Get the best energy efficiency you can, now

- consider a solar water heater (w gas backup) if feasible

- if your pool is heated electrically I believe there are "heat pump" pool heaters which much more efficient

My rationale is that you will only do this once, and you don't know what electricity & gas prices will be in 10 years time.

I remember from Freakonomics that far more children die from pool drownings than from handgun accidents. I don't know what your municipal ordnances are, but please consider putting a child proof fence around the pool area. It doesn't have to be your child that dies. (And in the spirit of that - make sure you are up to date on CPR/ lifesaving courses). I suspect pools have an awful domestic accident rate (mostly falls, scrapes & broken bones).

There's no doubt you can do this, it's simply a question of lifestyle benefit to you. It's not an investment decision - when you include maintenance and operation costs, a pool is always Net Present Value negative. It's the cost of an expensive car, and that is how you have to think of it.
chazas
Posts: 613
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by chazas »

DoubleComma wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:44 pm
rhatfiel wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:45 am
DoubleComma wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:30 am I’m not the typical BH, I think pools (boats and second homes) are all fantastic. Rarely do any make “financial sense”, but it’s more of a lifestyle and priority choice.

So I’ve built a couple pools, and I’m very familiar with friends and families who have all built pools too…none cost $100k.

Where does the $100k budget come from.

My most recent pool build, 2016, was mid $40k. At the same time I also did full landscaping in the back yard, so the combined cost started to approach $100k but didn’t actually get to that level. My point is if your pool build is truly $100k get more bids, think about the must haves vs the nice to haves and ensure you are not overspending on things you won’t value a couple years later.

Second, if the $100k is inclusive of landscaping, IMO that is something that you “need” to do, so separate the pool from the landscaping so you can make a financial choice on the actual cost of the pool.

Last thing, I grew up with a pool and have had a pool for over 20 years of my adult life. At no point do I look and think it’s not worth it, it cost to much to maintain, or we don’t use it enough. Personally I use the pool several times a week from May - Sept. When the kids were small they would push it from late April to early Oct, but they have wises up as they have grown older.

Tons of experience and help on Trouble Free Pools. They can help you design, Select the best equipment for you location and pool type, teach DIY maintenance and can validate costs.
Thanks for the extensive reply and insights. Much appreciated!

The $100k is a rough budget for a 14'x35' fiberglass pool with 10' concrete deck on one side and 6' concrete deck around the other 3 sides with paver coping edging the pool plus a 300 sqft paver patio extension to an existing much smaller paver patio to connect to the pool deck and auto-cover. Around here, all fiberglass pools I've been quoted start in the mid-$60k for the pool shell, plumbing, electric, pump, etc. installed. Definitely welcome any suggestions based on the above if there are other routes we could go to cut cost while not overly cutting the quality of the output.
First this is get on Trouble Free Pools. Its a very active and welcoming community. They have current data based on region, build type and lots of suggestions to maximize value, usability and enjoyment.

Personally I believe that gunite and plaster (or quartz/pebbleTec/etc) is superior pool. I suggest getting a couple quotes.

TFP will have more information that you can imagine.
Agree about TFP, I’ve been a member there and at its predecessor forum for close to 20 years and built 3 pools in that time. It’s a great, great resource, the only really consistently good resource out there for pools. The reddit pool groups - so much bad information.

Pool construction costs are highly local. That said $40K for a pool strikes me is undoable almost anywhere these days, other than maybe a very simple vinyl liner. I did a fairly basic 14x30 fiberglass pool three years ago, just a brushed concrete surround, no water features, though I had to build a retaining wall and I put in automation. I’m on the outskirts of a HCOL area but my contractor was from further out and gave me a good deal. It totaled more than $60K, and prices skyrocketed during the pandemic and have not come back to earth.

Also, I have built two gunite pools before this fiberglass pool. They are different - not worse. I am happy with mine.
Creditcardguy
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by Creditcardguy »

I’ll just say saltwater gunite all the way. Fiberglass tears up my skin for some reason. We got one last year it’s not that big with hot tub $75k. Love it and use it several times a week. Definitely never get the money back but you seem to be in good shape so who cares, it’s about memories and fun.
jebmke
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by jebmke »

runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:28 am
ponyboy wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:12 am Where do you live? Can you use the pool year round? In terms of can you afford it, yeah, it appears you can.
You can't use a pool year round anywhere, unless you pay significant heating costs. Even in AZ, pools are a May through September thing, at best.
We have a pool; was already here when we bought the house. We enjoy it but I would never have put one in.

Increasingly now we are losing days of use in mid-summer due to the heat. The water temperature gets above any level I'd consider helpful in terms of enjoyment. When we first moved here we would lose a day or two in July and August. Now we have stretches of multiple days when the pool is unusable and we are only maintaining it, adding water to replace the evaporation.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
WillRetire
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by WillRetire »

To answer the original question: Does it make financial sense? Probably not, but if you want it and can afford it, do it! With 3.5 acres, you can do it right with beautiful landscaping & hardscaping. Consider a pool house or small building with a shower. Even better: a guest cottage. Or at least plan for it and build it later.

With safety in mind, add some video monitoring, and of course a fence.

Lucky you!
jebmke
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by jebmke »

WillRetire wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 8:09 am To answer the original question: Does it make financial sense? Probably not, but if you want it and can afford it, do it! With 3.5 acres, you can do it right with beautiful landscaping & hardscaping. Consider a pool house or small building with a shower. Even better: a guest cottage. Or at least plan for it and build it later.

With safety in mind, add some video monitoring, and of course a fence.

Lucky you!
I agree; in fact, I've always viewed my entire house as a consumption item. If it gains value as an "investment" that is OK but not why I bought it to begin with.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
ddurrett896
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by ddurrett896 »

$60K for a fiberglass is a good price. Those shells delivered we're $30K 5 years ago when my buddy did one, so figure $40K now. Add in $20K for all other equipment plus install, isn't a bad deal at all.

I'd do it, especially with a young daughter and 15-20 years in the same hose. I put one in a year ago. My rational was that the younger kids will get 10 years out of it before they are teens and too cool to swim. Then once they move out and have kids, they will be back with the grand kids to swim.

I also like the fact that all their friends want to come to our house to chill. Yea I blow thru juice boxes and snacks, but having eyes on my kids it well worth it. Also builds strong swimmers - my 5 year old out swims/flips my other kids 8 year old friends.

$40K for all the hardscape and auto cover is a good price. I'd skip the auto cover which should knock off around $15K.
runner3081
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by runner3081 »

jebmke wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 7:49 am
runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:28 am
ponyboy wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:12 am Where do you live? Can you use the pool year round? In terms of can you afford it, yeah, it appears you can.
You can't use a pool year round anywhere, unless you pay significant heating costs. Even in AZ, pools are a May through September thing, at best.
We have a pool; was already here when we bought the house. We enjoy it but I would never have put one in.

Increasingly now we are losing days of use in mid-summer due to the heat. The water temperature gets above any level I'd consider helpful in terms of enjoyment. When we first moved here we would lose a day or two in July and August. Now we have stretches of multiple days when the pool is unusable and we are only maintaining it, adding water to replace the evaporation.
We have a two story house, surrounded by other two story houses and the pool is on the north side. Due to that, our pool season is shorter, but it only gets to about 92-94 degrees in the summer. Still feels fine when it is 115-120 out.

Same thing with our pool, it was there when we bought it. I would never put one in. Ideal situation is to live in a community with a pool that is within walking distance from the house.
Topic Author
rhatfiel
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by rhatfiel »

Thanks all for the great thoughts. I should have called out, by “does it make financial sense?” I did not mean as an investment or getting money back, but more of “can we afford it based on current portfolio and where we’re trying to go”. Seems like the answer for most is “yes”, and then from there it’s just a lifestyle preference. I am in Central Ohio too. :sharebeer
WillRetire
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by WillRetire »

rhatfiel wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 10:02 am Thanks all for the great thoughts. I should have called out, by “does it make financial sense?” I did not mean as an investment or getting money back, but more of “can we afford it based on current portfolio and where we’re trying to go”. Seems like the answer for most is “yes”, and then from there it’s just a lifestyle preference. I am in Central Ohio too. :sharebeer
Your portfolio is high value which gives you lots of options. Your expenses are very low for your income. However, it is not clear from your posts whether the expense figures include mortgage payment. If they do, they heck yeah, you can afford this and then some. If they do not, then it depends: if your current house + land was purchased for a great sum of money, maybe adding a pool will stretch the budget of monthly expenses. Increased insurance, taxes, utility and maintenance costs will be significant. I am being careful not to ask your monthly mortgage payment because that plus the info you already provided would reveal how much you paid for the house & land. You have sizeable equity in the house which is great but doesn't determine the monthly expense figures.

I think all you need to do is estimate the additional monthly expense once the project is done, and understand the impact to your household budget. In other words, if you don't do the project, where is that money (monthly expense) going now?
KyleAAA
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by KyleAAA »

You could easily afford 3 such pools in your current financial situation. It’s a lifestyle decision for you at this point.
marcopolo
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by marcopolo »

runner3081 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:28 am
ponyboy wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:12 am Where do you live? Can you use the pool year round? In terms of can you afford it, yeah, it appears you can.
You can't use a pool year round anywhere, unless you pay significant heating costs. Even in AZ, pools are a May through September thing, at best.
I beg to differ. We use our pool year round.
We live in Hawaii.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
Topic Author
rhatfiel
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Re: Contemplating putting in a pool - thoughts based on our current financial situation?

Post by rhatfiel »

WillRetire wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 10:25 am
rhatfiel wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 10:02 am Thanks all for the great thoughts. I should have called out, by “does it make financial sense?” I did not mean as an investment or getting money back, but more of “can we afford it based on current portfolio and where we’re trying to go”. Seems like the answer for most is “yes”, and then from there it’s just a lifestyle preference. I am in Central Ohio too. :sharebeer
Your portfolio is high value which gives you lots of options. Your expenses are very low for your income. However, it is not clear from your posts whether the expense figures include mortgage payment. If they do, they heck yeah, you can afford this and then some. If they do not, then it depends: if your current house + land was purchased for a great sum of money, maybe adding a pool will stretch the budget of monthly expenses. Increased insurance, taxes, utility and maintenance costs will be significant. I am being careful not to ask your monthly mortgage payment because that plus the info you already provided would reveal how much you paid for the house & land. You have sizeable equity in the house which is great but doesn't determine the monthly expense figures.

I think all you need to do is estimate the additional monthly expense once the project is done, and understand the impact to your household budget. In other words, if you don't do the project, where is that money (monthly expense) going now?
Yes, annual expenses includes the mortgage payment
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