Sunday, August 14, 2011

To Pool or Not to Pool...

As sort of a follow-up to yesterday's post about the extreme heat, I should mention that we have repeatedly contemplated the idea of getting a pool.  Someone, please step forward and talk me out of this foolishness now.

There are several homes in the area that have really nice in-ground pools and I have noticed that none of them have what I consider to be required, a fully screened in room built around them.  We don't have a huge mosquito problem, what with all the bats and such, but I keep thinking about how much sand must blow directly into the pool with ever breeze.  When we have discussed the idea of a pool, we keep going back to the amount of work involved and of course, the expense.  For what I want or think is worth the effort involved, it would be quite a huge investment.

When our kids were a lot younger, we bought a small above ground pool for first house.  This is what you might see at Big Lots or Wal Mart, about 36 inches tall and maybe 16 feet round.  It was great for the kids, not so great for liquored-up adults taking turns diving into it.  But we got two seasons out of it and it was probably $150 well spent.

So as we toy with the pool idea, we have been thinking maybe the way to go is with one of these nicer quality above ground pools.  If you get one with the stainless steel panel, reinforced rails and upgrade to a high quality liner, the things can last for years.  And if you decide the pool is no longer worth the effort, get rid of it. 

We went to Family Leisure (of course) and talked with Froy, a highly trained above ground pool salesman who walked us through the drill of what packages worked best, why some of the lower end pools were not going to make us happy and the usual stuff.  It was all very informative, but I just wasn't ready to commit.

When we came home, we measured out an area in the back where we would probably put a pool.  There are many things to consider with an above ground pool.  Certainly, the view is the first thing that comes to my mind.  Are we going to mess with the view we have of the yard from our hot tub?  Do we create a huge obstruction from the back porch?  It isn't all just splishing and splashing, there are other things to consider.  Naturally, a new deck would be required.  You can't just stick a pool in the yard and not have a fancy deck leading to it, can you?

There is one other thing to consider.  Eva can't swim.  

So since we were in the area, we had skipped breakfast and would later skip dinner, off we went to Clear Springs Restaurant for some much needed lunch.   
 If you have never been to Clear Springs, I'll save you some money: order the small onion rings.  There is enough to feed a table full of people.
Just for good measure, I ordered some Stingers - jalapenos stuffed with catfish and fried.  Good stuff.
Eva ordered her usual shrimp.
And I broke my rule of only ordering catfish without the sides.  It isn't that the Cole slaw and beans aren't good, but after onion rings, Stingers and catfish, who needs the rest of that stuff?  Needless to say, we were stuffed!
Perhaps it is a good thing we didn't pull the trigger on a pool.  There may have been reports of beached whales in the greater Natalia area. 


Keith Alan K said...

When I had a house with an in-ground pool it was great about three times a year for parties, but the rest of the time I hated that SOB with a passion.
LOTS of work, and it was a ravenous black hole sucking your wallet dry with the extra electricity, chemicals, fencing, repairs, toys, floats, insurance, more chemicals, more repairs, water ain't free, please kill me.
Also made it very hard to sell the house.
Don't do it.

Dave said...

Bingo! We spend quite a bit on chemicals for the hot tub, I can just imagine what it would take to keep a pool from getting gross.

I have been told by several folks that an in-ground is a serious risk because it can put off potential home buyers. That was one of the reason an above ground is more attractive - because you can remove it.

Even with that, it would have to be a really good deal to motivate me. Thanks for the input!

Anonymous said...

That's really interesting about inground pool vs above ground. I thought a pool always meant that your worth would be easier to sell, especially down here in Texas! Are you sure it's harder? Everyone I talk to wants a pool when they buy a house....

Anonymous said...

sorry, I meant to type "house" instead of "worth" in the above comment.

Dave said...

As I have been told by several Realtors familiar with the market, if someone is intent on having a pool, it will help sell it, but there are other people who either do not care about a pool or absolutely don't want one.

If they don't want a pool, your house is no longer an option for them. If they don't care either way, they are not going to pay you what you have invested in it. And that makes sense to me. When we were looking at houses, there were a few that we mulled over and they just happened to have a pool. If we would have made offers on those houses, the price would have been as if the pool were not involved - it simply was not important to us.

The final factor is those people who do want a pool. If your house is good enough for them to consider, and you have the space, they'll be willing to add a pool of their own design after they buy your house.

Of course, we don't live in a million dollar home. I suspect if we were in a higher price home, an in-ground pool with all the amenities might be considered mandatory. In our area, many people are to dip their toes in a water trough.

RB said...

When Michelle and I moved here to OKC we moved into a house with a 33,000 gal pool in the back yard. Just as Keith mentioned earlier, it was fun a few times a season but the rest was $$$ and maintenance. Not to mention the critters (snakes, frogs and field mice) that had to be removed quite often. Also, you seem to have young visitors....keeping an eye on them 100% of the time is quite a chore.

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for that information. I have decided not to get a pool for my hill country property. We actually are nearby a national park and they have a pool available to the public--only 2 miles away. It's only $1 and it's super nice and clean. I never see anyone there other than a person that works the front gate. We could always get a hut tub for our backyard.

Dave said...

Hot tub - now that is a great idea. My wife had to really talk me into it because I felt like we wouldn't get a lot of use out of it after the initial newness of it wore off. In reality, it has turned out to be an outstanding investment.

A note of advice: Even if you never plan to have a hot tub party with loads of co-eds joining you (I guess that only happens in movies and sitcoms) buy one that seats 5 or 6 people. You'll appreciate the room and the fact that you can move around to the various seats with different jet combinations.

Family Leisure (I promise, I'm not a paid spokesman) offers Spa School a few times a month and it is free to anyone. You might attend the session and see what all is involved and perhaps it will help you better choose the tub for your needs.

Good luck!