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Old 01-27-2013, 05:04 PM   #21
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I never owned a pool. At the latitude where I live, a pool is only usable for perhaps 2 months. No positive ROI on that kind of deal.

I did, however, purchase an 8 person hot tub in 1996, and had it installed on the outside lower deck. I used it a lot in the wintertime when I was younger and having lots of upper body issues brought on by sitting in front of a computer day in and day out. It was kinda fun to have an outside hot tub. The stargazing was fabulous.

It no longer w*rks, and I have decided not to put any more repair money into it. I will keep it as a small size, easy to maintain and empty "water hole" for hot summer days when my hot flashes are unbearable. When that grows old, I will perhaps put some soil in it (only 1/3 of the total depth) and grow something in it. Worst case, I will simply have it hauled out.

I am currently researching an indoor 1-2 person standalone hot tub for the downstairs family room. I am still experiencing minor aches and pains when the weather changes or I strain a back muscle, so I look forward to being able to walk downstairs and having a nice hot soak inside the house.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:05 PM   #22
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According to my real estate broker/agent a pool poses a problem during resale here, because it will reduce the percentage of potential buyers who might be interested in the house. Because of that, I would not choose to have a pool installed even if it was free. I can swim at either of the two huge pools at my gym, or at a club, or many other places.

On the other hand, a hot tub might be fun and might be appealing to buyers.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:14 PM   #23
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For me, I don't see having a private pool being worth the cost and maintenance. Our condo has a community pool, and I wait until there are few people there before I go there. Its almost like having our own pool.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:36 PM   #24
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I'd like to mention one additional point that won't mean anything to younger people... like let's say under age 70. It's the single most important thing for DW and me, in our FL senior community,,, (and for the rest of the "pool people")

TEMPERATURE
The pool is a social center because the water is warm and that means 87 degrees. No one sits around the pool... we all bob around in it... ala "Cocoon". Not for that 30 second "dip", or the six lap exercise "swim". It's a place for social circles of relaxation and conversation. The only reason for not being in the pool, is when we bring the group into the 12 person, jetted, therapeutic hot tub, @ 104 degrees.

For those who have owned pools, just imagine the cost of keeping a pool at 87 degrees... Year Round!

It was the deciding factor for choosing our retirement "village". The ads for most communities say "heated pool"... but in almost every case, heated means about 75 to 78 degrees. Great for cooling off, for a few minutes... but we wanted... and got... a warm pool. It is truly amazing... how great it is to spend two hours or so floating around weightless and with mind soothing comfort.

Screened in, immaculately cleaned and cared for, and no extra expense. No worries about water quality, leaking, scouring, checking the pump, the heater, the chemical dispenser, cleaning the deck, and the drains.

Privacy is good, but life in a "Cocoon" is better.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:51 PM   #25
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I had a pool and spa when I lived in San Diego. We like them but it was not without problems.
As mentioned, maintenance is a PITA and then there was my learning curve. Took about a year to learn things and get it straightened out.
Since there were only a few pools in the neighborhood, some of the locals were interested in turning my yard into a community / daycare center for their children. We fended them off but it can be an issue. As mentioned, illegal use/safety issues can loom large. Miss my hot tub.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:05 PM   #26
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We have a pool here in Dallas with a heater and an auto-crawler-cleaner. keeping it up is no big deal, but I am amazed at how quickly heaters and pool pumps crap out. Nevertheless, unless in a community with a shared pool, I would not live in Texas without a pool.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:24 PM   #27
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We had a large L-shaped pool for 18 years. It was fun for the kids when they were in elementary and middle school but once they got into high school it wasn't used much. DW used it more than me but I maintained it most of the time. Living in MA it was only usable for 3 months but it took a lot of work to open and close for such a short time of usage. The maintenance cost was pretty high too as I paid $4500 for a new linear back in 2000 and had an underground leak that cost $3000 to repair not to mention the cost of chemicals to treat water chemistry problems such as Chlorine demand or pink algae which happened almost every year.

As for the effect on the sale of the house it was neutral in our case. Our house sold in 2010 after only 10 days on the market primarily because it was fairly priced, in good location and the buyer was looking for a pool.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:25 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...The pool is a social center because the water is warm and that means 87 degrees...

It is truly amazing... how great it is to spend two hours or so floating around weightless and with mind soothing comfort...
... and then to emerge from the pool with wrinkled skin from that long immersion, looking like a prune.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:34 PM   #29
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I have a sister who has a pool.... they used to use it a lot when their teenage kids were still at home... usually use it about once a week during the summer...

When I went house shopping I asked her how much it costs to maintain the pool... she figured it out to be about $600 per month for 'the season'... IOW, the time you can really use a pool....

The cost is in electricity for running a pump almost all the time, added water (the sun will evaporate a LOT from it), the chemicals and any breakdown... and it it has a leak, that can be a PITA....

We bought a house with a decent size hot tub... we can heat it in the winter and go splash around if we want... we also have the neighborhood pool right across the street, so can just walk over there when we want... the downside is they are not open as long as we would like... but, to me the cost/benefit just does not compute to owning a pool.....
It costs her $600 per month? My electric bill went up about $10 per month after putting in the pool. The pump doesn't need to run all the time. Mine runs about 6 hrs per day in the summer and about 4 in the other seasons. I have a chlorinator connected to the pump that trickles chlorine into the pool. I spend $75 per year of the hockey puck type chlorine. I also pour in a gallon of liquid bleach every 3 days during the swimming season and none the rest of the year. A pool doesn't need chlorine when the water is too cool to grow algae which is about 6 months out of the year in Texas. I put no other chemicals in the pool and I have never in 9 yrs had any algae or other water problems. All the chemicals people put into their pool is what causes the problems

I estimate my total costs at closer to $50 per month including adding water about once a week during the summer. That doesn't include a new brush or other small items. I did have to buy a new timer once which cost me about $150 but a timer isn't even needed if I felt like turning the pump on manually
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:30 PM   #30
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Thanks for all the good inputs & info. I know there would be some cost involved, but the $600 figure seems kind of high to me, too. Utrecht's numbers don't sound too bad, though. I suppose things like the size of the pool, age of the pump & other equipment as well as other factors would play a role in how much electricity would be consumed, plus the amount & type of chemicals. Utrecht's scenario sounds like it would be ideal. If I could average only around $50 or so per month, I could live with that. Shreveport's about the same, season-wise as Dallas/Ft. Worth, so we'd get as much opportunity to use the pool each year as they would. We still haven't decided yet...went back & took another look at the house today and we still like it. Location's very good, near the base, multiple fishing options, easy drive for wife's job, closer to DD & grandkids..... The pool's the major concern at this point.

FWIW, the owner/seller said his insurance did not go up at all when he told his agent he had installed the pool. I'll call my own former agent tomorrow to check this story out. There's a fire hydrant just one house down, so that's good, insurance-wise.

The house is a 3/2, 1844 sq. ft, with a 2 car garage, and an additional parking pad, where he keeps his motor home. He had a waste disposal connection attached to the city sewer line at the end of the pad. I don't have a motor home, & probably won't buy one, but won't rule out some kind of RV in the future.

Asking price is $184,900, house built in 1977, but has been continuously upgraded and has many nice extra features. The owner has a business as a remodeler/handyman etc., and is pretty talented. Many unique features throughout the house, & outside too. New roof....blah blah. I feel it's well worth the asking price, but of course will still do some negotiating. I want the seller to pay all closing costs. I was happy to learn that 2012 taxes were only $850. His insurance cost last year was $1000. Property taxes in Louisiana in general are low.

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:44 PM   #31
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I forgot to say what we spent to maintain our larger than average pool. The truth is I do not really know. It is not bad enough for me to separate out from other expenses or track, but is closer to $50/month than $600. I guess if one wants to heat the pool, and that is usually done with propane, it could cost $600/month easily.

About big ticket items, we spent several $K to resurface the pool once, but we have been in this house for 25 years, and that pool deterioration was caused by my ignorance the first few years (long story). Replaced the pump motor twice myself, each time costing $200-300. Every 4 or 5 years, have to replace the pool vac (the thing that crawls around, cleaning the pool) at a cost of $400.

By the way, our pool has pop-up heads (not unlike sprinkler heads) that send out jets, which supposedly make the pool self-cleaning. Those wore out after a few years, and I had to use the common pool vac. The pop-up heads are expensive, and do not last long.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:09 PM   #32
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I estimate my total costs at closer to $50 per month including adding water about once a week during the summer. That doesn't include a new brush or other small items. I did have to buy a new timer once which cost me about $150 but a timer isn't even needed if I felt like turning the pump on manually
I remember a few Texas summers when typical pool temps were creeping north of 90..Some in the neighborhood would pony up for a load of ice if they had a pool party (or not.)--going price was $80. Too rich for me folks, sweat it out, you'll thank me in December.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:11 PM   #33
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This pool isn't what I'd call big. I forgot to ask the actual dimensions, but it's kind of shaped like an amoeba...lol. Ok, maybe more like a kidney...! Anyhow, not a gigantic size. I believe he said it had a gunite liner. Depth range is 3 ft to 9 ft. No diving board or ladders, but some kind of a sitting ledge around the pool, or at least on the deeper end. He said you could sit in the water on the edges. I expect I would still install a couple of ladders.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:13 PM   #34
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The water does get pretty warm in the dead of the summer. A lot depends on the color of the pool. My pool bottom is white. The highest temp Ive seen in my pool is about 86 which is not all that refreshing but still nice when its 105 outside. Dark bottom pools look really cool, kind of like a lagoon, but no way in the world would I do that in the south.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:30 PM   #35
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It costs her $600 per month? My electric bill went up about $10 per month after putting in the pool. The pump doesn't need to run all the time. Mine runs about 6 hrs per day in the summer and about 4 in the other seasons. I have a chlorinator connected to the pump that trickles chlorine into the pool. I spend $75 per year of the hockey puck type chlorine. I also pour in a gallon of liquid bleach every 3 days during the swimming season and none the rest of the year. A pool doesn't need chlorine when the water is too cool to grow algae which is about 6 months out of the year in Texas. I put no other chemicals in the pool and I have never in 9 yrs had any algae or other water problems. All the chemicals people put into their pool is what causes the problems

I estimate my total costs at closer to $50 per month including adding water about once a week during the summer. That doesn't include a new brush or other small items. I did have to buy a new timer once which cost me about $150 but a timer isn't even needed if I felt like turning the pump on manually

She is not available for me to ask questions... she is on a trip...

But, I think she said that the pump runs 12 or more hours a day... plus, she was including all the breakdowns etc. that cost money.... then she divided by say 5 or 6 as that is as many months as she said she could swim.... the rest of the year it was too cold... that is why I said months of the 'season'.... should have said 'swimming season'.... now, I guess if you had a heater you could swim year round...
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:34 PM   #36
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We have a large pool here in south Texas. I switched to regular bleach last year away from the pucks and my costs are lower and it's easier to maintain stability. The pucks contain too much CYA stabilizer and will eventually "lock up" your water and decrease the effectiveness of the chlorine. Check out: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-.../bbb_for_pools

Our costs in the high season are about $100-125 per month and its HOT here and my pool is in full sun. Much less in off season.

We love our pool and would be miserable without one.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:30 AM   #37
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The only way to know if you will use a pool regularly is to have it and see. No other way to tell. It should be a hit with grandchildren. Also a worry, so pool security is critical. The $600 figure sounds high, even with a heater, but a couple of hundred $$ per month for a small pool is the norm. Regular maintenance is very important but pretty straightforward.

The cost of the pool shouldn't make the house more expensive than similar homes in the area.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:04 AM   #38
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We built a pool at our weekend house. We invite a lot of guests and it is sort of like a getaway weekend resort for them and us so a pool is valuable to the experience. People sit around deck side with a great water view in the background. BUT, maintenance is a PITA when you are not there every weekend. I like Moemg's solution if I was to move to Florida or something - community pool.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:15 AM   #39
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About pool safety, it's my state law that a pool must have a fence around it. I may be wrong, but the requirement can be met if the back door from the house to the pool is self-closing, and cannot be opened by a child under so many feet tall.

With residential pools being so common here, we learned of tragic stories every year of children drowning. Quite often, a family moved in from out-of-state, and while the adults were throwing a party, a child slipped out to the pool and drowned in the few minutes that people inside the home overlooked.

Other than that, a child learns to swim in less than one summer season.

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No diving board or ladders, but some kind of a sitting ledge around the pool, or at least on the deeper end. He said you could sit in the water on the edges. I expect I would still install a couple of ladders.
It is common to have a built-in bench seat at the deep end, which also serves as a step for people to get out of the pool. Ladders are not common, and not really needed.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:35 AM   #40
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I have heard pool and boat owners say the same thing, that the 2 best days of owning either are the day you get it and the day you get rid of it..........
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