Melissa Myers, CFP®

(231) 733-1166


Is A Swimming Pool A Good Investment?

| November 10, 2016
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Lifestyle

I grew up with a pool. We lived in the country where the summers were long and hot.  Lucky for my sisters and me, our parents installed an above ground pool. My mom taught swimming lessons; and I have many great memories of swimming and playing in the pool with my sisters, neighbors, and cousins. The pool was a great way to keep us entertained. Interestingly enough, I even enjoyed vacuuming and checking the chemicals (and I still do!).

Growing up in West Michigan, I've always loved the water.  My first house had a view of Mona Lake and a non-existent backyard. When I bought my second home I knew it needed to have a pool or have space for a pool! It ended up that the house had space for a pool. After a few years of living there I took the plunge and dove (ha ha) into the process of having a pool built; with absolutely no regrets!  Since then, I’ve moved to Spring Lake, and late this summer, had our pool installed. 

7 Reasons to Have A Lakeside Pool:

  1. A pool has clean water
  2. You know where the bottom is
  3. There aren’t any weeds in the pool
  4. The pool is closer to the rest of the group when entertaining or having dinner al fresco
  5. Music and proximity to the facilities and beverages/snacks
  6. You can only float so far in a pool
  7. This list goes on

If the reasons to have a pool resonate with you; keep reading! If you are satisfied with your answers to the 10 Key Questions below…it may be time to start making plans for your pool!

10 Key Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Why do you want a pool?
  • How often will you use it?
  • How many months per year can you use it?
  • Who will maintain the pool?
  • Will you feel guilty if you go on vacation or spend time someplace other than your backyard?
  • Are you on track for your other financial goals?
  • Will you pay cash for this investment?
  • What is your budget?
  • How long do you anticipate being in the home after you pool is installed?
  • How do you think your neighbors will feel about the noise and extra traffic?

Plan Ahead

If you would like to have a swimming pool by next summer, now is the time to plan. There are many factors to consider. The decision to have a pool installed is both quantitative (numbers focused) and qualitative (quality of life).

You Are Ready For A Pool If…

  • You’ve consulted with your financial planner and asked “Are we in a good financial position to install a pool?” and they’ve told you, “Yes.”
  • You are debt free
  • To be clear: your student loans, vehicles, credit cards are all paid off
  • You will be paying cash
  • You have a financial plan in place and you know that you are on track for your goals including
    • Retirement
    • College costs for your children
    • Vehicle replacement
    • A fully funded emergency fund

Once you’ve received the green light from your financial advisor there are a few more costs to consider.

  • Cost to build (in-ground pool costs vary significantly between vinyl, fiberglass, gunite)
  • Cost of landscaping, electrical, gas, sound system
  • Cost of patio furniture and toys
  • Cost to heat and clean
  • Seasonal costs to open and close
  • Costs to replace solar covers and liners due to age
  • Increased spending on snacks and drinks

Is the quality of life you’re creating worth the expense?

Even with a boat, my answer is, “YES.” On boat days we use the pool before we leave the dock and again when we return. Word of advice: If you and your guests swam in the lake, make a pre-pool shower a must. Better yet, shower off and put on a clean swimsuit. Lake algae is not what you want to introduce to your pristine pool water!

In the summer our family enjoys dinner outside every night that the weather allows. We find it relaxing to enjoy dinner poolside. The pool provides a focal point, especially if it has some really cool lights installed!  On nights that are overly warm, a quick dip in a beautifully lit pool before bed is the perfect way to end a long, warm, summer day.

Is an in-ground pool a good investment?

In-ground pools on lakefront real estate tend to add value to the property. However, older pools that require substantial improvements tend to reduce the value of a property. It is best to consult with an expert realtor in your area prior to installing a pool. They’ll take into consideration the type of property you have, your neighborhood, and privacy; which are all factors that can add or detract from value when you have a swimming pool. 

 Consider the Pros and Cons

Pro

  • Memories with family and friends
  • Great way to entertain clients and host business functions
    • Consult with your tax advisor as you may be able to benefit from tax deductions
      • (I am not a tax advisor nor is Kar-Mel Financial Planners or LPL Financial)
  • More time being active and outdoors
  • More time with your kids
  • You’ll know where your kids and their friends will be in the summer

Con

  • You run the risk of not getting your money back when you go to sell
  • Insurance Costs
  • Installation Costs
  • Maintenance Costs
  • Entertaining costs
    • Pool toys and furniture
    • Food and beverage

If after reviewing the pros and cons listed above you have decided to plan for a pool I'd love to consult with you.  Together we'll create a financial plan that incorporates your dream backyard!

Melissa Myers, CFP®

Melissa is a Gen X business owner and CFP® professional. She teaches what she has learned on her way to success. She wants to share her secrets to prosperity with you. Call or email Melissa at (231) 733-1166 or email: melissa.myers@lpl.com.

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