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Dear Real Estate Boys: My wife and I are having a running discussion over whether we should put a built-in pool in our backyard.  My wife says it will just take up needed play space the kid(s) need and will do nothing but cost money to keep up. But the real reason is that she wants to go on a long vacation before the kid(s) get to school age.  I, being the most pragmatic of the couple, say it will enhance the value of our home. We can design the pool to take only a small portion of the yard, and lastly, why would we want to go on an extended drive around the good ol’ U.S.A. with a 3 year old?  The pressure is on for you Boys.  Life, as I know it today, depends on your answer. 

The Clampets

Lloyd and I hope the life you know today is safe with our answer about the cement pond because we see both sides of the equation.  But I do think Lloyd is the man to answer this question.  He’s the most pragmatic of this couple I think.  And anyway, Lloyd’s leaving on vacation so he can do a little work before he goes.  So, go ahead Lloyd, take it away but don’t swim upstream.

Big thanks Lar, but you’re going on vacation right after I return so where is your punishment, Sir?  We’ll talk about your attitude at a later time.  M & M Clampet, well, my first thought is to say that having a pool built in your backyard will not increase the value of your home more than about $7,500.  The cost of a new pool may cost you 20 to 30 thousand dollars.  So, my first thought is — don’t do this for the value.  If you want a pool just for value then you may want to speak with a local Realtor and look at homes for sale with pools.  Pools are much less expensive on the resale market.  But let me assume that you want to stay where you currently live and want a pool.  You state that you can design a pool to fit the yard and we totally agree with that idea.  Pools don’t have to Olympic sized to be enjoyable.  When you have the pool built, make sure you have the pool company install a safety fence so the little one doesn’t go for a swim without the parents knowing.  Lar, are you going to help with this article?  Do you have anything worth sharing? 

Well, Lloyd, I do, yes.  Mr. Clampet, I totally agree with you about traveling the U.S.A. with a 3 year old in the back seat.  Not fun for the child or the parents, unless you can place the child in a coma for the duration of the trip.  I doubt young  Jerthro  will enjoy seeing the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore or Devils Tower or even Disney World for that matter.  I will also say that having a pool in your backyard is a great asset when young Jethro gets older.  All the friends will want to go to the Clampets’ to swim in the cement pond on those hot summer days.  The good thing about that is you’ll always know where your Jethro is.  The drawback is the food bill for feeding all the neighborhood’s up and coming swim team.  When the kids used to swim the day at my house they ate anything and everything we put in their trough at the evening meal.  There were never leftovers, for long anyway.  So, your wife is right about the costs of the pool.  Not just chemicals but FOOD.  Set the ground rules early! BYOS (S is for snacks)

Cutting you off Lar, you’re just a little cranky this morning.  But, Lar did make a point about your 3 year old and traveling.  How about a compromise?  Promise your wife that trip around the states in three or four years.  In the meantime plan a few day trips to your new, cool pool.  Nothing is better than a day with Mom and Dad at the pool.  Plan a family day at the pool.   BBQ hot dogs or burgers with dill chips and potato salad on festive paper plates and plastic utensils will make it an enjoyable day without driving.  Next time invite Grandma and Grandpa over for an afternoon.  Use the pool as your vacation spot.  In a few years when young Jethro is older he/she might be a little more interested in the long days of looking out the window at corn stalks as you pass through Nebraska.

And there’s nothing more refreshing than a night dip in the pool when the Turlock temperatures hit over 90 degrees. You’ll sleep like a baby...

— A little about us, Lloyd is a retired farmer of 27 years and a realtor for about 10 years.  Lloyd is an active member of the Central Valley Association of Realtors and sits on the CVAR Board of Directors.  Lloyd is a long time member of CVAR’s Master Club for his sales production.

Larry has been involved in Turlock real estate for 30 years and has been a broker for almost 27 years.  He is also active in CVAR activities and is a past president of CVAR.  If you have questions please call Lloyd at 531-4853 or Larry at 484-4216.  E-mail questions for future columns to: or