Feb. 1st, 2010

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One of the reasons I wanted a house (other than the usual "it's an investment" and "buying a house is what grownups do") is because I really want to have a hot tub of my very own. Spending a bit of time in the whirlpool at the health club was always one of my major motivators for actually going. Having one of my own that I could enjoy in the great outdoors and without having to commute to get to it would be even better. And if it's mine there's none of that pesky dress-code stuff ;)

Anyway, Jason and I negotiated and he's agreed to let me have my hot tub. Shopping for this thing has to be one of the most sucky things I've ever had to do. It's a lot like buying a car. It's hard to compare models. You have to take the time to test drive them. The average person knows little about the guts of the thing. And dealers don't post their prices anywhere so you have to haggle, bargain and hope you're getting a good price. And like cars, there seems to be a HUGE variation in price for what on the surface looks like a similar product. In the case of cars I've never been a huge fan of luxury. I go for the base model of the vehicle I think will be practical and reliable and that meets my base comfort needs. With the hot tub I don't even know what my needs are. And the test driving is a major hassle. You can't test out the models at one dealer and then go and test at another dealer the same day because getting back into a wet bathing suit is sucky.

Today I tried Hot Springs and I have no idea what to think. The salesman seemed like a nice guy and it seemed like a good product, but he made at least one claim that I can verify is false. He claimed that a particular tub was listed as a Consumer Reports "Best Buy", only as far as I can tell CR has never done ratings on hot tubs. That one falsehood makes me doubt the whole "our tubs are worth the extra" sales pitch and makes me reluctant to spend the substantial premium that they want for their product.

We'll go check out Jacuzzi some time later this week or next. After that I just don't know what brands to look up. With just these two brands I have no idea which model I truly like and what would be the best buy. Adding any more will probably not help, but I feel like I really should shop around just in case. Then there's the whole issue of coming up with a landscaping plan in the yard to accommodate this thing.

It's a lot of money, a big decision. While using a hot tub is supposed to be relaxing, buying one is ironically turning out to be very stressful. I'll be happiest when it's all over, though even then I'll probably feel a bit guilty about spending so much money on this.

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norsegirl

September 2010

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