Financial Goal Checkup: My very own basketball court

Financial Goal Checkup: My very own basketball court

About 9 years ago I posted a kind of an unique financial goal on this blog – I wanted my very own full court basketball court.

In roughly 5 years time I want to have enough money put away so that I can build a house out in the country with a full court outdoor sportcourt basketball/volleyball/tennis/etc court. — MFJ 2007

Well I am here to report on the progress of this not often mentioned financial goal I had for myself. Well the good news is that I saved quite a bit of money for that house out in the country starting in 2007. In fact I ended up saving $180k+ in cash for our move to the country, new house, and of course basketball court.

The bad news is it took us a lot longer to find the perfect land out in the country and we didn’t actually build until 2016. This also happened to be one of the greatest times to invest in the market in my lifetime so that $180k probably cost me double that, but the good news is that I can now report that we have secured 15 acres out in the country, built our dream house, and if you open the oversized garage you will find my very own basketball court.

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Now in my original post I had always envisioned an outdoor sport court type basketball court, but given the fact that I live in WI I figured the bigger bang for buck would be to move it indoors so that I can use it year round and cost constraints ended up making it a half court, but I am still very happy with how it turned out. Our garage is nearly 1500 ft and it is a great spot for the kids to play regardless of the weather.

The best part is I was able to pull this off while still accumulating a sizable nestegg despite having only one income and raising 5 young kids. I’m sure many people will view this as an extravagant expenditure that set my early retirement back years. And it is! It’s totally unnecessary and so is our mansion in the country, but it is also something that I have wanted for a long time (blog post in 2007) and something our family will enjoy for years to come. Life is about balance and we have put ourselves in great financial shape where we can afford anything we want, just not everything we want 🙂

We have five young kids and while I could have amassed a much larger nestegg or achieved Financial Independence much earlier if we had continued to live the status quo – it likely would have come at the expense of our memories we get to create with our children in the short period of time they are in our house. No sense in becoming financially independent eating rice and beans and try to get the kids to come over and play basketball with when they are 25 and I am 50 🙂

The biggest thing is we set ourselves on a very solid foundation in our early years where as I’ve said before that by setting and reaching goals in our 20s we put ourselves in such a good situation that it will be hard for us to wreck ourselves financially by wanton spending in our older years (30s & 40s). We still are spending money on things that bring us value and happiness and minimizing spending on things that do not. I still drive a typical MFJ pimp ride (wife’s used car we bought 13 years ago) and we are still saving a good portion of our income and on the path to financial independence in our early 40s. We just happen to have a basketball court in our garage 🙂

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  • BMCT

    Hi, Can you tell me your total cost to build the building and put in the sports flooring and backboard? Also, did you heat it in any way this past winter? If so, what was your method of heating?

    Thanks,

    Tom

  • MFJ

    Hi Tom

    The backboard is a goalsetter and cost about $1500. The flooring is versacourt and cost about $3 sq/ft. The building is actually just my garage – it is obviously bigger and taller but it worked out to about $22/sq ft with 11.5′ walls, 2×6 construction, insulation, and vaulted ceiling. Garage is 36×40′ and I’d make it even bigger if I did it over. I did add heat in December with a direct vent natural gas heater. Heats up and maintains garage very quick and I didn’t really notice anything on the heating bill. The slab is also insulated. Hope this helps

  • BMCT

    Thanks for the reply. Those numbers are in line with about how much I’ve estimated it would cost me, and yours is exactly the way I’ve always imagined building mine. Perfect job! It looks really awesome. I’ve never been able to figure out the best (cheapest) way to heat it (in Ohio). My sister built 25×25 court and used radiant floor heating, but it cost a fortune to heat.

    When you say you would have built it bigger, I assume you mean wider to get more of the three-point line in on the sides?

    Also, what are the wall panels made of? Is that just painted plywood over the insulation or some sort of synthetic prefab panel?

    Any problems hitting the ceiling on your side shots with the 11.5″ walls?

    Thanks!

  • MFJ

    Yeah bigger I would have done it wider to get more of the 3 point line in. The wall panels are just sheetrock, walls are 2×6 with batts behind them. I will eventually probably tape and paint it, but cost to have it plastered was pretty insane.

    The ceiling was my biggest worry. Walls are 11.5 and the scissor trusses were about as high as I could get and it does work fine. The only potentially spot where you could hit ceiling is 3 point shot right next to outside wall and even then you have to shoot a pretty ridiculously high shot to hit it. I’ve never hit the ceiling without trying. It ends up being I think 22′ or more at the peak.

  • BMCT

    Thanks for the response. Ah . . . the sheetrock is not taped – that’s what threw me off on identifying it. Well, I hope you enjoy it and have a blast. Hopefully, I can get something similar built. Thanks again!

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