Construction of this pool house with benefits was completed at the end of 2018. The basic structure cost about $350,000, Mr. Bearak said, which is exactly what the couple budgeted. The pool, however, ended up costing more than $200,000 — far more than they anticipated. Along with the cost of the site work, a hot tub, the smart-home system and finishing touches, he said, they spent a total of roughly $1 million.
When the pandemic struck New York in March, Mr. Bearak and Mr. Moore stayed put in Manhattan with their children — they now have three daughters: Madison, 4, Lily, 2, and Margaux, 1 — in part because they had rented their house out on Airbnb.
“There was this really nice couple, and they were just supposed to stay there for a weekend,” Mr. Bearak said. The guests were expecting a baby, so he and Mr. Moore were