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Posted: 3/22/2006 9:03:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 2:36:30 PM EDT by QuantumPion]
Alrighty, so I originally bought this nice car that I liked (used), it was about $16k. It's a sporty car with manual transaxle (Chrysler Sebring coupe). At the time I bought it, it seemed like a good idea, I lived in an apartment real close to my place of work so I wouldn't put a lot of miles on it, didn't have to deal with traffic, and had plenty of disposable income.

Recently however, I bought a house much further away from where I work. Not only that, but I commute on a major throughway that has a tollbooth. So the stick shift is really a PITA, I'm putting a lot more miles on it now, and I have less disposable income.

So now, I am trying to decide whether to take a loss ($3-$4k) to get rid of it and buy a beater car like a honda civic or toyota corolla that will be cheap and reliable, with automatic transmission, so I don't have to worry about putting a lot of mile on it. I've learned my lesson now about buying nice cars, they are just not worth it. So now what's the best way to get out of this mess?

I don't want this thread to turn into a auto vs manual debate, I have already decided that I want to go back to an automatic. The 30-60 minutes of stop-and-go traffic every day makes the manual totally impractical for me.

As a side note, I am looking into getting a home equity loan to pay for a new roof on my house. Should I get the loan a little larger to pay for the difference in what I owe on my sebring in order to get rid of it? Or is that a bad idea because I would end up paying too much in interest?

So, what is the arfcom hive mind's advice on this?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:06:04 AM EDT

1. get equity loan with enough for roof materials and beater truck
2. buy beater truck & materials
3. sell car
4. fix your own roof (usually very easy)
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:34:56 AM EDT
So you think it's better to get the home equity loan to pay for the whole car?

I don't know about doing my own roof, I know zero about how to do it...
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:38:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 9:44:21 AM EDT by bnorman]
Get an auto tranny, shifter, and computer from a junkyard. Voila. Weekend project.

ETA: Owners of "sporty" mainstream cars often want to ditch their autos to get manuals for more power. Find a Sebring site, and I bet you can even make money trading your tranny/clutch/shifter/computer for a complete auto setup.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:40:21 AM EDT
Depending on what type of roof you have its not very hard at all. You could fix it buy a couple tools and still be ahead.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:43:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 9:44:27 AM EDT by Accountant30339]
I believe in driving a vehicle until the wheels fall off. All 3 of my vehicles have well over 200K miles on them and still run great. So my advice, would be to suck it up and keep driving the car you have.

About the home equity loan.....now is not the time to be getting new loans or even worse "lines", due to rising interest rates. A new roof is usually only 3K. Can you swing that out of cash and eat beans for a month?

Accountant
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:45:51 AM EDT
I think the whole equity loan idea is sound, as long as you pay the diff on the car and sell it to a private party (don't trade in, etc.). You will come out ahead. I drive an 89 Honda civic wagon every day, granted I also have a 2000 BMW Z3, but that is my bachelor car, if I ever get married I am selling it and driving the wagon,,,I just love that wagon, I call it my "puff and scoot".... Makes me money ever time I drive it, and I can use it pretty much like a truck, lots of room, see if you can find a nice jap wagon !!!
As for roofing yer house, not a bad idea, at the very least you can save money by removing the old shingles (scraping them off) and re-tar papering it, as for it being "easy".....well, lifting a boulder above your head is SIMPLE....but it aint EASY !!!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:51:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 9:56:03 AM EDT by motown_steve]
I wouldn't give up $3,000 - $4,000 in order to get rid of a car that ran and didn't have any major mechanical problems. Especially not at a time when you have less disposable income. You'd be left $4,000 poorer and without a car.

My advice would be to either:

A) Get used to driving the stick in rush hour

B) Put together $2,000 or $3,000 and buy yourself a beater to drive to work.

You can get a decent used car for a couple of grand that will get you where you need to go. If a $2,000 car lasts you 2 years then it only cost you about $85 bucks a month. That's alot better than being left without a car (and forced to get another one) and $4,000 poorer.


ETA - about taking a home equity loan to pay off the difference on the car:

FUCK NO!

Use the money from your home equity loan to fix the roof on the house and increase the value of your home. Don't waste the equity in your home on your car. That's not a good idea.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:03:29 AM EDT
How do you know you would lose 3000-4000 on the car?
Sell it on your own through autotrader if you must get rid of it. Don't trade or sell to CarMax.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:18:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QuantumPion:
I don't want this thread to turn into a auto vs manual debate, I have already decided that I want to go back to an automatic. The 30-60 minutes of stop-and-go traffic every day makes the manual totally impractical for me.



I don't blame you. I drove a stick every day for several months ferrying my roommate to her waitressing job in Philadelphia one summer. She started work at 5pm in the busiest part of town. I'll never drive stick in a congested area again!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:34:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QuantumPion:
So you think it's better to get the home equity loan to pay for the whole car?

I don't know about doing my own roof, I know zero about how to do it...



I got my truck for $2,500. Runs like a charm and I depend on it everyday. It can be had.

Roofing is seriously easy, jsut time consuming. But you will probably save more than half your money if you do it yourself.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:39:41 AM EDT
I have about $5-6k that I can spend right now. I can also probably borrow my mom's other car (my old car that I used through college) until my little brother turns 16 this summer. So what I'm thinking of doing is using my cash on hand now to get new roof, and then borrow my old car until I can sell my sebring as a private sale. How does that sound?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:07:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 11:08:33 AM EDT by jthuang]
Let's stack things up and compare:

Upside:
- Automatic transmission much easier to drive in congested traffic
- Less fancy car means more peace of mind when putting beaucoup miles on the odo
- Better gas mileage = more $ in the bank (how much does your Sebring get anyway?)
- [presumably] lower maintenance costs in the long-run with a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla
- Easier to carry passengers in back seat of four-door Civic/Corolla than two-door Sebring

Downside:
- Lose $3-4k by selling Sebring
- Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas are less flashy than the Chrysler Sebrings.

Motown Steve's right in that $3-4k is an awful lot of money. That said, if the fuel savings and lower maintenance costs add up, you could break even, despite losing money on the initial purchase.

I really think you can go either way; it depends on how much value you place into each of the "upside" items ... is that worth $3-4k to you? If the answer is yes, then sell the Sebring. If the answer is no, then suck it up with the stick-shift during gridlock.

Personally I'd rather have a Corolla S (and pay $3k) rather than a Sebring, especially if you had to do gridlock driving. As mentioned before, I've BTDT with driving stick during rush hour in Philly. It's a nightmare and the kicker is that you have to do it EVERY DAY, TWICE. It's like waking up in a house you shouldn't have bought ... you are reminded of your mistake every time you wake up or get home from work. Eventually, it will start really wearing on you. Point being that your mental health has a premium too, so take that into consideration!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:09:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Accountant30339:
I believe in driving a vehicle until the wheels fall off. All 3 of my vehicles have well over 200K miles on them and still run great. So my advice, would be to suck it up and keep driving the car you have.

About the home equity loan.....now is not the time to be getting new loans or even worse "lines", due to rising interest rates. A new roof is usually only 3K. Can you swing that out of cash and eat beans for a month?

Accountant



Listen to this man.

Probably 99% of all cars lose value, and anything beyond a sheer functional piece of equipment to get one from place to place is an expensive luxury.

A roof is a necessity. Beans are good food.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:14:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 11:26:24 AM EDT by QuantumPion]

Originally Posted By jthuang:
Let's stack things up and compare:

Upside:
- Automatic transmission much easier to drive in congested traffic
- Less fancy car means more peace of mind when putting beaucoup miles on the odo
- Better gas mileage = more $ in the bank (how much does your Sebring get anyway?)
- [presumably] lower maintenance costs in the long-run with a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla
- Easier to carry passengers in back seat of four-door Civic/Corolla than two-door Sebring

Downside:
- Lose $3-4k by selling Sebring
- Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas are less flashy than the Chrysler Sebrings.

Motown Steve's right in that $3-4k is an awful lot of money. That said, if the fuel savings and lower maintenance costs add up, you could break even, despite losing money on the initial purchase.

I really think you can go either way; it depends on how much value you place into each of the "upside" items ... is that worth $3-4k to you? If the answer is yes, then sell the Sebring. If the answer is no, then suck it up with the stick-shift during gridlock.

Personally I'd rather have a Corolla S (and pay $3k) rather than a Sebring, especially if you had to do gridlock driving. As mentioned before, I've BTDT with driving stick during rush hour in Philly. It's a nightmare and the kicker is that you have to do it EVERY DAY, TWICE. It's like waking up in a house you shouldn't have bought ... you are reminded of your mistake every time you wake up or get home from work. Eventually, it will start really wearing on you. Point being that your mental health has a premium too, so take that into consideration!



That's exactly what I was thinking. Having a less flashy car is actually a plus for me since I live in a fairly bad part of town now. I'm going to stop by carmax today and just see how much they will give me for it as a trade in. I've been trying to sell it privately for a while now with no success, unfortunately. It's possible they will give me more then my worst possible assumption. I owe about $14,500 on it, the kbb value for a private sale is between $11,600 and $12,500, but I also have an extended waranty that I should be able to sell back for $1000. The kbb dealer trade in value is from $9500-$10500, bowever some other websites list it as high as being $12000.

p.s. the sebring gets ~25 mpg which isn't too bad
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:37:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QuantumPion:

Originally Posted By jthuang:
Let's stack things up and compare:

Upside:
- Automatic transmission much easier to drive in congested traffic
- Less fancy car means more peace of mind when putting beaucoup miles on the odo
- Better gas mileage = more $ in the bank (how much does your Sebring get anyway?)
- [presumably] lower maintenance costs in the long-run with a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla
- Easier to carry passengers in back seat of four-door Civic/Corolla than two-door Sebring

Downside:
- Lose $3-4k by selling Sebring
- Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas are less flashy than the Chrysler Sebrings.

Motown Steve's right in that $3-4k is an awful lot of money. That said, if the fuel savings and lower maintenance costs add up, you could break even, despite losing money on the initial purchase.

I really think you can go either way; it depends on how much value you place into each of the "upside" items ... is that worth $3-4k to you? If the answer is yes, then sell the Sebring. If the answer is no, then suck it up with the stick-shift during gridlock.

Personally I'd rather have a Corolla S (and pay $3k) rather than a Sebring, especially if you had to do gridlock driving. As mentioned before, I've BTDT with driving stick during rush hour in Philly. It's a nightmare and the kicker is that you have to do it EVERY DAY, TWICE. It's like waking up in a house you shouldn't have bought ... you are reminded of your mistake every time you wake up or get home from work. Eventually, it will start really wearing on you. Point being that your mental health has a premium too, so take that into consideration!



That's exactly what I was thinking. Having a less flashy car is actually a plus for me since I live in a fairly bad part of town now. I'm going to stop by carmax today and just see how much they will give me for it as a trade in. I've been trying to sell it privately for a while now with no success, unfortunately. It's possible they will give me more then my worst possible assumption. I owe about $14,500 on it, the kbb value for a private sale is between $11,600 and $12,500, but I also have an extended waranty that I should be able to sell back for $1000. The kbb dealer trade in value is from $9500-$10500, bowever some other websites list it as high as being $12000.

p.s. the sebring gets ~25 mpg which isn't too bad



Expect them to offer you less than kbb for your car.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 11:43:56 AM EDT
corolla might get 30 mpg.
3K will never materialize in fuel savings for the amount of time you own the car.
You are upside down on the car by 30%, that's huge.
use your cash to fix the roof, with what's left over, you might be able to buy an old beater with an auto, and keep the sebring for weekends and occasions, until you are no longer upside down or have a different commute.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:36:17 PM EDT
update:

got the appraisal from carmax. It was better then I thought, they offered $12k even. I can also cancel my extended warranty for about $700 on top of that. So I am only $2k in the hole. Also, carmax does allow you to finance a car for up to 20% above its sticker price, meaning if I buy a car that costs $12k I can finance it for $14500, meaning I'd only be a little short on the difference.

They had one honda civic in stock that interested me, it cost $12k. I think it was a 2001 with like 50k miles on it.

So, what should I do, given this new info? Should I just sell my sebring, lose $2000, and get a very cheap car? Or should I get another car from carmax, and only have to pay a few hundred now?

I know this is a case of pay me now or pay me later, but if I go with the civic from carmax I can afford to get a new roof without messing with a home equity loan. On the other hand, would I be making the same mistake twice if I did this?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 2:48:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 2:51:11 PM EDT by arfreak74]
IMHO, assuming your roof isn't falling in, and you don't have an emergency fund.

DO NOT finance another car. look where it got you now, and you want to finance another one for %20 more than its worth? you'll never get out from under it if you need to.

1. you don't HAVE to sell your car immediately, its not gonna kill ya. put it on autotrader or in the local newsrag or the print autotrader and sell the thing for break even at least. you can bet if CarMax is gonna give you 12k its worth a couple grand more.

2. in the mean time, eat rice and beans, work overtime/ get a parttime job and put some money aside. (assuming you don't already have an emergency fund, which you SHOULD)

3. buy you a 2k beater honda and drive it till the wheels fall off.

4. eat more beans and rice, more overtime and get roof fixed. preferably yourself, with the help of some friends. its not rocket surgery.


IF the roof is falling in, GET it fixed above all else. then work/save/scrounge and get rid of the sebring and get a beater honda.

financing a car you can't afford, for %20 more than its worth is almost as bad an idea as using a home equity loan to buy a car.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:16:50 PM EDT
I have an emergency fund, and the roof isn't falling in, although I'd like to get it fixed by this year.

I have listed my sebring for LESS then what carmax has offered for several months, but with no offers. So bleh.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 4:08:53 PM EDT
Civics are the shiznit for your needs. I have a 1996 DX 2-door coupe, 5 spd (though I wish it was auto for the same reasons you point out) that I bought new. That car now has 230,000 miles on it, burns no oil, has the ORIGINAL clutch in it, and still gets . . . . . .


42 MPG!

I hope it continues to run like this for another 230,000 miles!
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 4:11:30 PM EDT
a LOADED 2001 civic DX with an auto and 50K miles should retail for no more than 11,300, according to KBB.com

you are about to pay 14K for it.



do the math
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 4:17:39 PM EDT
Buy the Japanese car and don't look back.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 6:00:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
a LOADED 2001 civic DX with an auto and 50K miles should retail for no more than 11,300, according to KBB.com

you are about to pay 14K for it.



do the math



well, it's an EX, and its $12,000. I'm just paying $2000 to get rid of my sebring. I havn't decided to get it by any means, I'm just need some pros and cons to help me figure out the best thing to do.

I don't want to get a dirt cheap, <$5000 beater because I'm worried about the reliability. I have seen civics and corollas with decent mileage for $7-8k though. I think what I may do is sell the sebring and buy one of those.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 7:04:36 AM EDT
bump for day crew
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 6:58:40 PM EDT
You're going to do, what you want to do, no matter what we say.......so go do it!



Now, this is not a personal attack on you, but.......this has got to be the dumbest financial decision I have heard about in a long time.

Have you funded your ROTH IRA for 2005? You can still do that until April 15th.

What is wrong w/ the roof? Is it leaking? Then go buy some tar and patch it! On my first house, I couldn't afford a new roof for about 1 year, so every time it rained I was up in the attic emptying buckets. You can do it too.

About the car.....I refuse to pay more than 5K for a car. I use craigslist and the autotrader for all of my cars. I look and look and look until I find a car that has had only 2-3 owners and has all of the maintenance records. Screw mileage, it means nothing today. Just find a cheap car that has been taken car of. Hell, if you will come down to GA I know of a BMW that has had 2 owners and they have all of the maintenance records. It's being given away for $1,900. Look around and you can find some deals.

Accountant
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