Adventures in Buying and Selling a Car

Buying and selling vehicles is not something new to us. We have done is several times however, this time around things have been very different. Quite the adventure really...

It all started around March. After complaining (again) about not being able to give a neighbor's kid a ride home from school I saw a tv commercial for a Chevy Traverse. I will whole heartily admit that the GM marketing team did a great job. They sold me. I could fit 8 people in a spacious vehicle, be able to tow a camper and get great mileage all while looking cool in the school car line (LOL). I was sold.

After doing some research I found out the Bluebook value of my car and then did some research on the best way for me to obtain a 3rd row SUV that was not a gas gussler. After a couple phone calls I was able to get connected with a family friend who has a used car dealership. He offered to buy me a vehicle at auction. I would pay the auction price, taxes, auction fee, gas to drive it home, and a $250 finder's fee. After going to a couple auctions he felt like he could get me a Traverse in my price range.

With the good news in hand Mr. Not the Jet Set was more then happy to help me sell our current car and upgrade big time. We just needed to finish saving up the difference between what we could get for our car and the cost of the new one. With lots of pennies pinched we made it happen by the end of April. Now, during this time I had not re-pulled the blue book value of my Pontiac Vibe. No, instead I watched the news and saw that Toyota was taking a good kicking from the media, government, and anyone else who didn't like them. Well, I guess I should have realized that I the market changes would effect us but it honestly didn't click.

We went to list our car for sale by owner at the beginning of May. I re-pulled the KBB value and was in tears. The value dropped big time. I had worked so hard to have it all taken away. We talked, prayed, and weighed out our options. The decision was to sell the car. By the end of the month the car was gone and we had the cash in hand. We were able to get slightly more then the blue book value but it was still about a $2k hit from what the value was pre-toyota recall.

The whole time our car's value was dropping like a rock the demand for the type of vehicles we wanted went way up. So far up that we decided in mid-July that none of the original things we wanted would be in our price range at this point in time without taking out a loan or dipping into our emergency fund. It was a horrible feeling of defeat, but looking at the auction stats the prices had steadily increased and were showing no signs of slowing down. Once again I cried, then we talked, prayed and weighed out our options. We made a short list of mid sized cars and wagons that would at least be slightly bigger then what we had before yet we could afford the auction prices based on the last month's post-auction sales lists.

I'm happy to say that after two month's of living with one car we now have a new vehicle in our lives. It might not have been the car I was dreaming of but it sure is nice and the best part is that I don't have any payments!

I will admit it was an extremely hard two months with sharing our one truck. The a/c quiet working about 2 weeks into it, the truck starting having issues starting two weeks ago and just last week we had to replace the wheels and tires. Not great things to have to deal with when you only have one vehicle and summer camps for the kids, along with a vacation road trip. Even through it all it was worth it. It also gave me a great appreciation for those how only have one car and do not live in places that have public transportation.

What did we get?

We bought a 2008 Volvo V50 wagon with around 80k miles for a grand total (after all taxes and fees) for $12,105.60. That price alone made it worth the wait for us.

Have you had similar experiences with buying or selling your cars lately? I'd love to hear your car transaction stories!

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We Are Alive.... Really We Are!

I would like to start by apologizing to all our faithful readers out there. Thank you to all of you who have emailed or commented asking about our well-being. We truly appreciate the concern. The past few months have been crazy (almost insane) at our house. I'm really not sure were to start so what I'm going to do is just list out some of the crazy stuff with a few photos.

  • Mammoth garage sale
  • Sold car and have not bought another one yet (going on 2 months with one truck!)
  • Painted house
  • Built a fence

  • Cut down a tree
  • Went on a much needed vacation

  • Tending my enormous garden and added more landscaping
  • Grandfather's health is not good so lots of trips home
  • Canning lots of goodies
  • Daughter broke our camera (at least she dropped it while waiting in line instead of from 100 ft. in the air)
  • Worked to help get legislation passed to help promote local foods
  • Working on potty training and trying to stay sane with my 2 1/2 yr old
  • Running the 6 yr old to summer camps (with the one truck)
  • Be there for a friend who's baby will die shortly after birth (anencephaly) early this fall
  • Restore a vintage Gibson guitar

  • Mr. Not the Jet Set has had an injured hand/wrist all summer
  • And last but not least, trying to act like it's summer break!

As you can see a lot has been happening. Things have started to slow down a bit so I'm going to try to expand on some of the fun projects that have been going on. I've also had a few money and stewardship posts that I'd like to write in the near future.

So now that we have you all caught up on our summer, how is your summer going?

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