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Old 02-14-2003, 11:48 PM
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blackmercedes blackmercedes is offline
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
There have been some excellent points made. You should ensure that you have some financial stability, and you should really try to purchase "below" your income level, instead of well above.

When we bought our first new MB, the 1998 C230, we qualified for financing in the range of $100,000 for an automobile lease. We could have leased a new S420 or E430 without any problem. However, the $1000+ lease payment took away some flexibility in our lives. Instead, we bought the C230 for $42,000 and paid it off quick. About 3.5 years ago, our daughter was born, and plans changed. I quit my job, and we lost 75% of our income. But, we could do this. Our car was nearly paid for, our mortgage is small, and we have no consumer debt.

If you tie yourself into financing a car for 7-10 years, you better do the best job you can to see that far into the future. I can't, and so we don't.

Today, we're car shopping for my wife. She LOVES the Infiniti G35 Coupe. But, it's $45,000. We would need to take on a car payment of about $700 a month after a substantial down payment. Now, we can afford it (our mortgage, taxes and insurance is well under $1K) but I'm not sure is we want to. Suppose we have another baby and want to have both of us home for a year? That $700x12 = $8400. That's $8400 additional bucks we have to find to have that year off. Yikes!

On the other hand, if I was 25 and making $100K+, I might lease/ballon payment a new SL500. It would be a blast! Ask me about the Porsche 911 Turbo I used to own...
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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