If I Transfer My Old 401K To A New 401K Rookie Guide – How to Buy a Muscle Car, Part 3 – Determine Your Price Range and Payment Method

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Rookie Guide – How to Buy a Muscle Car, Part 3 – Determine Your Price Range and Payment Method

This series is designed for the new person in the world of muscle cars. You know you want to own one, but honestly, they all look great and you have no idea where to start. We’re going to assume that you want to really like the car too – even if you’re buying it as an investment. Our series will cover the following topics (and by the end you’ll be ready to drive your new ride on the road):

1) Determine the brand and model you want

2) Determine how you want to use the car (drive often, only show the car, etc.)

3) Define your price range and payment method

4) Evaluate the car, set the insurance and buy

Since we’ve already covered Topic #1 (Determining which car make and model to choose) and Topic #2 (Determining how you want to use the car), we can now move on to the next step.

Today’s topic: Define your price range and payment method.

After completing steps 1 and 2, you should now be narrowing down your choice of make and model, and you’re likely already starting to notice some prices. Now let’s dig into determining what would be a reasonable price range for a particular car and then decide how to pay for it.

* Price range:

Determining the price range for a major purchase, whether it’s a muscle car, a fighter jet, or a dishwasher generally comes down to evaluating your personal financial situation and determining what you can afford. We’re going to assume you already understand this and stick to specifying the price range the car and model you’re looking at might fall into.

So how do you really determine the price range for a classic muscle car? Simple – you have to take a look at what the market thinks it’s worth. Like real estate, muscle car values ​​are determined by what the market thinks the cars are worth, not by calculating the cost of the sum of all their parts. The price people are currently paying for muscle cars is key. It’s a subjective thing that relies on supply and demand. Also, unlike 99% of modern cars, muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s really aren’t depreciating. Their value bottomed out a long time ago and has been on the rise ever since. Over the last few years we have seen somewhat of a bubble in values, but they still remain quite high.

Now that we understand how value ranges are determined for a make and model, it’s clear why understanding how you will use your muscle car is critical when shopping for your car (refer to our previous post for more details) . If you’re planning on having a weekend funmobile, a mid-priced car will serve you well and you might even be able to go cheaper. If you’re buying a car for an investment, a mid-priced car is likely to be the lowest value car you’ll go with. Remember, unique cars, popular cars and all original cars will be at the higher end of the price range for that particular make and model.

To see what the market thinks different makes and models of cars are worth based on their different condition, just visit Keith Martin’s Car Prices Collection. It’s one of the best resources on the web to get an idea of ​​trends in the industry based on SALE car prices, and you can look at values ​​over the past few years model by model. (The cost is pretty cheap, but as an option you can get a free one-month membership to Keith Martin’s site by signing up for The MuscleCar Place newsletter.) Remember, HOW you plan to use the car is a must when looking at car values . You may conclude after looking at the sale prices the cars have gone for, you should look at a different make/model, or change your plans on how you will use the car.

In addition to Keith Martin’s collector car market, start noticing all the prices listed in the classifieds section of good websites. Most asking prices for cars are in line with what the market will bear (give or take), so you should at least be able to develop a trend.

* Payment method:

Now that you have the make/model down, determined how you will use the car, and have a good idea of ​​how much the car will cost you to buy, it’s time to put together your payment method. Do this BEFORE you make a deal on the car. Being prepared with the information at this step is key to making a purchase that’s right for both you and the car owner, so do your homework ahead of time.

Most dealers offer financing of some kind as a courtesy, but honestly the best way to pay is the old-fashioned way: cash. Buying a car with cash will help you do several things:

1) It will allow you to negotiate the best possible price

2) It will insure you from (potentially) being upside down on a loan – and remove other risks as well.

If you are buying a car for an investment, the car can indeed be considered part of your overall portfolio (just like real estate can be). Never cash out a 401k early to buy a muscle car (or anything else for that matter), but instead use available cash or roll it over from other cash investments. Remember, while muscle car values ​​have done well in the last 10 years, investment growth is not a guarantee. Bill Paweski at Arizona Classics routinely recommends that his clients be aware of the market – and be prepared to hang on to the car until the market is ready before considering selling it (which is another good reason to buy with cash)!

Conclusion:

Doing your homework up front will save you a lot of heartache later. Now is not the time to cut the process short. The last thing you want to happen is to end up hating the muscle car you bought, and if you follow the process outlined here, that won’t happen. Go for it!

In our next and final post in this series, we’ll discuss how to value the car, set up insurance, and buy!

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