Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Buying a 2005 Saturn Ion
Accomplished a lot today and yesterday. It's the 28th and I believe my luck runs in variants of 7. So I feel that it is a lucky day. I brought home the brand new 2nd hand car. It is a 2005 Saturn with about 34,000 miles used mileage. It does about 34 miles per gallon and the car cost about $ 8,000. I think it's not a bad buy even considering that GM may discontinue the product line. Yesterday GM announced that it will discontinue the Pontiac brand and made me a little worried. There are so many choices and it is difficult. I planned to buy either a second hand Toyota, Honda or Ford.
But the used car dealer lowered the price of the Saturn so it made it appealing to my budget. Saturn is also one of the more promising product lines of GM as it started this division to compete against Japanese brands. I made this choice because the car met the main criteria: fuel efficient (34 mpg), low used mileage (34,000) relative to other cars, relatively new model (2005), reasonable good customer reviews and most importantly the price. It was actually the price reduction that made me jump and buy it. My next purchase should be either Toyota or Honda so I can spread the risk. If I can lease a car, it would be a good alternative for me.
I also place a deposit on a townhouse. I felt a little concern buying so many things but I do not like to pay rent. I have never paid rent in my life and I would not like to start now. So I chose a property that was marked down by about $15,000. The real estate developer also provided a 6% incentive on the purchase price so I think it was a bargain. The agent has been helpful and kind, showing me around the place and driving all around looking at property. I have been looking at property for the past months before coming here. I also spend about 4 days looking at the available properties and this choice seem to me the best bargain. I have had experience in buying property so I feel more confident than perhaps most people.
The next step is arranging the financing. I have about 30 days to complete the transaction as agreed with the developer. So I need to move fast. Like my car loan, I am also arranging the financing with the credit union. I have been assured by the manager that I can get the loan so I am confident. Otherwise, I may need to struggle before I get a loan. The main obstacle is that I have no credit history here. So it's difficult to get financing. But I have no such constraint from the credit union because it is an organization for employees. It also the way of life here. I guess this is one secret of being a progressive nation because of the easy financing that one can get.
It's a double edge sword with the way things have turned out in the economy recently. So there needs to be a balance. But I think there is no doubt that easy financing is the fastest way to achieve one's dream. It's the American dream to own a house and car and everything here is geared to helping people achieve this goal. It's really extraordinary that someone like me who just arrived about 15 days ago could buy a car and a house. It's amazing that one can come out and achieve things, driven by a desire to make it in life. Success here really depends on the amount of work and effort that you are willing to do.