03 Elantra...opinion on this deal?

Am looking into buying a 03 Elantra with 90K miles. Not any defects I could see, everything works. I test-drove it, it rides silky-smooth. Its the base 4-dr model, I think the GTS. The owner is
an A&P mechanic. He says he has done all the maintenance work himself, he is the original owner. Since he did it all himself, he has no maintenance records/receipts. He hasn't had any break down on it yet, he says. He wants his payoff amount which is $6K. THe Kelly BB price is currently $6700. Don't think he is going to come down on his price, since he wants to get it paid off and get his wife a new car. Asked him if he had changed the timing belt...he says no. Its not a concern to him, but is to me. I'll bet he hasn't power-flushed the tranny either. Probably to get the timing belt replaced will cost, I'm guessing, $200. His lackadaisical attitude towards changing the timing belt makes me wonder if he has diligently changed the oil and filter, as he claims he has.
The other issue I have about buying it is the mileage. He was commuting a long way each day in it, and so it has the same average mileage as a 6-yr old car, but is only 3 yrs old. This devalues the car for sure...but by how much? I am probably going to have to sell it in one year, and since it has lost $800 in value over the last 12 months, I think it is likely to lose another $800 over the next 12 months. On a 48-mo car note at 4.9 percent, I will have paid only around $100 of principle. So my payoff will be $5900.
My concern is that I might get inverted on it with 48 or 60-mo financing. Maybe even 36? I guess what I need to know is how much to subtract from the cars' value for the given high mileage. I probably would not add more than 15K miles over the course of driving it for a year, so it is likely to be at 105K miles next July when I have to sell it.I have to be a sure as possible that I won't be inverted by hundreds of dollars.....2 or 3 hundred? Tolerable. Probably I should then set up the loan for shorter term. On the 60-mo terms they offer, The monthly would be only $112.00, financed by the credit union where my savings account is. But I could also leave it at 60-mo, but just make sure to feed the savings account an extra $40 a month or so, then I have a little reserve built up to pay the inverted amount, if any. This gives me the flexibility to pay a very small car note if I have a bad month financially. Or perhaps give the seller $500 cash, in return for him reducing his asking price to $5500?
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Geronimo says:
"He says he has done all the maintenance work himself, he is the original owner. Since he did it all himself, he has no maintenance records/receipts.... Asked him if he had changed the timing belt...he says no. Its not a concern to him, but is to me. I'll bet he hasn't power-flushed the tranny either. Probably to get the timing belt replaced will cost, I'm guessing, $200. His lackadaisical attitude towards changing the timing belt makes me wonder if he has diligently changed the oil and filter, as he claims he has." _________________________________________________
A reasonable point. He says he's done all his own maintenance, but you've already determined he hasn't done it all as scheduled. Did he service the coolant? The interval for the trans service has gone into the wild blue yonder, so I wouldn't expect him to have done it unless the fluid was yucky.
Check him out. Look at the oil. It should be clean. Look in the fill hole. There shouldn't be any dark brown gummy buildup. There also shouldn't be any dark brown buildup or varnish on the dipstick. If there is, that's evidence that the oil wasn't changed at the proper interval. Look at the transmission fluid. Don't be alarmed by a brownish color as long as it's relatively transparent and fresh smelling. (The fluid doesn't have much dye in it, so it turns brown quickly.) Dark brown, opaque brown, or nasty-smelling transmission fluid is cause for immediate concern for the livelihood of the transmission.
Look at the tires. Are they nearly new or mostly worn?
Get a small flashlight and peek through the holes in the wheels to see the brake pads and rotors.
If there are numerous items which will need attention soon, it's a sign that the owner has purposely been not doing maintenance because he's already made the decision to sell.
Geronimo also said:
"He wants his payoff amount which is $6K. THe Kelly BB price is currently $6700. Don't think he is going to come down on his price, since he wants to get it paid off and get his wife a new car.... The other issue I have about buying it is the mileage. He was commuting a long way each day in it, and so it has the same average mileage as a 6-yr old car, but is only 3 yrs old. This devalues the car for sure...but by how much?" _________________________________________________
Nose around on the internet. I ran this vehicle on www.kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book), picking what I thought would be the appropriate options, and the private owner price came back $6000 for "good" condition, which based on what's been said, if it's true, this car would probably be. And I'm in a high rent district. The price may be lower in your area. In my opinion, Kelley Blue Book overprices vehicles. That's why used car dealers compare their prices to it. You'll need to do some legwork to figure the market price of this vehicle in your area, but I'd suspect it's $5000 to $5500.
You'll also need to decide what the vehicle is worth to *you*. How quickly do you need a car? How badly do you need this particular car? When I shop for a car, I decide how much the car is worth to me. That's how much I'll offer. If they don't accept, I walk. As long as I'm not hard up, I don't need that particular car, and I just keep shopping until I find something more to my liking.
Geronimo furhter said:
"I am probably going to have to sell it in one year, and since it has lost $800 in value over the last 12 months, I think it is likely to lose another $800 over the next 12 months. On a 48-mo car note at 4.9 percent, I will have paid only around $100 of principle. So my payoff will be $5900. My concern is that I might get inverted on it with 48 or 60-mo financing. Maybe even 36? I guess what I need to know is how much to subtract from the cars' value for the given high mileage. I probably would not add more than 15K miles over the course of driving it for a year, so it is likely to be at 105K miles next July when I have to sell it.I have to be a sure as possible that I won't be inverted by hundreds of dollars.....2 or 3 hundred? Tolerable. Probably I should then set up the loan for shorter term. On the 60-mo terms they offer, The monthly would be only $112.00, financed by the credit union where my savings account is. But I could also leave it at 60-mo, but just make sure to feed the savings account an extra $40 a month or so, then I have a little reserve built up to pay the inverted amount, if any. This gives me the flexibility to pay a very small car note if I have a bad month financially. Or perhaps give the seller $500 cash, in return for him reducing his asking price to $5500?"
You'll need to analyze your financial situation to determine what loan is best for you. To get an idea of your depreciation, run the numbers on a 2002 Elantra with identical equipment in identical condition and 105k miles and see what the web sites come back with. I did this at www.kbb.com and came back with $5120, so estimated depreciation would be $880.
But don't link the purchase price and the loan. The seller doesn't car how he gets his money, whether all from you, all from the credit union, or part from each. Figure out how you want to approach the loan once you figure out the approprate selling price.
Make a fair offer. If I were buying, I can assure you it'd be less than $6k. But know ahead of time how high you're willing to go (even if you don't think it's a fair price). This is the how much is it worth to *you* price (unless that's what you've already offered, of course). If the seller isn't ready to come down to that price, you need to walk. Remember, there are lots of cars for sale. You don't need his.
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<geronimo> wrote in message> My concern is that I might get inverted on it with 48 or 60-mo

If you had run a Kelly Blue Book or an NADA book on the car you would have had to input the current mileage. The calculations would take mileage and all other factors into consideration as it computes the value of the car. Better yet is to visit Edmunds.com and look at what similar cars, similar mileage are selling for. That way, you get a more real world picture than either KBB or NADA.
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On Tue, 18 Jul 2006 16:11:54 -0500, geronimo wrote:

Just my opinion. I think that is too much money given the mileage and lack of any proof of manitence. I do most of my own maintenance on 4 cars. I do not have receipts, but I could at least show you a computer print out of all maintence/repairs done. I would offer him just over 5K and go from there. Good luck.
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