Author Topic: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?  (Read 5672 times)

falala123

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Hi there,

I've read pretty much all of the mustachian articles, including the car ones, and I am about to move from my east coast home to Texas. I'm searching for apartments, but preferably a room, and because my job is in the highway I am considering if to get a car, I really would prefer to bike to work but I'll have to be at work before the sun is up, and sometimes viceversa. What is the mustachian thing to do. Also, any tips that might help this move would be appreciated!

Some facts: I'll make about 75k, and already have a 3k emergency fund. In January, I'll have to start paying my 13k student stafford loans. I already have 10k saved, and I am debating how much I should budget for a used car? I also can't decide if to buy back home in the east coast, or in after I get there. I was looking at the Honda Fit, as well.

Thanks!

nikki

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 06:27:55 PM »
Hi there,

I've read pretty much all of the mustachian articles, including the car ones, and I am about to move from my east coast home to Texas. I'm searching for apartments, but preferably a room, and because my job is in the highway I am considering if to get a car, I really would prefer to bike to work but I'll have to be at work before the sun is up, and sometimes viceversa. What is the mustachian thing to do. Also, any tips that might help this move would be appreciated!

Some facts: I'll make about 75k, and already have a 3k emergency fund. In January, I'll have to start paying my 13k student stafford loans. I already have 10k saved, and I am debating how much I should budget for a used car? I also can't decide if to buy back home in the east coast, or in after I get there. I was looking at the Honda Fit, as well.

Thanks!

I recommend checking potential apartments with http://www.walkscore.com/

You'll probably find that most areas of Texas are poorly fit for biking and walking :-(

Without knowing the city you're moving to, it's a little hard to say. I'm from Arlington, Texas, and having a car is almost necessary. I dread the day when I move back and have to make the same hard decision.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 07:27:31 PM »
Biking at night is never a problem with the appropriate gear.

That being said, I wouldn't recommend moving somewhere new without a car at all, unless it's Manhattan or a couple other hand-picked locations.

How far away would the trip be? As much as I love cheap beater cars, I would certainly not drive mine halfway across the country.

William

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 07:59:58 PM »
I live in a new city with no car and I bike in the dark quite frequently.

Nothing scary or dangerous about any of the above.

Where there's a will there's a way.

And if you do buy a car, don't buy such a new one as a Honda Fit.  I know plenty of people with 10 year-old cars with 200k on the clock that break down just as often as a late model Honda (aka basically never).

Russ

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 08:13:57 PM »
I live in a new city with no car and I bike in the dark quite frequently.

Nothing scary or dangerous about any of the above.

Where there's a will there's a way.

same here. not gonna lie, it has been very difficult at times, but IMO it's better than the BS that comes with owning a car.

Either way I doubt anyone will begrudge your decision. Most people here own a car. It's more about doing the best you can, and only you can know what that is.

Jamesqf

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 09:08:56 PM »
Also consider what you want to do outside of work.  Even when I mostly biked to work, I wanted a car to get to the country on weekends.

As others have said, a $2-3K Honda or Toyota has a good chance of being servicable for a decade or so.

capital

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 09:54:37 PM »
I lived in suburban San Diego. Having a decent social life was essentially impossible without a car, so I bought one there, even though I mostly biked to work.

I live in New York now, so I sold the car.

Parts of Austin, and apparently even Houston, sound liveable without a car. But most of the rest of Texas would likely be unfortunate places to be car free.

You should probably buy a car in Texas, as east coast used cars have been through several salty winters.

A Honda Fit is a good car, though than necessary. I had a Pontiac Vibe (same as a Toyota Matrix) and that was a great car: a bit larger and less fuel efficient than the fit, but still very reasonable. The older ones are 10 years old, so available quite cheaply now.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 10:32:53 PM »
You can bike in Houston, but you have to make sure to scout out the locations. There are vast areas that are not at all bike friendly - even to having prohibited bikes on the roads by law. Houston is a ginormous sprawl, but many neighborhoods especially inside the main city limits are very walkable/bike-able.

I think that's pretty much the way most of the larger cities in Texas are (at least San Antonio and Austin from what I remember).

But people LOVE their cars here, and the bigger the better. It's crazy how awful the traffic is here.

I would actually recommend getting a decent older car, but do wait until you get where you're going. Depending on which city you're choosing, you probably would need one (again, there's a whole lot of distance to cover sometimes and people drive like idiots all the time here, so might be a safety factor involved as well). You could always move, and then assess whether you need a car after a few weeks.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 10:36:26 PM by Frankies Girl »

_JT

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 10:03:49 AM »
Figure out a few cars that you like, and start checking craigslist for them. My guess is that you get a better deal on the same vehicle in TX vs. East Coast, but check it out. 5k seems more than sufficient to buy a 5 year old subcompact with less than 100k miles, which should easily last you another 5-10 years.

Cinder

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2013, 10:28:16 AM »

Thanks for the responses. I guess I should have been more clear. I am actually moving from nyc to a small town in Texas. The nearest apartments I could find to work are about 4 miles. Also, my company relocation package includes a car as well.

Thanks for the advice, I never thought about the effect weather has on cars. I guess I should wait till I get there. My thoughts were that if I buy it in the east coast my support system and mechanics could help me look vs. there where I won't know anyone.

One word of caution.. All of the salt used on roads in the east is really rough on cars.  Not sure if there exists the same amount of salt damage potential in Texas. 

Defiantly look into potentials pitfalls buying in both locations, as well as regional price differences.  I know there was a thread somewhere where someone talked about buying cars a few hours away, driving them to the are where they live and selling them for a profit.  Even county to county can potentially have a decent price difference!

Dicey

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2013, 10:31:47 AM »
Hi there,

Also, I've seen a few room rentals where bed is included but it's better to invest in your own bed right?

I don't necessarily agree with this thinking. If it's clean, bug-free and comfortable, I wouldn't rush out to buy a new bed.  You may move again and mattresses are a pain in the ass to transport. If you want to feel like the bed is "new", you could buy a new mattress pad or a topper.

As to your original question, I'd encourage you to live like a college student as long as possible. It sounds like you're on the right track. One tip: Since your salary is going to be so comparably huge, sign up for at least 25% savings right off the top before you get your first paycheck. You won't miss what you never had, and you'll be years closer to FIRE. It's so much easier if you start early.

William

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2013, 09:37:21 AM »
I would be plenty comfortable buying a car with $5k.  You can easily find a reliable, comfortable car for that money.  Sounds like you need to befriend a gearhead to help you shop though. 

Melody

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2013, 04:18:08 PM »
I think if you are a AAA member you can pay a small fee for them to come and do a once over on the used car you are planning to buy.

Another word of warning - if it looks to good to be true (on craigslist) it's nearly always a scam. It's happened to me twice with cars that were screaming deals - first one the log books were fake (I worked it out by checking the engine block number against the number printed on the logbook) the second one the car had a dodgy alternator or some other issue which was draining the battery (I suspected it had an issue as the CD player needed the "code" entered) so I started and stopped the car a couple of times, and lo behold it wouldn't start again. But you can get a good car for less than dealer prices if you are patient. Do your own checks to rule out the obviously dodgy stuff and then get the AAA in.

falala123

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2013, 09:54:01 AM »
The mattress pad was also a great idea! Definitely planning on living like a college student, if not more frugally.

Oh man that's horrible, that's why I'm so ambivalent about buying used cars without any knowledge. On top of that, I'll need it for work, so I Won't be able to be as patient.

Fingers crossed. Gracias.

turboseize

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2013, 03:03:50 PM »
Ikea has some cheap, but comfortable matrasses. Some of them are rather thin - you can roll them and tie them up, so they are easily transportable (I hae a Sultan Lövas for 29€). You do not really need a bed, just throw the matrass on the (clean!) floor and you're good. Swedish tatami mat, sort of.
The alternative might be a surplus camp bed and a sleeping bag.

You then have all the time in the world to find the rest of your furniture - used, for cheap.



To the car: buy something used, reliable and moderately fuel efficient with good and cheap spare parts supply. For 3000 something, there should be plenty of options. Keep 2000 as a reserve for repairs and to catch on maintenance neglected by the previous owner. When owning a car, do not save on fluids (oil, coolant, ATF/gearbox oil), shocks, bushings ore tires. Some of these keep teh car alive, some you!

falala123

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2015, 10:36:55 PM »
It's probably a bad idea updating, but since most people never do. I'd figure I should. I ended up buying a nice little 7 year old car for about 6000. Thanks for the advice ya'll

oneday

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Re: Moving and starting the "grown-up" life. To Buy a car? and what not?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2015, 01:46:38 PM »
Falala, don't feel bad about updating. I'm glad to know you found a good car for a decent price. If you take care of it, you won't have to buy another for a decade!