Everybody knows that the moment you drive a brand new car off the dealer lot, the value drops when those tires hit the street. Still, there's a certain appeal to buying a brand new car. There's an agent in my office who trades in her car and buys a new car every year. She just gets tired of her vehicle. She doesn't lease; she pays cash.
I took my car to Tom Stephens Mercedes in East Sacramento last week for its annual service. Stephens is the best Mercedes auto shop in Sacramento; he used to be a manager at Mercedes, and he intimately knows these cars because that's all he does.
That's when I realized that my car is 9 years old this month. I wondered if I should buy a new car. Not because I need a new car because I don't; it has less than 40,000 miles. But I also realize that real estate clients expect their agents to drive newer cars. It's perception, in part. It's why I wear suits and not cut-offs to work.
I love my car because it's fun to drive and because it's a convertible. The drawback is it has only one passenger seat, but I either drive with my buyers or I borrow my husband's Prius when I show property. If I bought another car, I'd probably get the same model; that's how much I enjoy it.
The service manager suggested I spruce it up by buying sportier rims, which now has me wondering about remodeling it. Hey, I know I won't get the money back out of it, but it's a lot less expensive than forking out $50,000 for a new Mercedes. I could use new leather seats, I suppose. Maybe buff out the paint or paint it a different color. Then replace the tires so they're all the same size and I can rotate them, which would give the tires a longer life expectancy.
I could easily drive this car another 10 years and it still won't turnover 100,000 miles. What do you think? Is remodeling a car a bad idea?
The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming soon to a bookstore near you.
Photo: Big Stock Photo
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