Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The New Vehicle and The Refi

So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money? ~Ayn Rand

We are now in the latter part of the process for refinancing our house. We planned to do this when the siding work was finished; we had saved up for half of the job and placed the cost of the second half on a credit card, which would have been fine, except with the amount we pay for a first and second mortgages and our expenses it was going to be really tight to make credit card payments too. Then, came the necessity to buy a new vehicle, just so my husband could stay employed, with its accompanying car loan....

Refinancing the house became no longer a choice, it was a necessity. So, we began the refinancing process with the idea that we would wrap up the entire cost of the vehicle into it.

We went to look at used vehicles and did something we never do: we bought one on the spot. It was like God placed it there just for us. It had exactly what my husband wanted, all wheel drive and a tow package already installed. It is not white, which I appreciate so much, my Lord, since both our minivans are white and we never liked the color. This one is a red metallic on the orange side, a guy color for sure but I keep telling myself it is a lovely autumn color because I am just still so happy it is not white. Do you know what God threw into the deal for me that I just had a passing thought that it would be nice but was not a necessity? A huge sunroof! I cannot wait to go on our annual autumn trip to north Georgia!

For the vehicle financing, we placed $10,000 on another credit card to wrap into the mortgage refinancing and the remainder as a car loan through our credit union with a interest rate that was actually lower than the mortgage would be. You might ask why do it that way instead of placing the entire amount on the car loan. This is the why: We purchased a 2014 vehicle and the Runzheimer plan for my husband is three years or I forget how many miles, which is based on his previous driving records. In addition, the car can only be up to five years old and ours is technically already two years old, so like it or not we will have to buy another car in three years regardless. We did not want to be perpetually in debt with car loans so the plan is that we pay $105 more per month on our four year loan to pay it off completely in three years, while at the same time saving money specifically for the cost of another car to be purchased in 2018. Then I will be given his vehicle and he will have the newer one.

If I were to look at all this another way, we placed the entire cost of the siding project in the refi and have a smaller car loan. Thankfully, the housing market has rebounded in our area. In fact, it rebounded as sharply up as it went sharply down. Do you remember I Was Afraid to Hope... when I cried for hours over not being able to refinance the mortgage five years ago because our home was worth about half of what it was when we bought it? Yeah, well, it has been increasing as we were paying the mortgage down and this year the county assessed the value of our house increased $25,000 this year alone. Now it is worth more than when we bought it and the appraiser agreed, so our refi is going to happen as soon as we pick a closing date.

Oh, but then—yes, there is more!—a certain major kitchen appliance, who shall remain unnamed, decided to take an early retirement from washing dishes without notice. We went this past Saturday looking at stainless steel dishwashers, which we had narrowed down to two or three from the reviews online. But, while we were there—you all know that if I break the grammar rule of not starting a sentence with a conjunction that I am trying to get your attention and make a strong point, right?—my husband spied an out-of-the-box LG stainless steel convection gas range at a very good price and it did not have a visual scratch anywhere. The saleswoman finalized the deal with the coupon and sale on Sunday evening with an additional 12% off.

The cost of these two appliances has been added to one of the credit cards that will be wrapped into the refi. Now I have two matching stainless steel appliances (not yet picked up and installed) and I still have an almond refrigerator. I looked at the refrigerators because...well, if my husband could make the argument that our working stove needed to be replaced because we have to turn the food so it does not burn on one side, then I could make the argument that we needed a new refrigerator because our working refrigerator freezes items in the crispers and items at the back, which can ruin fresh raw foods.

To be honest, I let the refrigerator thing go for now because the stainless steel, French door refrigerator I really want by LG is so new that very few stores have it available and it costs as much as the two appliances we just bought. Because we eat a diet high in fresh, raw foods, which are bulky, I need a larger refrigerator than we have. I also buy some things that should not be frozen in bulk when on sale that keep rather well, like cheese. Also, we do not want water dispenser or even an ice maker, but there is one in the freezer. We did discuss putting the refrigerator we have in the garage and maybe getting rid of one of the freezers, and we would need to do this if we had the land for milking goats and egg laying chickens, but we are not there yet.

Ideally, we need a full refrigerator beside a matching full upright freezer in our kitchen with the handles placed next to each other so they look like one unit with French doors, but we do not have the kitchen for that either. We have a tall list of must-haves for the next house, if we ever get there, with a huge pantry also in the kitchen or the mud room of a ranch home with a full basement. I can dream!!!

You thought I was done right? No. Ever since the siding job, I have not been able to pull my van into the garage because of paint cans, remodeling materials, lots of wood boards, and just things that were put on so they were handy, but now are just piles. (I will say that the workout area in the garage is still clean up enough we can use it.) To clean up the garage properly, my husband has been wanting another larger shed—did you guess? Yes, another cost that he is planning to wrap into the refi, but at least he is planning to build it himself.

In truth, my husband originally thought we might be placing the entire amount of the new vehicle in it before all this a well what was left over from the siding job so we are pre-approved for a higher amount than we will be needing. Still, I wanted our debt to be little as possible.

My Lord, thank you for the choices we were able to make and even the timing of our dishwasher quitting. Thank you also for providing for us a vehicle that will serve our needs.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.