|BUYING A NEW CAR, PART THREE
Jun 01, 2004, 12:15am
Well, tomorrow is a big day (technically later today). I may have a new car under my butt by 3pm. That is, if the bank comes through.
I bank with VanCity. I like them a lot. They've given my business a hefty line of credit, even when we started up the Inc. entity. Back in the late 1990s, when my credit rating wasn't so hot (student loan issues in the early 1990s), they not only signed me on for my second credit card (for 10+ years, I only had one card - a Uni level card with a high interest rate), but gave me a pretty high max AND a low interest rate. I even got gold card status in my second year with fees waived for two years. Today, my max is more than three times what it was when I signed up - each time I wanted it raised, they said no problems. I guess keeping a near-zero balance each month helps.
But tomorrow, I have to go in and finalize my "preapproved" loan. The problem is, they want to see my income statements. Err... that's a slight problem. From October 2001 through September 2003, I didn't make an official "dime" on salary. After 9/11, our company lost all our contracts and one of the first cost cutting measures I took was taking myself off salary. I didn't draw a dime from the company in any form for six months, until my personal savings were exhausted. Then technically, I became a contractor to the company, until September of last year when I went back on salary, at a reduced rate ($5,000 less than I was making pre-9/11). In January I went back up to my old salary, but I'm still one of the lowest-paid employees in the company: don't fret though, I get profit sharing and bonuses.
But this stuff usually doesn't matter to a bank. They don't usually care if you make personal sacrifices to keep a company going. They don't care what your bonuses are, or what your profits are. They want to know your base salary when doing loans.
VanCity isn't a bank. I'm counting on that. I told them my salary, my bonus payments and my profits from last year. While they didn't count those as my monthly income (because it's variable), they did pre-approve me for as much as $32,000 in loans for a car. Pending my T4 or my income statements from last year. Gulp. What I have to bring to them tomorrow is my salary statements fo the last six months, plus my salary statements from the same company from 2001. I hope it will suffice. I only need $23,500 from them - I'm paying the rest of the car out of my own savings.
I do have a sweet rate: prime plus 1.6%. A bit higher than the 3.9% fixed rates some dealers are offering, but I have a lot of loyalty to VanCity - if they'll lend me the money, I'll pay the 4.8% variable rate to them. I plan on doing bulk payments to the principal down the road, so it won't cost me much more in interest anyway.
So there's this last step. Yes. I've decided on the car. Here's the details:
2004 Volkswagon Jetta TDi Sport Edition
Platinum Gray (I was leaning towards Spice Red, but Jeanette says I'm too old for that colour)
Automatic / Tiptronic Model
TDI (Turbo Direct Injection Diesel) model, 1.9l, 100hp, 177 ft/lb torque at 1900rpms
Sport tuned and lowered suspension
16" Bugatti Rims and Sport All Season H wheels
Auto everything (doors, remote entry, windows, mirrors, cruise control, the works)
Sport seats with upgraded cloth
ESP (Electronic Stabilization Progam)
8 speaker CD / Casette (who uses cassette?) premium sound system
3 spoke leather wrapped steering wheel
A whole whack more
and the best part:
4.7l highway, 5.6l city driving (pe 100kms). That's loosely 61mpg (imperial) highway, low 50s city.
Price? Oh what the hell. List for all this and the full options was aound $36,900 including all taxes. I did quick negotiations for $33,750 for everything, taxes, charges included. I could have gotten it for less (a buddy got a TDI from Guilford VW, same as mine but in Silver, for $33,300), but I'm happy with the roughly $3,150 drop from list.
They better give me a full tank of deisel though. :)
More tomorrow. We'll see if VanCity comes through....
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Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
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iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
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My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D