We Bought Our Son a Car Today

Car shopping is beyond a doubt one of the most interesting things to shop for. And I am the worlds greatest car shopper and recently found a great online resource here in Louisville that makes a great starting place. They call themselves the Louisville Car Guys and you can visit their website click here.

By using their site and filling out their pre approval form your information is sent to 4 different dealerships that can help a person with no credit or a low credit score be able to buy a car. The best thing about it is the 4 different dealerships know that you can just get up, walk out, and go to another place at the drop of a hat. Also, you don’t have to enter your social security number or date of birth to get pre-approved for a car purchase.

Before we filled anything out I called and spoke to the site owner and he advised me that the only time you ever give that information to a car dealer is when you’re at their location. When you’ve determined that they’re a legit operation. You’ve decided that you like your sales rep. And that you’ve looked at a car your interested in buying. Which makes total sense to me. He also told me that when you enter that information online that in all likelihood it will end up being sold to credit card companies and so forth and so forth.

So let’s get back to the car shopping. My son is fresh out of college and has had cars he’s bought and paid cash for, but still had never borrowed money or a car. Myself and hubby do not co-sign for other peoples loans and that includes our children, so he had to start with a buy here pay here car. This made everything totally new to me and very interesting to say the least.

So after entering our info with the Louisville car guys we get calls from 4 different dealerships. 3 of the callers were actually managers so that made things a little easier. And just like the website said they treated us much differently than I would have thought. Apparently these dealers get quite a bit of business from the Louisville Car Guys and don’t want to upset them by treating a client with anything less than total respect.

Only 2 of the 4 that called actually had anything similiar to what my son was wanting to buy so we made appointments at those 2 dealers (The Car Store) and (Cars Direct) and went shopping.

When we got to Cars Direct we met Chris Browning the manager and he showed us the Dodge Charger they had. We drove it and talked some numbers but the payment was a bit higher than my son could afford. Chris reassured us he would call us if something sporty came in that was a bit more affordable.

Then we went to The Car Store and met with Bobby Newton their most senior sales rep. Bobby showed us a Mustang and we drove it up onto the highway and down around in the city. He was totally knowledgeable about his job and told my son he would be looking at a monthly payment of between $325.00 and $350.00 a month which didn’t seem bad considering he had no credit to start with. It was when Bobby told us the insurance for a young male driver in a sports car was what would shock us that made us a little skeptical.

When we got back to the dealership Bobby got the numbers off the car and let us use his office phone to call and check the insurance rates for my son on that particular car. GAAKKKK!! Bobby was right, it was over $200.00 per month just for insurance on it.

Well he still needed a car so we checked out a Nissan Altima. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had the opportunity to ride or drive one of these little cars but I was impressed with it. Just like before we took it up onto the highway and down into town and overall toll a nice long test drive in it. We got back and the insurance checked out at $85.00 per month. Bobby told us the payments would run $320.00 per month and that was good. The car FAX Bobby had showed 2 previous owners and no wrecks. Things were looking pretty good, then we were informed that The Car Store provided a 1 year unlimited mileage warranty on the power train and that’s great. So then we had one last thing to do before buying it. We took it to our mechanic.

Our mechanic looked the car over and said it was in great shape and didn’t look as though anybody had ever abused it. He pointed out just like Bobby did that there were still several receipts for past maintenance in the owners manual jacket.

So we bought the car! My son keeps going over to the front window and looking at it out in the driveway. I wonder if he thinks somebody will try to steal it? HA! So now he’s on the road to establishing some credit and he has a nice little car that gets pretty good mileage. I didn’t want him driving a race car like he wanted. I’m his mother and I’m turning grey to fast as it is.

So my car buying experience at a buy here pay here lot went good. I can reccomend using the car guys site, which made looking for a good place much easier by causing them to look for us. Or you can call Bobby Newton direct at The Car Store. He’s been there 12 years now and according to Bobby he’ll be there till he retires or they close.

I hope all of you enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend !!

 

Helping Our Daughter Shop For a Mortgage

Not that we potentially won’t make bigger investments in our lives. But you do have to admit, buying a home is huge. My daughter has been terrified of buying her own home and has made every excuse possible till now not to do it. Also I would like to recommend John Moel to anybody in KY or Indiana that’s looking for home loans.

Yes I helped my daughter shop her mortgage to death and we ended up using John from Broker House because he was neat and polite and he worked his but off and my daughter got a great rate on her home loan.

But lets get back to these kids and how to get them out of the nest.

Owning a home is part of the classic American dream. However, many young adults are reluctant to take the plunge and leave the confines of home, or an apartment. The common excuses people give for not buying a house often do not mesh with reality.

A House is Expensive

My daughter seemed to think that owning a home is “too expensive.” Owning a home is a more substantial investment than staying with mom or dad, but it does not impact your monthly budget any more than an apartment rental payment.

You can buy a $50,000 starter home with a $10,000 down payment on a conventional loan. Your monthly payment on a $40,000 loan for 30 years at 5 percent is $339.72, assuming a moderate amount for taxes and insurance. You do have to pay for utilities and other living costs, but the total bills do not exceed an apartment with the same amount of space.

You might also qualify for an FHA loan which has reduced credit score and down payment requirements. The minimum down payment is 3.5 percent as of 2014, which means you put just $1,750 down on the $50,000 property.

It is Too Much Work

When you own anything, it takes some time, effort and money to care for it. Your car requires basic maintenance and care, after all. A home needs basic cleaning, lawn care and routine maintenance, such as painting, yard trimming, deck staining, roof repairs and pest control.

The amount of resources you invest in these things are in your control, but some effort maintains your property’s value. Your house is an investment, so basic care helps it retain value so you get adequate cash on a resale. Whether you live at home or in an apartment, you have some basic maintenance responsibilities as well.

The Market is Bad

When the economy sours and home prices decline, some people choose the safety net of an apartment. In reality, the best time to get a great deal on a house is when prices reach a bottom. You get more home for your money and achieve a greater return on investment when it comes time to sell.

If you do not plan to live in the house for long, the “bad market” excuse is sensible. However, avoiding a stable property purchase because of low market values is not intuitive. Seize the opportunity to get an excellent deal in a buyer’s market.

Conclusions

Home ownership is not always the right move for a young adult. Apartments do make sense in certain circumstances. However, the “high cost,” the expected work load or a down market are not valid reasons to avoid buying a house.

And hey! She’s all moved in now and loving her new place and I got a whole extra room at my place to turn into a sitting room for me and my husband to relax in.

WIN WIN WIN !!!!!

Shopping for Granite Countertops

I couldn’t get Mark (hubby) to go with me so I went alone, which is often the case. Shopping for home remodeling products and services is something I consider myself quite good at.

Before I go I always search all over online for whatever service or product, or in this case the combination is that I’m looking for.

So after hitting a few different showrooms looking for samples of granite and seeing what our local installers have in stock I ended up at Trademark Universal Stone at 4103 Bishop Ln.

I almost didn’t visit this location due to their website not having much along the lines of samples but it turns out I’m glad I did.

When I first pulled in I was still a bit hesitant because for a Saturday the place didn’t seem very busy, but it was obvious from the signange out front that they were indeed open. So in I went in full stealth mystery shopper mode, with all senses tuned to the highest state.

The minute I walked into their large showroom that is obviously having a considerable renovation done to it, I was impressed with the size of the place.

Within seconds a young lady came up and asked if she could assist me, and this is good. I like this when I’m shopping and especially when it’s something home related. So that’s when I met Rosie and she started showing me around the place.

Of course I asked to see some of their work and she took me into a mock up area that had several different sections laid out as kitchen areas with different colors and styles of stones for me to view. Also there were several sample racks with various types of granite samples displayed on them so that I could see them for myself.

While Rosie and I were talking, a young man that was passing through the showroom slowed down then stopped next to us and politely waited for a pause in the conversation we were having. When he saw a break he introduced himself to me as Henry Berroa the owner and wanted to make sure all was going well during my visit. Big points for Henry here! I love meeting business owners.

He asked Rosie to check my schedule and if my time permitted to take me back in the back and show me the processing area.. Really! Of course I wanted to go back into the back and see the inner workings. I’d never seen inside a granite fabrication and design facility past the showroom and couldn’t wait to see the back stage.

Wow!! I’m sure somewhere in the back of my mind that I new granite came in these monster slabs. But I had no idea they were so large and heavy that they needed to be lifted and guided with forklifts and big wenches. The workers were all doing their things and I must say it looked like a very efficiently run ship. But then I will admit that I don’t know that much about what I was looking at. However Rosie did lead me around and informed me what stages each individual piece of granite was going through at that particular station, and it was totally interesting to me because we are going to be having granite installed during an upcoming kitchen remodel.

Before leaving I scheduled to have Henry’s person out to our residence where they will measure our entire project in anticipation of putting together pricing for us. Rosie was kind enough to give me an adequate amount of literature and brochures about the individual styles and colors of granite that they carry so that I can bore my poor husband to death when I get home.

I reassured Henry that I’d read everyone of the customer testimonials on his website and thanked him for taking his time out to talk to me, and having Rosie let me see the back end of their business.

In a week or two I will drag my husband back over there with me to make what will in all likelihood be our choice of style and color. Not that we’ve hired Trademark yet, but I’ve shopped long enough to know that when I find a winner that’s what I go with. And barring Henry’s price not being crazy I will go with Trademark for my Granite because I like quality.

My over all rating of Trademark Universal Stone on a scale of 1 to 5 is a solid 5. Customer service was outstanding and they made me feel as though I was the most important person in the building and I was. The products are top notch and the employees and quality of work in the showroom was perfect. If the estimating process or pricing and installation proves otherwise I will report it here. Somehow though my years of experience tell me that I will not be disappointed.

So there you have it. Out of the 4 places I visited on Saturday to see Granite countertops in Louisville KY, one and one only stands out in my mind as the clear winner. TRADEMARK UNIVERSAL STONE.

Lets Go Shopping Louisville

So yes! Let’s go shopping!

Lydia Joyce here. If you haven’t realized it yet, you should know that I’ve elected myself to a newly created position in life. Starting now and hence forth I shall be known far and wide as the Louisville Mystery Shopper :)

I know! I know! It all sounds so crazy, but I love to shop and need an outlet where I can express myself about it. I have a lot of things to say and want you to be my audience. God only knows that my husband doesn’t want to here about the newest Louis Vuitton purses on the market. Or the latest set of Tommy Hilfiger F-Me pumps that are newly arrived on the shelves of some of Louisville’s better stores for women.

But not to fear. I’ll shop for anything just because I like shopping. It doesn’t matter, gardening supplies, cars, home remodeling stuff. I probably enjoyed shopping for a chandelier we bought 2 years ago more than anything else this last 5 years.

Shopping can be, and often is, very exciting to say the least. Having spent a considerable amount of time in retail to put myself through school I’m a fairly good judge of what constitutes quality customer service. Due to my engineering degree I know if a thing is properly built of quality materials, and whether adequate consideration has been given to the ergonomics of it’s design.

My criteria for judging a product is a lot different than the criteria I exercise when judging customer service. As it should be for anybody that’s critiquing a shopping experience. After all, if the best product in the world is being sold where customer service is part of the deal and there is no customer service, this girl will have a problem with that.

But at the end of it all, I’ll be honest about the area business’s I visit and more often will high-lite the positive without doing anymore than mentioning the negative.

Mystery shopping in Louisville KY and sharing the good, the bad, and the outright ugly