: I need someone to push me over the edge!



Benjamin Simon
02-04-07, 11:24 PM
Alright, I am finally ready to purchase the STS of my dreams. I think I found a great deal on a 2005 STS V8 1SG AWD with the ACC. It is also my color of choice which is White Diamond. The car only has 17,xxx on the clock and it is certified pre owned meaning the factory warranty is extended to 6 years, 100,000 miles. I can get it for $32,000 plus tax.
I checked the Black Book at my dealership and it is $30K on the STS. The Cadillac Certification cost $1,000. I am guessing the dealer fees are about $400. I am fine with them making at least $600 in profit. (Given they don't have less than the Black Book)
My payment looks like it will be $610 a month for 60 months.
My questions are, is this a good find and should I do it given my situation?

I feel it is a good deal, but sometimes when I get too excited, my judgment gets cloudy.

This is my situation.

I just turned 24 years old and I graduated from college 1 year ago. I gross $5100 a month. I have no children and I am getting married in June. I paid off my loans this year and have no debt to speak of. I am thinking about buying a house this fall when my lease runs up. I maxed out my Roth IRA and I put 10% on my gross in a IRA.

My mom has been bitching to me saying I am too young and I need buy a base model Impala or something. Easy for her to say, she drives a Caddy. For those that have been there and done that, is it a bad idea to buy such a nice car at this point. When I am 50, am I going to look back on my life and think, that was a dumb purchase or will I think that was the best idea ever!

I am just looking for a little reassurance or sense...

Benjamin Simon
02-04-07, 11:29 PM
Also, I wanted to buy it by May. Do you think I will find a much better deal in the next 2 - 3 months? With so much deprecation already, could I find one for $28K in 2 - 3 months? This car's MSRP was $67K. I still cannot fathom it being $35K less in 2 years after 17K miles...

kbrown211
02-05-07, 07:17 AM
Man from experience I would say just get the car you want. I pulled the trigger on a car last year that was a impulse buy and 6 months later I wanted a cadillac.

malcolm
02-05-07, 08:42 AM
You could lease a brand new one for that kind of money. Most likely you will not want to be in the car any longer than the term of a lease. If you buy and want to get out before the loan is paid you will most likely get only what you still owe, just like a lease. What's the finance charge on the loan?

c5 rv
02-05-07, 09:30 AM
From the numbers ($34K with tax, 60 mos, $610 per month, assuming zero down) it looks like a 2.9% interest rate. I would definitely want a good look at the service history on the car as some 05s had problems. The $32K price for a CPO V8 AWD STS with only 17K seems quite good.

Your mother is probably right - $610 a month is probably too much to spend on a car payment at your stage in life. The car payment plus insurance is likely to be about 25% of your take-home pay. However, if your car is your only vice... Plus, buying a CPO is a lot smarter than locking into a lease. If you decide to sell the car in a year, you'll have a lot more flexibility and the CPO warranty is transferable.

Another thing to consider is the recent announcement that starting in March, GM will be offering 100K powertrain warranties on all (certified?) used car purchases, not just Cadillacs. While this isn't as attractive as the Cadillac CPO program, you could get into a 2006 Buick LaCrosse CXS with the 3.6 engine for about $20K or a 2006 Lucerne V8 for about $25K.

STS2002
02-05-07, 09:52 AM
Alright, I am finally ready to purchase the STS of my dreams. I think I found a great deal on a 2005 STS V8 1SG AWD with the ACC. It is also my color of choice which is White Diamond. The car only has 17,xxx on the clock and it is certified pre owned meaning the factory warranty is extended to 6 years, 100,000 miles. I can get it for $32,000 plus tax.
I checked the Black Book at my dealership and it is $30K on the STS. The Cadillac Certification cost $1,000. I am guessing the dealer fees are about $400. I am fine with them making at least $600 in profit. (Given they don't have less than the Black Book)
My payment looks like it will be $610 a month for 60 months.
My questions are, is this a good find and should I do it given my situation?

I feel it is a good deal, but sometimes when I get too excited, my judgment gets cloudy.

This is my situation.

I just turned 24 years old and I graduated from college 1 year ago. I gross $5100 a month. I have no children and I am getting married in June. I paid off my loans this year and have no debt to speak of. I am thinking about buying a house this fall when my lease runs up. I maxed out my Roth IRA and I put 10% on my gross in a IRA.

My mom has been bitching to me saying I am too young and I need buy a base model Impala or something. Easy for her to say, she drives a Caddy. For those that have been there and done that, is it a bad idea to buy such a nice car at this point. When I am 50, am I going to look back on my life and think, that was a dumb purchase or will I think that was the best idea ever!

I am just looking for a little reassurance or sense...

Hi Benjamin,

I leased my first Seville SLS when I was 24 with a payment of $600. I caught so much crap from my parents about it. They just couldn't understand why I would want to spend so much on a car and not save the money by getting something cheaper. The Seville at that time was my dream car. I loved Cadillacs!!! Then I traded to a Seville STS and then eventually to the 06 STS 1SG AWD no ACC. All with payments no greater than $650. Now I'm 30 and I look back at my choices. Should I have got something cheaper?? I think that I should have. My situation was a little different, I was making a little less than you were at that time and still had other bills to pay. And really, I could have waited to get that dream car and saved a little more money. When you hit 50 you might look back and think it wasn't the best choice, but it's all relative. It sounds like you are in a great financial situation without any debt! I would say go for it if it's what you want. It would certainly be hypocritical of me to say don't buy it at your age. Just be smart about it and make sure that you have a long term financial plan in place and that this payment won't hurt your plan. I hope this helps.

Phil

AllWheelEric
02-05-07, 10:31 AM
Can I be a grumpy old man even though I'm in my 30s? I'm sorry if this comes off wrong. I only intend to help.

When I was your age in about the same financial situation, I bought a $13,000 new car (1992 dollars). Looking back, I'm glad I didn't spend more. I bought a nice condo 3 years later, and put more than 20% down (thus avoiding PMI). That was much more important use of money in the long run. The only thing I would do differently now is buy CPO instead of new. That was the only new car I ever bought.

Unless your 99 STS is falling apart, I would keep it. There was much that I liked better in my 96 (versus the 05) anyway. I only sold mine when it got some unsolvable gremlins in it.

Obviously, you won't be in financial ruin if you but the new STS. You can afford it. Good luck either way.

gtragitt
02-05-07, 11:04 AM
In Houston the 2005 V6 STS are about $30k. A V8 at $32k sounds like a great deal. You can buy a new Impala, but it won't cost too much less. Impalas are nice, but nothing close to the STS. I had a 2005 and just bought a 2006. I was considering trading down, but when I made the final decision, I bought another STS and am happy I did.
Greg

sajn05sts
02-05-07, 02:04 PM
You get what you pay for if this caddy is the colour and has all the options you want bite the bullet, get it. Although remember upkeep on these cars is expensive oil changes $100, 30 000 mile service $1200. These cars are tight I had my 05 sts up to 121 miles per hour this morning it drove as if I was going 30 miles per hour. My point is to keep these cars running and looking the way they should it will cost you in the future. I also hope you can handle the speed, it is not the car you want to drive on a Friday night after a few beers.If you are looking for a keeper get it.

malatu
02-05-07, 05:06 PM
Looking forward, you may find this car payment is a "ball and Chain" when getting qualified for a mortgage. Let me cloud the situation even more. I suggest going to a mortgage broker and get prequalified for a mortgage three ways: 1. with no car payment; 2. a car payment of $610; 3. car payment of $350 ish. You'll walk away with three mortage amounts for which you qualify. This information may shed some light for you. Either way, you'll learn from whatever decision you make.

Three ways to become financially independent. They are: Be thrifty, save regularly, and own your own home. Seems to me you are doing a pretty good job at these things. I can't tell you how many of my empoyees don't own a home because of their car payment. Although one employee who was in the home market increased her home buying power by reducing her car payment substantially. She sold her new Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer for a boring used Chevy Malabu. She bought the home three years ago she just bought sporty Monte Carlo. It's all about priorities. Fortunately (unfortunately) our priorities change.

papaisrollin
02-05-07, 06:04 PM
also if you lease...get the newest caddies off the lot..you get the most car for your $.

papaisrollin
02-05-07, 06:10 PM
oh almost forgot 5k a month? youve been a good boy. reward yourself PULL THE TRIGGER! :)

ascariSTS
02-06-07, 06:04 AM
Go on and get it... you wont enjoy STS as much as now... it's not as good when you get older... i just turned 24... i'm enjoying every moment and happy that i didn't wait ...

bhoppes
02-06-07, 07:56 AM
You should not have to pay for a certified warranty with a used Cadillac. They just brought out a new certified program for GM. Go to this link.
http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewmonthlyreleasedetail.do?domain=74&docid=33044
I think what it is saying is that when you buy a certified Cadillac you should not have to pay to have it certified. They should just be able to certify without any additional cost. (But you know it is going to be in the price anyway.) They should not be able to charge you the extra $1000. Make sense?

corvette00
02-06-07, 08:06 AM
I am in my early 40's and on my seventh STS (started with an ETC). Having previuosly leased an 05 (currently leasing 07 1SG awd), I would not purchase an 05. My 05 had a lot of sqeeks and rattles. From the comments on this site, the 05's also are prone to mechanical problems. Regardless of your warrenty situation, trips to the dealer are a hassel. If you want a Cadillac, I would lease a new one. This way you are not tied to a long-term commitment.

c5 rv
02-06-07, 11:32 AM
You should not have to pay for a certified warranty with a used Cadillac. They just brought out a new certified program for GM.

TANSTAAFL = There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. I doubt this extended powertrain warranty will be free, but it may not be much. Dealers will probably be charged some amount and they will build it into the price of the certified cars. While engine, trans, and diff (except for CTS) problems are expensive to fix, they are infrequent on cars with less than 100K miles.

I think a result of this warranty will be to push down the private party prices for vehicles (read autotrader and ebay) and encourage more owners to trade their vehicles. This will boost the available units for dealers to make good used vehicle sales profits.

BTW, the Cadillac CPO program is bumper-to-bumper, not just powertrain-only. Some Cadillac dealers list their cars as certified, but the small print says that certification is extra. I suspect that in negotiations, they offer certification instead of price concessions. Buyers may value certification the same as $0 deductable GMPP (about $3000 on this STS) instead of $1000.

toro
02-06-07, 02:26 PM
Just for your info, I have a 2005 STS V8, 1SG, AWD,radar cruise, HUD, every option for $ 28,900. It has a branded title, but in showroom condition. If yourinterested take a look at it on cars.com.

malcolm
02-06-07, 03:04 PM
I just noticed you are in GA. AWD will be a waste for you there. I am two years into a 48 month lease with GMAC on my 05 STS 1SE Platinum with Black leather. 35K and clean as a hounds tooth. You can take the lease over 599. /mo.

Cajonkev
02-06-07, 03:20 PM
Never been through a Georgia Ice Storm huh...:eyebrow:

Although I wouldn't take mine out during one anyway if it could be helped regardless of the drivetrain...

Benjamin Simon
02-06-07, 05:23 PM
Thanks everyone for getting back to me, I have been really busy at work…
After briefly looking at lease numbers, I decided not to consider that option for two main reasons. First, I plan on keeping the vehicle for 6 years. Second the marginal change in utility for me to have the newest model is very low until a major redesign in the model. For instance, I only slighter prefer a 2003 STS to my 1999 STS.

This is how I looked at the numbers. A lease on a $68K 1SG will be about $725 a month. For obvious reasons, the payments I put towards the lease depreciate at 100%. Given this, the 2007 STS will cost me $8700 a year or $725 a month. The cost over 6 years is $52000. This 6 years amount assumes the next lease does not cost more.

To keep it simple, the present value to the 2005 STS 1SG is $37K. This includes interest and assumes I do not pay it off early. I figure I put 10K miles on it a year and in 6 years it will have roughly 80,000 miles on the clock. I am giving it a future value of $10K. Over 6 years, the car will depreciate $27000, $4500 a year, or $375 a month.

Since I am keeping my car so long, the lease is going to cost much more in the long term. For some people, having a newer car is very important. However, if I take as good of car of my new STS as I did my 99 STS, it will look as good as new. My 99 STS is so clean, people think it is new  even though it has 138K miles on the clock. Sure the new STS will not have a warranty the last 2 years, but I can do at least a few repairs with the $25,000 I will be saving.

And that bring me to the bottom line, having a newer STS that looks almost the same is not worth $25K. Not to mention GMAC could knock my head off if I drive too much over the allowed miles. I might have to buy the car after 39 months paying $38000 for a car I can buy now after 18 months on the road for $32000. Or pay some crazy amount for miles over. If you don’t follow the lease, it could get really scary…

AWD is not very important to me, but it is on the car I am looking at. My family does live in Cincinnati and I go up to Wright Patterson AFB often so it might be a nice thing to have. And when it does ice here, it stays for days because this is only 1 salt truck for middle Georgia and I think loaned at from up north.

The price of this STS is $32000 plus Oklahoma tax of $1100. (My future wife is buying it in Oklahoma for me)  Taxes here in Georgia would be $2300. Hell, I don’t even live here I am TDY so often. I will be financing the 32K for 60 months at 5.9%. I think the payment will be $617 a month. I will pay taxes out of pocket. I am planning on paying $975 a month for 36 months and pay it off early. But, since I am buying a house, I don’t want to have such a high payment on my credit.

I should note I am getting a pay increase of roughly $8K a year on July 24. I am going to increase my 401K contribution (To 10% with a 5% matching for a total of 15%) so I am looking at a net increase of about $500 a month.
I am only looking for a simply house this fall. 1500 SF new houses go for about 110K here. Very cheap compared to most parts of the country. I hope a slightly larger car payment will not inhibit me from getting a house like this.
My future old lady is on board. She loves my Caddy and future caddy. I am also going to put her to work. As a teacher she is going to make about $32K a year.

To clarify my mom’s concern, she does want me to want more and more. For all practical purposes, I will be driving a $67K car. What is next, Bentley?
So does everyone agree the price of $32K is a good price?
Does anyone think if I wait a 2 or 3 months, I can get a similar car for $28K? I want it by June!

Toro, I saw your car on Cars.com a few weeks ago. It is what I am looking for, but even if it were a Bentley, I really would not want to spend more than $15K on a salvaged car. I say $15K because that is the most I could not afford to lose if the car fell apart on me or I it stopped running correctly.

Thanks for the offer Malcolm but I am only consider the 1SG package with ACC. I love all of the toys, I just don’t like paying for them. 

c5 rv
02-06-07, 06:33 PM
The price looks good, if there are no problems with the car. Make sure you run the vid through www.nicb.org to check if it is a flood car and check the service records. Buying an 05 later in the year will make it a bit cheaper, but if this is the car and color you want, you may want to move now. Some comparisons (there aren't a lot of 2005 V8 AWD units listed):

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/searchresults.jsp?num_records=&search_type=both&distance=200&address=48843&style_flag=1&make=CAD&model=STS&make2=&start_year=2005&end_year=2005&min_price=&max_price=&transmission=&engine=8+Cylinder&drive=All+wheel+drive&doors=&fuel=&max_mileage=&color=&keywords_display=&sort_type=priceDESC&body_code=0&certified=&advanced=y&default_sort=priceDESC&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=

You may want to look underneath and make sure it is AWD, because the price you have looks good for even a RWD V8.

Benjamin Simon
02-06-07, 08:58 PM
That is one concern of mine. I did a carfax on it and it said it was RWD. The salesman confirmed over and over it was AWD and that it had the STS4 badgeing. Honestly, I prefer RWD. But if it is RWD, I want $1000 off. The car is 400 miles away and I am going to need to purchase over the phone. Not to say if I thought there was something wrong with the car I would not leave, but I really don't wnat to go to that time and expense. Can carfax be wrong? Can I take the VIN to my local caddy dealer and confirm it is AWD?

BTW, the carfax said it was a lease from Boston purchased in late April.

AllWheelEric
02-06-07, 09:33 PM
Yes, Carfax can be wrong. They reported my AWD as RWD too. Depending on the photos available, you could also look for a lump in the passenger side front footwell. You'd have to study both the RWD and AWD to know what you're looking for. Then again, I'm sure they're right, based on the STS4 badge.

Yes, any dealer CAN confirm with the VIN using the service department's computer. I don't know if they WILL. But you can ask the dealer you're purchasing from to get a printout from the GM computer and send it to you. I think the computer system is called something like "Vehicle Inquiry System" but I've misplaced my printout.

Yes, we all wish you good luck!

Benjamin Simon
02-06-07, 10:57 PM
Front footwell eh? I am sure the dealer knows what he is talking about but i just makes up wonder...

william1034
02-09-07, 11:22 PM
Just say no. The STS is very unreliable. See my post in Wind noise & squeaking steering wheel.

Benjamin Simon
02-09-07, 11:42 PM
I appreciate the advice. With any car, one could get a lemon. I will request a service print out on the STS I purchase. That should give me an idea of if it is a "problem car".
On the average, Cadillac does well with reliability.
http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.asp?ID=2006133
Caddy is at the top.
I love the style of the STS. And for the price... Sure I would like a new 7 series or S class, but I think this is the next best thing, for the $.

c5 rv
02-10-07, 10:51 AM
I may be right behind you in getting one. That would make us a two Caddy family. Not as cool as Harry, though.

mocts
02-10-07, 11:28 AM
In Houston the 2005 V6 STS are about $30k. A V8 at $32k sounds like a great deal. You can buy a new Impala, but it won't cost too much less. Impalas are nice, but nothing close to the STS. I had a 2005 and just bought a 2006. I was considering trading down, but when I made the final decision, I bought another STS and am happy I did.
Greg

thats pretty expensive for an 05 v6. we bought our new 06 v6 base for only 29,950 with 1,500 gm card discount we used. all the dealerships were offering the same discounts of about 10 grand but we bought it from david taylor ( the worst caddy dealer in houston, horrendous service) because they were the only ones witha base one.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/06-4DR-LUXURY-CD-BOSE-ONSTAR-NAV-LEATHER-POWER-CRUISE_W0QQitemZ280077342600QQihZ018QQcategoryZ124 117QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

its not awd but does have 7478 miles and n* for buy it now of 32500 and no one has bid and the price now is 29500

good deal i think

Benjamin Simon
02-10-07, 08:54 PM
That is a good deal.

AWD is not really important, but the 1SG package is a must. I love the rims, bose, nav, and tuscany leather.

It looks like the 1SE.

It is hard to find a base STS. I have seen them on auto trader for mid to upper 20s. The Blackbook is $24K, at least here in Georgia. The blackbook for a 1SG AWD is $30K. The 1SG with AWD and ACC MSRPs for 25K more than the base, but when used, the ACV is only $6K more. It just goes to show that options depreciate at insane amounts. That is why I buy used :)