Does it matter what kind of vehicle you drive? - Posted by Doug

Posted by Rich on June 28, 2002 at 11:12:53:

To that end…keep the “average” vehicle for everyday use and for the “high end” clients or interviews rent a more appropriate vehicle. It will be a write off as an expense anyway but monthly payments aren’t an issue. Eventually, you’ll have the money to buy the nicer car anyway.

Does it matter what kind of vehicle you drive? - Posted by Doug

Posted by Doug on June 27, 2002 at 10:54:06:

I’ve done some REI and have a couple of properties but am wanting to get into this more, especially on the creative investing side.

I have an old pickup that I usually drive that I’m looking at replacing. Would greatly appreciate your thoughts on what I should replace it with. Here is my situation. I make good money with my day job (but I really want to get more into real estate to free up my time):

  • my heart wants a convertible (BMW or Mercedes),
  • my mind says get a pick-up, and
  • my soul says get a luxury sedan.

What would be best in terms of doing purchase options, flips and eventually rehabs?

Will a convertible or something too nice (i.e., a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW) help or hurt if I’m meeting with someone and trying to buy low, etc.?

In case it helps: yy other vehicle (that my wife usually drives) is an SUV that when needed I have a trailer I can use to for example bring things to a job site for a rehab.

Thanks much. This is a really important decision to me.


Re: Vehicle? - Posted by Doug

Posted by Doug on June 28, 2002 at 15:11:14:

Thanks to all of you for the great advice.

Lots to consider.


Obviously I prefer… - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on June 28, 2002 at 24:11:34:

Obviously I prefer two wheels to four.:slight_smile:
Frankly, I’ve driven a wide variety of vehicles over recent years.
And you know what?
Not once has it made a bit of difference as far as I could tell. I’ve had a VERY NICE corvette, an old beater work van, a middle of the road family car, and a whole host of others.
Right now, I drive an old work mini-van, and it is UGLY!
It is quite a few years old, and is marked up with my message all over it. (It runs GREAT, is completely paid for, and gets GREAT gas mileage.
It has magnet signs, and even a lit up old pizza sign on the roof saying that I buy houses and my phone number.
People see it and rubber neck it, then call me.

I also ride my harley to meet sellers, in all social classes.
Sometimes when someone is calling from an upper end area, or just sounds very conservative, I will say to them…“you know, it is rather nice outside today, would it offend you if I arrived for our meeting on my motorcycle? I could use a nice ride today.”
NOT ONCE has anyone said that it would be a problem.
I usually get comments from the sellers about how they like my bike, or know someone with one, and even the occasional seller who says, “I ride to, come on over to the garage and take a look at my scooter.”

I don’t beleive in dressing up or down, I just go prepared to solve the sellers problem, and do so with confidence.
This is what gets the deals done.

I’ve even gone to meet a seller on my bike, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt from a strip club I bounced at a few years ago.m The T-shirt DID get a comment, but…
I walked away with a signed agreement and a closing date for a few days later.

Bottom line, be confident in what you have to offer the sellers, and get the vehicle that suits your needs.

TRULY motivated sellers could care less about what you drive…or ride for that matter.

If you want another truck, get one.
Be yourself and you should be just fine.

Good luck and happy vehicle shopping,
Jim FL

Electric cars for the conscientious investor - Posted by Scott Shubert

Posted by Scott Shubert on June 27, 2002 at 23:24:53:

Pick-ups are great for rehabbers. For wholesaling, I think the Honda Civic or Volkswagen Beetle is a good choice. The Toyota Highlander lends itself well to lease-option investing. For buy and hold long term strategies I personally like the Toyota Sequoia although I feel somewhat alone in this opinion. Some seem to prefer the Mercedes Benz. In my immediate area, the most successful investor has a Dodge Ram and it seems to work well for him, but for me…

Go with your mind… - Posted by jim

Posted by jim on June 27, 2002 at 19:22:33:

for it is the most logical. Following your mind is also the best way to pick a wife.

Just be sure to keep whatever you drive clean and in good shape so that people will not question your finances.

Does it matter what kind of vehicle you drive? - Posted by GL(ON)

Posted by GL(ON) on June 27, 2002 at 18:57:41:

In the old days here in small town ville all the Cadillacs belonged to diner proprietors and small shopkeepers. The people with real dough drove Buicks and Chryslers.

One successful real estate agent explained that if he traded in his Buick Electra for a Cadillac it would cost him most of his credibility and a big chunk of his business, even though his Buick cost more than some Caddies.

It Don’t Matter!!! - Posted by DB

Posted by DB on June 27, 2002 at 16:02:09:

Remember, YOU are going over there to help this person out!!! What do they care what you drive, as long as you can solve their problem!!


Definately… - Posted by Steve D

Posted by Steve D on June 27, 2002 at 15:24:23:

Turn up to look at a $100k property in a new Porsche, and they won’t go down on price (because you can clearly afford it).

Turn up to look at a $500k house in a old pickup truck, and they won’t open the door because they think you can’t afford it.

Perception is everything… I own a couple of IT companies, I’m early thrities (look slightly younger, still get ID’d at certain bars), long hair, always wear jeans - when I’m looking for clients/partners/recruiting people etc., I turn up in a Porsche - it contridicts the way I look, but it demonstrates there is success behind me and helps establish credibility. Same when I’m dealing with banks, I’ve even had the loan officers come out and look at the car. When I’m looking at houses or making a major purchase, I use my pickup truck.

The vehicle is a negociating “prop” - if you want to give the impression of success/you really know what you are doing, and the situation calls for that, a high end car can help if used in the right way. As can a cheap vehicle when you don’t want to set that impression.

If your looking for investors, partners, meeting bankers, the nicer car can help (providing your not giving a banker a credit app showing just how high those monthly payments are).

If you have a motivated seller, and you have your funding sorted out, you can use the expensive car as a prop if you go in and can make the deal happen immediately - solve their problems approach - sign here today and you’ll get your money on xxxxx - this offers only good until 5:00pm.

If your in a long negociation trying to get the price down - the “I really want this property, but it’s just out of my price range” the old vehicle is a better prop.

If used correctly, your choice of vehicle can help, or hinder… it’s all part of what your selling and how you’re trying to sell it.

Now the other consideration, is if you can afford to spend say $40k on a car, would you be better spending $20k and investing $20k - will buying the expensive car now hinder your path to financial freedom? Or is the desire for the car strong enough to warrant delaying that financial freedom a couple of years? I love cars and motorbikes, and own several of each, but I battle with the decision to buy/sell a vehicle every single time (always want to buy but could the money be used better elsewhere, and never want to sell). You have to balance your financial goals with actually enjoying your life on the journey to those goals…

Cars or houses? - Posted by Bill

Posted by Bill on June 27, 2002 at 13:56:54:

I think image is very important when you’re approaching sellers. If you show up in a flashy hi end car, they’re going to think you have money to burn and will pressure you for more.
Also, if you show up in a rustbucket, they will think you don’t have enough to close the deal.
I have wresteled with the same decisions, and I finally made my decision that works for me.
I now only buy nice vehicles that are about 10-12 years old for cash. I look for either low mileage vehicles or ones that have had very good care. Here’s two examples:

  1. I bought a 1984 Cadillac in 1994 for $4500. It was owned by a doctor and had 54000 miles on it. It was in perfect shape. It lasted until 1998, when I sold it for $500. Total repairs during ownership time were about $900. It had 138,000 on it when I sold.
  2. In 1998, I bought a 1988 Chevy S-10 pickup for $2200. It had 93,000 miles and was owned by a factory worker. I am still driving it today. It has 130,000 on it and still works fine. I will be selling it around the end of the summer, probably for about $700. Total repairs during ownership is about $500.
    Friends of mine have purchased new SUV’s, vans, regular cars, etc during this time. Their repairs were minimal, BUT they all have payments of $350 a month MINIMUM for 3 to 6 YEARS, and some have much higher payments.
    I took the $350 a month, or $12,000 to $25,000 total that would have been cash out of pocket and used it to buy more properties.
    Now, after 6 years, they have a vehicle that is almost worn out. I have several more houses that provide cash flow.
    My car runs just fine, and I just smile when I look at the fading paint. I can always get a paint job down at MAACO for $299 if I want one.
    I try to average about $1000-$1500 per year for car expenses, not counting gas, total.
    I am currently looking at a 1986 Chev. Suburban, being sold by my local mechanic for $6500. A diesel. 21 mpg. It has a brand new engine and transmission installed by the mechanic within the past 6 months, with a 60,000 mile guarantee on them. Very nice vehicle.
    Unless you’re independently wealthy and have enough passive cash flow to cover ALL your expenses for your family, I’d recommend moderation on the cars and more money put towards getting more houses and cash flow.
    Good luck,

Driving billboard - Posted by Hank

Posted by Hank on June 27, 2002 at 13:49:12:

Consider driving what the phone co, cable co., HVAC, and plumbers amoung others use - a cargo van.

Mine has “Hank Buys Houses” all over it.

It won’t offend people weary of sharks or come off as low-brow to the snotty types. It just means business.

Plus I can cary lots of stuff if I need to.

P.S. In the nicer neighborhoods though, I won’t park right in front of the house. I’ll park two houses down.
Wealthy people may not want their neighbors knowing that they’re talking to a real estate opportunist.

PPS I use magnetic signs. They look good and they are cheaper. I can also take them off when I might need to, i.e. when I’m parked at a topless joint or If I want to come off as anybody but an investor when inspecting a house. … So scr*w the Benz, get a van, and get a 57 Corvette for fun.

Re: Does it matter what kind of vehicle you - Posted by mp

Posted by mp on June 27, 2002 at 11:07:39:

image definately matters - it depends on the crowd you are trying to do business with. That benz is probably the right car if you’re dealing with people that typically drive them - otherwise I’d stick to something less flashy.


Motor Moderation - Posted by Janice

Posted by Janice on June 27, 2002 at 11:02:53:

I think it is definately NOT a good idea to show up at a potential seller’s hoouse in a fancy car.

If I were in there shoest, I would be thinking “What a sharpie, tooling around in some poor saps equity, won’t let that sap be me, I better watch out.”