We are going to be car shopping this spring.
I am not looking forward to it. I LOVE my Jeep Liberty and have had it for 8 years. It is a great vehicle, with one small problem- it is getting cramped! With three kids we feel like a third row is in order and my Liberty does not have that option.
The first hurdle is that according to Kelly Blue Book my Jeep is worth less than Jon and I had hoped. So we replan. The second hurdle is that we live in New England and I feel MUCH safer driving a vehicle with 4WD, which limits the possibilities. I am not a fan of minivans (not knocking them, just a personal opinion) but from my research they don't seem to have 4WD often so they aren't really an option right now.
We are definatly buying used. New is not an option with our budget. I would prefer not to take a loan, but with my Jeep being worth less than I had hoped it seems we will be. I have our budget and I know what we can afford. Now the problem becomes finding the just right vehicle.
This is why I am starting the search now, about 4 months before we plan to buy! I am working to add to our savings so we can take out as small a loan as possible, so cross your fingers, wish me luck and send me advice if you have some!