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Old 07-08-2021, 10:37 AM   #11
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Interest rates are low and home values are going nuts...but that assumes you own a home. If you're debt averse just buy it one piece at a time. $10k for the van. $15k for the 4x4 conversion. $7-15k for a high or pop top. Interior build...sky's the limit.
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Old 07-08-2021, 10:50 AM   #12
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My guess is that most of these van owners fall into one of several categories:

1. Older people who have paid off their house and college loans and have ver little debt besides the van (that would be me)
2. People who make really good money ( aka over 250k a year in a place e that is much cheaper than NYC or Seattle, or San Francisco)
3. People who live in their van or use it for work related travel ( aka tour leaders, nature photographers or remote work that allows them to live in the van).

Very few of these people would be under forty with three kids and a 3000 sq foot house with a 200k mortgage ( unless they make really good money).

People make choices about where to put their money. I teach, don’t make much money, but have lived within my means in a 1500 sq foot house with a 15 year mortgage and had no children. Every car I have owned was bought used with cash for under 15k until I bought a new Sprinter RV. Many people go into significant debt getting their dream house and dream car at young ages and then dreams change and they can’t afford to realize new ones.

If you have a goal, you need to prioritize and exercise financial discipline. I was 53 when I got my sprinter, but it was my first new vehicle and had paid off my house and rejected the trend of undertaking many fancy remodels to kitchens and baths.
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Old 07-08-2021, 10:53 AM   #13
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The new vans are simply not obtainable by the vast majority of people - a very small percentage of the population. Probably smaller than one might imagine.
I bought a used van and am fixing it up with elbow grease and sweat equity. I didn't want to spend 10's of thousands of dollars on a road vehicle (just another one of millions). Doing that would really bug me - the "value" is just not there.
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:06 AM   #14
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Deferred gratification rocks. My plan has always been to work hard, invest well, live below my means, and save/save/save until my goals were reached. Always paid cash for all my vehicles and boats, old and new.
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:15 AM   #15
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The new vans are simply not obtainable by the vast majority of people - a very small percentage of the population. Probably smaller than one might imagine.
I bought a used van and am fixing it up with elbow grease and sweat equity. I didn't want to spend 10's of thousands of dollars on a road vehicle (just another one of millions). Doing that would really bug me - the "value" is just not there.
That might be relative. I see TONS of sprinters and new camper vans out here. Hard to say how many are rentals, but the majority appear to be privately owned.
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:23 AM   #16
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Deferred gratification rocks. My plan has always been to work hard, invest well, live below my means, and save/save/save until my goals were reached. Always paid cash for all my vehicles and boats, old and new.
This is one of the fundamental differences between the BB generation and the changes started by the X-generation. The BB community were taught the mantra you espouse but once the confiscatory economics became apparent to the X and subsequent generations, the need for immediate gratification of ownership and now experience (millennial and thereafter) began to take root.

One has to sympathize if not empathize because thanks to the Internet and the increased concentrations of wealth in the hands of fewer people but in more geographies, these later generations are getting a sense that neither the ability to own or experience will be available to them by following the BB philosophy. Specifically the Internet constantly glorifies, if not deifies the accumulation of wealth for private consumption in the form of homes (the size of hotels), private planes and yachts (that are effectively air and seaborne palaces) and the other accoutrements of extreme wealth that used to be largely hidden from the public.

So these kids grow up either yearning to own and much more so today, wanting to experience the effects of this wealth. What that may mean for the future value of everything from private 747s to Sportsmobiles remains to be seen as we know that the proportion of millennials that even own a private vehicle is the lowest since the 1940s.
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:26 AM   #17
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That might be relative. I see TONS of sprinters and new camper vans out here. Hard to say how many are rentals, but the majority appear to be privately owned.
You are interested in them, so you take notice of them, and see more than the average person sees. The actual numbers, relative to the population at large, is infinitesimal. So you are absolutely correct - it is all relative.
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:33 AM   #18
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This is one of the fundamental differences between the BB generation and the changes started by the X-generation. The BB community were taught the mantra you espouse but once the confiscatory economics became apparent to the X and subsequent generations, the need for immediate gratification of ownership and now experience (millennial and thereafter) began to take root.
The millennials are "the third generation". Not an enviable place to be. But to be fair, it's not their fault - it's their fate.
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:39 AM   #19
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…the need for immediate gratification of ownership and now experience (millennial and thereafter) began to take root.

One has to sympathize if not empathize because thanks to the Internet and the increased concentrations of wealth in the hands of fewer people but in more geographies, these later generations are getting a sense that neither the ability to own or experience will be available to them by following the BB philosophy. Specifically the Internet constantly glorifies, if not deifies the accumulation of wealth for private consumption in the form of homes (the size of hotels), private planes and yachts (that are effectively air and seaborne palaces) and the other accoutrements of extreme wealth that used to be largely hidden from the public.



This is true is so many respects but also rests on a few assumptions:
1. That needs and wants are the same
2. That people should believe marketing hype
3. That it’s insufferable to wait for thing's

All of these are a result of advertising designed to get everyone to want everything now so a few folks can get super rich. And of course, that’s not in the best interests of the rest of us, but the failure to have it all makes many feel like failures when in reality, they are simply slowly arriving.

TBH, I would also put some blame on boomers who as a generation (generalizing here) did well but also generally saddled their children with student loan debt while they upgraded their own lifestyles. My parents )both teachers), put us thru college but didn’t get their dream kitchen until age 60! Generational priorities, as well as tax policies, have a huge impact on these things. We cut taxes for the wealthy and business, which Increased college costs, and we built and bought huge houses such that entry level housing is unaffordable. And don’t get me started on the shift to service economy from mfg economy and the loss of unions.
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Old 07-08-2021, 11:57 AM   #20
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I'm gonna write a hypothetical scenario that is going to piss off a few people who still think cash is how people pay for things

So with real estate inflation going bonkers this is a plan that actually works to get a new van for cheap.

1. Buy a house in a hot market for $400k
2. Get a home equity loan on that house for $150k at say 5%
3. Use that HELOC to buy a Revel at $145k
4. Use and drive that van for say 3 to 5 years and maybe put 40,000 miles on it. Pay the HELOC interest payments only. That's $18k
5. Sell that Revel for $135k or maybe more. Pay off the HELOC.
6. Meanwhile in those 3 to 5 years your home value has gone up to $600k.
7. Repeat process with another new van this time something even nicer than the Revel which now has a MSRP of $200k

Lol

Why pay cash when you can just play with funny money? You could skip the HELOC and just get the Revel on a 20 year payment plan. Same thing use your home's value to pay off the loan when you sell it. You can get a loan off your 401k as well.

BTW we are seeing this over and over with California people selling their real estate and moving somewhere cheaper and they have $200k cash to drop on a van easily.

All this playing with funny money improves your credit score so again why pay cash?

When the economy crashes and the banks fold again they will get bailed out so they don't care if you are a risk. They will give you funny money if you have collateral.

So yeah make sure you have a house in a hot market. The banks will give you loans so easily now you just have to find the right van for you.
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