Friday, December 12, 2008

Buying the Baby Bus -- An Epic Tale Part 2

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled drama. Today on Miles and Miles of Diapers, Dave the Amazing WonderDad continues his harrowing tale of what we went through in securing a baby bus:

Dave and his best friend John Wayne

Step 2: Forecloses are good times for deals We were in San Francisco and we get this email about a dude who has 3 Sprinter vans for sale. His business is going into bankruptcy and these vans are going to be repossessed. Well we already knew we wanted to outfit a Sprinter and we knew a company in Austin that could do it for us. I emailed and called and the guy (Let’s call him Bob) and he, emailed back and said that yes, indeed, he wanted to get rid of the vans and he had to do so within 20 days. They were gently used and had some custom work done on them already. Electrical wiring, carpet. We figured this would be perfect. We could get the vehicle at a bargain basement price, fix it up in Austin and be all set. All we had to do was get financing from our bank, fly up to Ft. Collins, buy the van and drive it home. Simple.

Well it is never that simple, is it? Banks have their rules and one of those rules is that the Dodge Sprinter is a commercial vehicle.

“We are not buying this for a business,” we explained. “We are going to use this van to drive to work, wherever that may be.”
“Denied,” said the bank. “This is a commercial vehicle.”
“This is so lame,” we replied (to ourselves).

Whereupon we went to the business division of the same bank and once again explained our situation.

“We want to take the van and convert it,” we explained.
“I totally get it,” said the very nice guy from the bank “and this shouldn’t be a problem. Give us the info on the van and we’ll get back to you.”

Great. Now time has been ticking and “Bob” said he needed to sell within a week. That didn’t leave us much time. We had already purchased some pricey plane tickets up to Ft. Collins and we were planning on getting up there and doing the deal in an hour after we landed. This would involve money transfers and some interstate mumbo-jumbo. Oh yeah. We needed to pay for an appraisal. So we’re coming down to the wire and we get the approval back….for about half of what “Bob” wanted for the van. I gave him the bad news but left the door open for negotiation. He quickly shut that door. Three weeks of emails, phone calls and bank visits and the deal was over. On to Step 3.

More tomorrow...

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