We’re not “stay out of debt” and “pay cash only” fanatics. It’s just that there can be good reasons for paying with cash instead of getting a loan, and we’ve had those good reasons. Yet when we have paid for our cars with cash, both times have been horrible and draining experiences. Lately, we have been trying to buy a cheaper home with cash, and that also has been an exceedingly stressful experience. “Cash is King,” right? So what’s the problem?
As far as I can tell, those buyers with lots of cash and the know-how to flaunt it, don’t have the same problems. When we were trying to purchase a condo in Orange County, California, a few years back, we could never do it because – as our agent told us – too many Chinese investors were here buying things up quickly with cash. In very short order, real estate prices rose and we were shut out of the market. (Why our own governments allows this . . . well, they allow it for the obvious reason that they prefer the influx of money over the the interests of its citizens and communities.)
This is what happened to us when we bought cars with cash. We didn’t buy either one from an owner, and I’m pretty sure buying from an owner would be much easier with cash. Anyway, we bought a used car from a dealership. It took FOREVER. They did a credit check, even though we weren’t paying with credit, and I believe they did a type of check that can be detrimental to one’s credit (I found out later). In any case, we ended up leaving with the car, having paid for it with a personal check. I thought they’d have one of those electronic check scanners and it would all be no problem; I was very wrong. Based on our experience, perhaps a call to the dealer ahead of time–asking what you can do to make the whole transaction easier and less time-consuming–might be helpful if you want to pay with cash.