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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I'm a first time thread starter, long time lurker. I am wondering if it is reasonable to hope that with the limited budget of a maximum $25k (in hand) anyone thinks it will be possible for me to find an '05-'06 Elise in Chrome Orange. I'm not particular about the exact options as I realize my budget limits the pool of available cars.

My guess is that such a car will probably be a 20,000+ mile example, hopefully well sorted. I consider myself a bit 'anal' about car care, but every high end car I have ever owned has been ridden hard but never put away wet. I'm looking for a no-excuses car, but not necessarily a concours queen.

Luckily I have the option of time as I live in the NorthEast and probably won't be able to use the car for several more months. Also, I can afford to wait as for the time being I don't see this economy getting much better and perhaps more cars will become available.

It seems eBay and the classifieds still are maintaining high asking prices, but the cars are not moving. Does the Elise I'm looking for exist yet, or should I come back and look again in a year?

Thanks everyone,

-Mike
 

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You wont find even an 05 at that price. And definitely not one that has good body condition. The economy is already at its worst point and you still will not find one at that price. The Lotus cars has already taken their hit on the price. Their value will slightly start to rise again after awhile but not lower. Someone else can chip in if they have a different opinion.
 

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It should be possible. The economy sucks, lots of people are selling their cars, Elises included.

Here, I did a quick search and I found a chrome orange for $27.8k, so you may be able to talk the seller down a little and come close to your budget. I bought my Elise on the east coast and shipped it to the west coast, so if you're not picky about distance, look all over.

Chrome Orange Elise
 

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do i think you can find an elise for 25k? yes
do i think you will be able to find a CO elise for 25k? probably
do i think you will be able to find a CO elise thats in perfect condition for 25k? unlikely

but never say never, keep searching and keep bargaining.

good luck
 

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Don't forget, after taxes and title you're looking at 30k for that elise above.

I do agree with the idea to buy it outright and not go into debt on a toy like this, so that's good. That said, having 25k cash on hand does give you flexibility for a small loan, if needed. If you don't want to do this (which I can understand), you definitely have the right idea of waiting
 

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As much as we all would like to think we have hit bottom of this economy that is not the case. If you are patient you will find what you seek. Unfortunately, many will have to flush some assets to stay afloat. Cash is and will remain "King".

Good luck and don't rush it.

On the otherhand go and drive one and you will sell your soul to get one at any price.rotflrotflrotflrotfl

Cheers..........Phil
 

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I'm also looking for a lotus. My target price is little higher then yours and for the right car maybe a lot higher. The state of the economy is one of the prime reasons I'm not in a hurry to purchase. Obviously no one knows for sure but I'm betting that depreciation has not bottomed out yet. I believe national unemployment rate will rise to close to 9-10% by Sept/Oct of this year. That will a great time to buy a lotus if you have cash in hand.
FYI, some people also speculate that by 2010-2011, we will have the start of some serious inflation. Just be patient and keep saving.


Here's one for $26.5
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f94/05-saffron-yellow-elise-la-26-500-a-62583/

Here's one for $26k buy it now from ebay and no one bought it. (Same car?)
eBay Motors: Lotus : Elise (item 270330584064 end time Jan-24-09 16:51:33 PST)
 

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...realistically, right now you can expect to pay about $27.5k finding the mid-mileage elise of your choice, give or take a couple thousand depending on the particular car and its circumstances of sale...if you limit yourself exclusively to lower-priced statistical outliers, the available selection is brutally limited and disappears off the market extremely quickly: you won't have the luxury of being picky about color, options, and condition...

...including transaction costs, no, a well-kept elise cannot be had for $25k, but you might take one home for $27-28k if you're very patient and very diligent in searching for and jumping upon on the right car immediately when it comes available...more realistically, you can expect to spend $30k and a perhaps few months finding the car of your choice, all done, and $32-33k for something more selective or immediate...
 

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Hello, I'm a first time thread starter, long time lurker. I am wondering if it is reasonable to hope that with the limited budget of a maximum $25k (in hand) anyone thinks it will be possible for me to find an '05-'06 Elise in Chrome Orange. I'm not particular about the exact options as I realize my budget limits the pool of available cars.
last summer 30k was the magical price point, yet most sellers wanted $33k
now that some desperate sellers are letting their cards go for $30k, people are holding out for $25k deals.
There are a few out there going for slightly less, but they do have high miles
So perhaps by summertime you might actually see a few higher miles (20k+) Elise's go for $25k.. maybe.

But honestly, save your money, as it may be worth it for you to spend a bit more money to get a low-miles Elise in better condition, in the CO that you want, rather than make sacrifices just to get into an Elise.
 

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If you have 25k cash in hand, why not put 10k down on the car, finance the rest, and keep the 15k in reserve for taxes, title etc, insurance, and incidental omgwtfhappened moments. You might find that with proper financing you can actually afford slightly more car (ie one in better condition, perhaps still under warranty).
 

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I'm in the same range as you, looking since late December in the LA market. Would guess you are in a better place looking right now (winter). We can drive these things all year here, so prices reflect that.

That said, $25k will get you a salvage repaired car. $26-$28 will get you 20k+ miles for good condition. $30-$31 will buy a nice '05.

Many sellers are in denial though, so you might have to go higher if you want one fast. Most listings are in the $32-37 range for '05s.

Best to wait...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone. I have allocated for taxes and transportation over and above my threshold of $25k. In the short time since I have posted, 2 different board members have sent me full specs on their cars (both less than 20,000 miles) and offered them to me at my price point although neither is CO. I guess with the economy in the toilet and these cars generally not being primary transportation, people are making deals.

To think that after only 3 or 4 years these cars have bottomed in depreciation and are on the way up is just contrary to reality. If you're invested in an older car maybe depreciation is something you are in denial about, but cars (most other assets too) reach a bottom usually many years down the road, and the last time I checked the current batch of Elise's have yet to achieve collector car status due to rarity or a dramatic change for the worse in the product.

These seem to be great cars, and I have no doubt that they will someday be highly desirable and therefore command a great price, but right now it's a buyers market. I do not wish to benefit from others misery, but these cars are not primary transportation, so none of us should be upset when we see that the market for them softens.

If you need $25,000 right now more than you need a Chrome Orange Elise, drop me a line. I certainly don't NEED an Elise, but I have cash, and if you need that, then maybe we can come to an arrangement.

My best wishes to everybody,

-Mike
 

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I saw a yellow one on Ebay with 1450 miles in Vermont sell for $26700 a few weeks ago. You may be able to get one with low miles - but it will be harder because there are less of them with your color specs.

Be sure to give the color thing a long, hard thought. I thought I wanted an orange one. I'm glad I got a black one though.

After buying mine, I don't want to sell it. Ever. If I do, I am buying a newer Lotus with a supercharger, some more tape, and some extra glue.

Good luck with your purchase.
 

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Don't forget, after taxes and title you're looking at 30k for that elise above.

I do agree with the idea to buy it outright and not go into debt on a toy like this, so that's good. That said, having 25k cash on hand does give you flexibility for a small loan, if needed. If you don't want to do this (which I can understand), you definitely have the right idea of waiting
Why not get a loan for a toy like this?

The way I see it, getting a loan has two benefits given that 1. You have enough money on hand to pay for it out right if something happens, 2. That you can get a good interest rate, and 3 that you're never "upside down" in the car.

The benefits of a loan (in this case good debt) can really help you out in the long run. I'm 21 and have a limited credit history. This car loan is establishing a good credit history for me and raising my credit score. This way, when I go to get another loan such as a mortgage I have a lower interest rate. The other benefit is that I can take the money that I would've paid for the car and invest it. All I have to do is beat my 5.5% interest rate in the market and I come out with more money than had I just paid for the car. Historically beating 5.5% in the market is not too difficult.

This way I don't have to "save" up for this large cash payment by putting money in a low yielding savings account every month and can instead invest it.
 

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I have also been a "lurking" member for months. I noticed the EbaY pricing also. Prices do seem to be dropping on sales, and there seems to be fewer completed auctions.
I have a question: would there be a risk in buying an Elise with 20,000 miles and only sketchy history of maintenace? Also, why did the previous writer caution against Chrome Orange? Is it the resale value or interest?
 

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I have a question: would there be a risk in buying an Elise with 20,000 miles and only sketchy history of maintenace?
Of course. There's a risk in buying ANY used vehicle.

That risk increases with mileage, lack of maintenance history, the fact that it's a fragile exotic that not many people are certified to work on, etc. etc.

As pointed out earlier this is a buyer's market why settle for anything less than exactly what you want and are comfortable with?

I think mike's idea is brilliant. Get your price out there and make buyers come to you... that way they're the ones making concessions on price, not you.
 

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Economy improving or not, as the cars get older, the prices will get lower. If you haven't found your $25K example within the next few months, you will soon enough.
 

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Thanks everyone. I have allocated for taxes and transportation over and above my threshold of $25k. In the short time since I have posted, 2 different board members have sent me full specs on their cars (both less than 20,000 miles) and offered them to me at my price point although neither is CO. I guess with the economy in the toilet and these cars generally not being primary transportation, people are making deals.

To think that after only 3 or 4 years these cars have bottomed in depreciation and are on the way up is just contrary to reality. If you're invested in an older car maybe depreciation is something you are in denial about, but cars (most other assets too) reach a bottom usually many years down the road, and the last time I checked the current batch of Elise's have yet to achieve collector car status due to rarity or a dramatic change for the worse in the product.

These seem to be great cars, and I have no doubt that they will someday be highly desirable and therefore command a great price, but right now it's a buyers market. I do not wish to benefit from others misery, but these cars are not primary transportation, so none of us should be upset when we see that the market for them softens.

If you need $25,000 right now more than you need a Chrome Orange Elise, drop me a line. I certainly don't NEED an Elise, but I have cash, and if you need that, then maybe we can come to an arrangement.

My best wishes to everybody,

-Mike
Well, you're half right.

It's NOT a buyer's market if the buyer has an inflexible price point and an almost inflexible desirability for color and/or options. There really are only so many cars out there. There are likley far less than 1000 CO cars in the country total (elise and exige), maybe even fewer than 500. Among them, you need to find a desperate seller willing to go with your price point. That may be why you've come up short so far.

Are they going to appreciate? No.

Will they depreciate further? Only on those cars the sellers MUST sell. Those of us who can hang onto our cars, well, won't part with them at price points such as yours.

You need to connect with a desperation seller. Your assessment of the market holds true only in that case. Is everybody with a Lotus desperate to sell? Hardly. That's what makes the frequent low ball buyers' lament "C'mon guys, don't you know your cars are depreciating??? I'm doing you a favor offering you $xxK!" interesting.
 
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