The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Hybrid Shopping

Yesterday we got our taxes done. I know, I know, we waited a little long. The guy who did our taxes actually said, “If you waited until April 7th to do your taxes, you’re not expecting a refund.” So yes, we weren’t expecting a refund. As a real estate agent, I’m essentially an independent contractor and they don’t take taxes out of my paycheck, so I had a bunch of money in savings earmarked for what I was sure would be a large payment to the IRS. Awesomely, however, because Jason was having the maximum amount of taxes deducted from his paycheck and we have all kinds of kid and mortgage interest deductions, not only did we not owe anything, we got money back! It was definitely a more pleasant experience than I was expecting.

Anyway, not because of this windfall, but you could say, assisted by it, we are going shopping today! And not just any shopping, car shopping for me! I currently drive a 1999 Toyota Corolla, which was a gift from my parents and has been a fabulous little worker horse with minimal problems. However, with our two cute little ‘dependents’ in the back seat, there’s not a lot of room or comfort to cart around my real estate gear, and it makes it tough to show houses. So we have been planning for awhile to get me a new car this year; now, it’s just a touch more comfortable of a purchase.

So here’s what I’m test driving today:

The Toyota Hybrid Highlander

highlander.jpg

and The Mercury Mariner Hybrid

mariner.jpg

I knew I needed something larger and have been tossing around the idea of a minivan (which got a thumbs down from Jason) or some sort of an SUV. Last year when they started coming out with the hybrid SUVs it really got my attention. I have always love the concept of a hybrid car. I am absolutely behind the technology for both the money on gas it will save me and the good it does for our planet in general. So when we started getting serious about the idea of a new car, I did my research and decided this is definitely the way to go. Over all, I feel like it’s important for me as a consumer to do my part to support this decision by the automakers to develop the hybrid technology. If we buy them, they will come. And eventually they will make them even better and more fuel efficient. This is the way of the future and I want to be on board.

There are actually four Hybrid SUVs currently on the market. The other two are the Lexus RX 400h and the Ford Escape. I have ruled them out because the Lexus is a good $15K more than the rest and the Ford is very similar but not as nice as the Mariner. So today I’m going to test them out. I’ll let you know how it goes…

One Response to Hybrid Shopping

  1. You get a nice tax break for the hybrids too don’t you?? I know you do here in Cali.. you should look into that. Can’t wait to find out what you decide on! I have a friend who has a new Ford Escape but I don’t think they are as big as the other two you’re testing. You’ll probably end up loving the Toyota.. If you want a comparison from Consumer Reports on the vehicles you’re looking at, let me know!

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