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3:37 pm EDT        92°F (33°C) in Dearborn, MI

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In case you haven’t already heard, I did it on Thursday. My old Saturn now belongs to Brown Hyundai in Toledo, OH, and I now own a 2007 Hyundai Sonata SE purchased from them. I couldn’t really get the deal I was hoping for on the negotiation end, but I did manage to screw the bank somewhat on the financing end; I got the dealer to remove some “extended warranty” that the bank apparently wanted to force on me because of my credit history. By removing that nearly $1,800 unnecessary addition to the loan, I cut my monthly payment from the $380-something range to $349. (Since Hyundai’s bumper-to-bumper warranty on that car is five years/60,000 miles (96,561 km), and my loan is five years, why the fuck do I need the warranty extended?)

They gave me a choice, basically: don’t ask for much more than $250 off the sticker price, or we’ll knock your trade-in down by $500. Supposedly, they claimed they could only do $1,000 on the Saturn if I asked for any more off the MSRP, and I suppose there’s a bit of validity to that when you keep in mind that every other dealer appraised that Saturn at $1,000; the additional $500 for that was claimed to be an enticement to do the deal. I wasn’t thrilled with the deal, and was definitely thinking about walking away from it, until their finance manager agreed to ditch the extended warranty — that helped a lot, by cutting almost $40 off the monthly payment.

I actually have the car into the shop today to fix a few issues I’ve noticed in the first four days of ownership. The most pressing issue is a switch that tells the alarm system when the hood is open; for some reason, it seems to be incredibly hyperactive, setting off the alarm randomly. I’m getting that fixed, having the parking brake adjustment checked (it seems a bit loose), and having the A/C refrigerant charge checked (it did at best a middling job of keeping up with yesterday’s 95°F (35°C) heat). Also, I’m having them activate an option to automatically lock the car doors once I first exceed 20 km/h (12 mph); this is available but deactivated from the factory, and a dealer must hook up their scan tool to activate it.

One of the places I drove the car yesterday was an apartment complex in South Rockwood, MI, just across the Monroe County line. This would be literally a 10-minute all-freeway drive from where I should be starting work fairly soon, and I wanted to tour a unit and ask some questions. I’m not exactly comfortable with the nearly $900 monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit (they’re out of one-bedrooms at the moment); but you do get a ton for $900, including all kinds of in-unit storage, in-unit washers and dryers included, private entryways, and vaulted ceilings. I think I’ll check out a couple places in Monroe, 10 miles (16 km) farther south, tomorrow; these other places are cheaper, but probably not quite as nice.

Well, the plan of attack looks like moving into a new place later this week or this weekend, and then returning my current company’s truck to Columbus, OH on July 17. After that, the new job should start.