When Opportunity Knocks EarlyI want to tell you a story about what happened to me recently.  I decided to split it up into two parts, so that it wasn’t an extremely long post.  It is all about an opportunity that came knocking, but just a little earlier than I expected.  I hope you enjoy it and once you get through both parts, I really want your feedback on the opportunity and what you would do.  Without further ado….

The Background

For those of you that have not followed DR for some time should know that I am a DIY enthusiast.  I especially enjoy working on vehicles. Not just any vehicles though. I am a fan of Jeeps.  I find them extremely easy to work on and they really help me hone my skills around the engine compartment.  For the past four years, I have had a Jeep in my garage.  I started out with a yellow Jeep that I paid way too much for.  It was stupid on my part, but that is behind me know.  For the past two years, I have had a fixer upper in the garage.  I got it when it didn’t run at all.  I paid very little for it and was able to get it running for less than $500.

I enjoyed working on the Jeep. It gave me a time to get away from the normal work life, but after my son was born 8 months ago, I didn’t work on it as much.  I really enjoyed driving it, but it was difficult because it still needed a good amount of work.  I have had a dedicated savings account just for my Jeep purchases, but there was a lot to be done to get it where I wanted it.

I decided to do a cost analysis on what I had and where I wanted to go with my Jeep.  Though I bought it for cheap, no matter what I did to it, it would have cost me a lot to enhance its safety.  It was a 1990 that needed a good amount of TLC.  I could have put the best of the best on it, but the frame was just old.  It would not have been cost effective to put thousands of dollars worth of upgrades onto a aging frame.  It is what it is.

After digging around and researching for a few months, I decided to put my project Jeep up for sale.  My decision was based on my ability to get a newer Jeep (like 1997 to 2003) with a better frame and body and then work up from there.  Yes it would have cost me more to buy a newer Jeep, but throwing a large amount of upgrades onto a better built frame is always wise.  I put my Jeep up on Craigslist last week and it sold in less than two days.  Have I told you how easy it is to sell Jeeps in North Carolina? 🙂

The Opportunity

I had planned to not have a Jeep for a few months. I wanted to take some time to look for the right one and get a good deal. I was in no rush.  I certainly didn’t want to make a brash decision like I did on my first Jeep and then regret it later.

My wife threw me a surprise birthday party last weekend and she invited quite a few people.  One was my brother.  I see him a couple of times a year and we usually go out to the mountains and go four-wheeling for a long weekend.  It is always a good time.  My brother is a mechanic and a very good one at that.  He also has a Jeep Wrangler that is completely built up.  His Jeep has all of the bells and whistles.  My aspirations were to build up a Jeep just like his.  The man knows what he is doing, especially with Jeeps.


Come to find out, my brother just put his Jeep up for sale the day prior.  He was selling his baby.  He had the Jeep for 7 years and it was well taken care of.  I asked him why he was selling it and he told me that he wanted to get one of the four door Jeep Wranglers in order to carry his growing family.  It made sense.  You can’t carry 5 people in a regular Jeep Wrangler.

I asked him how much he was selling it for and he gave me the number.  Since there was a party going on, I didn’t think about it much.  That was until the next day.

My brother’s Jeep is nice.  It is a year that I wanted for my new one, but it was already done.  It had everything I wanted to put on my Jeep.  I starting thinking about buying his.

I talked with my wife and got her opinion.  She told me to go for it.  So, on Monday, I offered to buy it from him and he accepted.  He even dropped the price since I am his brother.  Yep, I am buying another Jeep!

When Opportunity Knocks Early

I wasn’t really prepared to be buying a Jeep so early.  My plan was to keep my eye open for a few months and see what comes up.  Well, my brother’s Jeep is exactly what I am looking for.  The best part is that it is already done.  I don’t have to do anything to it.  I can make some minor changes, but nothing that is too expensive.

Since I am a planner at heart, this decision kind of threw me off a little, but it also got me thinking.  This was an opportunity that I would have been dumb to pass up.  The price was right and this  purchase will actually save me about $6,000 over the course of the years.  I won’t have to buy all of the upgrades that I would if I bought a stock Jeep and built it up on my own.  I have to look over the course of owning the vehicle in order to see the savings, but that is something that I have been trying to do lately.  I want to stop looking at the right now and look into the future.

I am usually one that would pass up this opportunity.  I would make excuses to show that I wasn’t ready for it.  Months down the road, I would regret not taking the opportunity.  You always hear that you should take opportunities when they come.  What about when they come incredibly early?  Before I started this blog, I would have said pass it up.  Now, I say:


I don’t want to always regret not taking chances or jumping at the opportunities that come to me.  Yes, I still have to calculate the opportunity cost, and I certainly did that here.  I jumped at this opportunity because I didn’t want it passing me by.  Now that I look at it, I am happy that I have done it.  I will be picking up my new Jeep in a week from now.  I will get to drive it in prime Fall weather.  Nothing better than driving a Jeep in the Fall!

Oh yeah, I forgot one thing.  Do you want to know how I paid for it?

I am paying for the Jeep with a USED CAR LOAN! :0

Stay tuned for part two to find out why!! (don’t hate me until I explain myself in the next part.  You will probably understand why)

Image courtesy of graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  1. Good for you! I am also a big planner, almost to an extreme, so things like this would definitely throw me for a loop. I want to be spontaneous as well so I do my best to make sure I don’t close doors on opportunities simply because it doesn’t fit in my plan.

  2. Good for you Grayson! There are times when the opportunity is just too good to pass up. I can relate as I likely would not have done something like that prior to starting the blog, but now, I would be all over it.

  3. I love the message about taking an opportunity when it comes up. Life can’t always go as planned and one of the great things about building a strong financial base is that you actually CAN take advantage of things like this.

    Out of curiosity, it seemed to me like part of the fun for you was the process of fixing it up, which you’re clearly not getting here. Was that a factor at all in the decision?

    1. Thanks Matt!

      All the parts of owning a Jeep are fun to me. Driving it, going offroad, and working on it. Yes, I won’t be able to work on it as much, but it is a Jeep. Things always need to be fixed on it.

  4. Sounds like an excellent opportunity. As long as you’re not too disappointed in not doing the work yourself it seems like a win-win for everyone involved. Enjoy the new car!

    1. I am not worried about not doing the work myself. There are things that I can change and customize and as the car ages, things will have to be fixed.

  5. It’s hard to learn to jump on a good opportunity when it’s unexpected when you’re a planner by nature! I’m the same way – I like to plot my course carefully, but of course sometimes life just doesn’t work out that way. Congratulations on your new purchase. Looking forward to reading your part II!

  6. I dunno, sounds pretty prepared to me…. 🙂

    That’s the nice thing about being a planner. Even when you’re surprised, you still have a plan.

  7. Grayson, happy belated birthday! I think you totally did the right thing. This purchase will allow you to have a Jeep you’re happy with, have the work already done so that you can focus on your family and on enjoying the Jeep, plus, you know where it came from and how it’s been treated- BONUS! Way to go, Grayson.

  8. I don’t think that anybody should paint everybody with any type of loan with the same brush. Sometimes, you make more money if you have your money accruing interest, than incurring it. And that’s okay. Loans aren’t evil, the abuse of them is.

    1. I agree with you here Daisy. There are many that think you shouldn’t borrow money at all. I think you can do it in ways where it only works in your favor.

  9. It’s a project you enjoy that is reasonable. When opportunity avails itself you definitely gotta take it.

  10. I think one of the worst things that can hang in your head is the thought that you had an opportunity before but did not take it. Been there myself.

    Anyway, I can’t wait for part 2! Shared it on G+!

  11. Sure, planning is usually best, but sometimes when that opportunities come along you have to weigh up the benefits of jumping on them vs letting them pass by until you are ready. So long as you think it all through it is ok to deviate from the plan. I’ll look forward to the next installment.