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We're thinking of buying a minivan this year sometime. Baby #2 is coming in July. We might purchase before baby #2 arrives (for a less hassle buying experience for us), or towards the end of the year.

We don't have any car payments right now and it is sweet. I hate the idea of taking on car payments, but we feel a new-to-us minivan will be very beneficial, esp since the car it will replace is a 2 dr hatchback.
(Our other car is a 4 dr sedan.)

My parameters are:

Honda Odyssey EX-EXL (2002-2005) or Toyota Sienna LE-XLE (2004-2005)

Target price - $17,000 - $21,000ish (total, w/tax), I'm thinking of looking at cars up to $23,000ish to negotiate from.

I have a few color preferences, specifically no tan. Then I have other colors that are more favorable than others (show less dirt)

Prefer leather interior, but would compromise.

Miles -- I dont' know? I'm thinking we could go up to 60,000 miles, but we want to keep this van for a long time -- like 10 years -- so what would be the best target miles to look for? We probably would lean towards certified used and try to find something with a maintenance history that shows regular oil changes.

I'm going to wait at least until we get our tax refunds (at least $1,000 or more) to add to our down payment kitty. We will take a 60 month loan to get the lowest payments, but will plan to pay it off in 4 years max, hopefully 3 to 3.5 years -- funnelling extra cash towards the payoff.

Any suggestions to narrow our field? It's going to be at least another month or 2 before we shop, and we will have plenty of time to find a van that is the right one for us. We're not in a hurry, so we can be picky about finding something.

There seems to be quite a few used vans on the market right now.




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