LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Jan Kalajian is excited. She just bought a 2019 Subaru Forester.
"It's zippy and I'm having fun with my new car!" Kalajian exclaimed.
To get here, she spend a year and a half planning and making changes in her budget.
"It's like anything, I had to do my homework. You've got to weigh and measure what's important to you and what your dollar is worth and how far it'll go," Kalajian said.
Gabriel Garcia, product specialist at Subaru, says the more homework you do, the less confused you'll be.
"Unfortunately, there are certain places that are not going to be as truthful as we'd like so it's always best to have all your ducks in a row before you walk in somewhere," Garcia said.
You have the internet at your fingertips, so before you step in to a real estate office or a dealership, you'll want to evaluate your budget, credit score, and what kind of interest rate to expect if you're financing.
Before you shop the car lot, shop around to see what kind of loans you may qualify for at your credit union, your bank, or car dealership. You may be able to use a pre-approval as a bargaining chip. If not, you'll know you have options.
"Wherever you're buying your car probably has the best rates available because they are incentivized to have a lower rate. Your local credit union doesn't do as many deals, so they probably can't get quite as good," Garcia says.
Knowing your budget limits should come before choosing your dream home or new car.
"A lot of times people have a specific vehicle they're looking for and then when you start asking questions about what they actually want to spend, the vehicle may not necessarily fir what that budget is," Garcia said.
It may sound like a lot of homework, but Kalajian says the reward was worth it.
Editor's note: Good With Money, sponsored by Subaru of Las Vegas and America First Credit Union, is part of the 13 Connects program. Our mission is to make a deep impact on the critical needs of the Las Vegas community, with the help of our partners.