Re: Need advice... which jeep to keep?
I guess one of the big questions you have to ask yourself is are you happy with your Jeep. Yes, it is WAY cool. But will you be happy just wheelin it and doing repairs/upgrades to it or will you be happier with a "new" project. Let's face it, if you keep hers you're gonna build it. Not just a 44 under the front, but a serious build up. I know it and you know it, you just won't be able to control yourself despite all those years of military discipline [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]. (They do have military discipline in the "Wing" don't they? [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img])
If you are going to be happier with a new project, the choice is clear. Sell yours. If you would rather keep yours (that would be my choice) the water starts to get a little muddy.
If I recall correctly, you have 2 TJ's and one old Ford truck. Her TJ is an acceptable commuter, yours is not, and the Ford may have "issues" in CA. As a 77 the smog situation for the Ford may not be as bad as you think, if it is a 3/4 ton getting it through with a clean bill will be even easier. (All assuming you wish to register them in CA.)
How reliable is the Ford? Would you feel comfortable driving it every day and using it as a tow rig? I am assuming that you are not since it is not mentioned here. If you are not comfortable with the Ford, sell it in NC. It will sell easier there than it will here and you will probably get a little more for it.
Here in So Cal used 3/4 ton trucks are fairly cheap. Used 3/4 ton standard cab trucks are dirt cheap. I sold my 94 Dodge 3/4 (loaded SLT, 360, auto, 2wd, standard cab) in "very good" condition for $6000 last year. That was all I could get out of it. I happen to know a guy who may let a 95 Dodge 3/4 2wd Cummins truck go for under $10K. So a tow rig may not be out of the question even if you keep both Jeeps.
That last bit you threw in is the most important bit though. BUY A HOUSE. If you are going to be here for 3-4 years and you will not be in base housing you have to buy. Rents out here are as high as a mortgage, so you ain't gonna save a dime renting. If you buy a home out here with a 15 year fixed in 3-4 years you will have a good bit of equity in the house (only go to a 20 year fixed at the most and then only if absolutly neccessary to swing the payment). You can get No Down or Low Down 15's for around 6-7% right now, maybe a bit less. To get the best rates (low 5's) you need 20% down, but good rates can be had for Non conventional loans. You'll be paying a bit for PMI, but only for the 3-4 years until you move so don't even worry about it. By then you should have enough equity to put a sizeable down payment on a home wherever you chose to "settle down".
Buying a home is in the best financial interests of your family. Make sure that happens first, then figure out the rest.
And NO I am not a Realtor! (that is what you were thinking, right? [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img])