I’ll walk for miles on the beach looking for shells. They’re amazing creations that used to be the home of an animal, and they are usually beautiful colors and shapes. I have several that, when I first saw them, they appeared perfect. But when I pulled them out of the sand, I found either a large hole or they were broken. They are still beautiful but not what I was picturing. Used cars can be like that. You drive by and then stop, lured by the beautiful (insert your favorite car color here) exterior. You look inside and the interior looks like new. The seller tells you that it was only driven on Saturdays to the grocery store and has never seen a winter. You love this car so you drive it around the block once, then purchase it. This can have two outcomes. The first one is: the car is in pristine condition mechanically and was a terrific purchase. The second is: You’re standing at the repair shop staring at an estimate for the totally unexpected needed repairs. You can avoid the second outcome by having a pre-purchase inspection. A technician performs an inspection of the vehicle looking for potential repairs and needed maintenance. It puts the buyer in the position of knowing what they are purchasing. Even if some repair or maintenance items are found, it puts you as the buyer in the driver’s seat. It’s fine to make a purchase based on emotion, but have the facts when you are negotiating the price. Follow your heart but take your brain with you.