Look for a DP 5-7 years old with records of maintenance history. Big Bang for the buck.
Full time since '07
I also recommend picking a budget number to purchase, and then drop years to remain in budget, while buying the highest quality coach that meets your needs. Quality lasts, and usually a high quality used 5-10 year old coach, will still be a better quality unit the say a new lesser quality coach after 5 years of running.
Budget some funds to do catch up maintenance, if needed, and any cosmetic items inside that you may want to change over to something else. (TV's, trim materials, modify cabinets, etc.) A good quality coach, gives you a good foundation to build and modify into what the both of you may want.
The budget questions have been answered well. We basically budget $300 a month. This allows for normal yearly maintenance, and then the as mentioned other items that come over every 3-4 years. And also build a bit of a contigency fund for if something more unpleasant were to pop up. For example, we just had two things that popped up on this trip: 1) Cracked manifold ~$1250; 3) Two tires damaged from pot holes needed to be replaced ~$1300. So budgeting a bit more, and building up a 'contingency slush fund' for pop up's that will happen over the years, is something to consider.
I looked back at some numbers the other day, while hunting thru the receipts, and we have spent over $45K on making modifications to our coach, and adding equipment. (Solar Panels + Controller, Upgraded size/capacity Lifeline Batteries, Upgraded to PSW Magnum Inverter/Charger, Road King shocks, Motion Control Units, 4K LED TV-Oppo Blue Ray-Marantz Receiver-Matain Logan 14" ceiling speakers, 2 Recliners, Cellular and Wifi Boosters, Travler Dish, Automatic OTA, Buskote roof coating, front MCD like shades, brass interior trim changed over to satan chrome, first a Amish Cooling Unit on a Norcold 1200 and then a Samsung Residential fridge, many cabinet modifications, Hughes Autoformer, Centramatics on all axles, LED lighting changeover, Propane stubbed out inside for Heat Buddy usage, major maintenance of our QD8000 Generator (New radiator in this mix.), Galley backsplash makeover, etc., etc.) We bought the coach that we wanted, and knew we'd be customizing it to our likes and personalties. We've owned the coach now for over 5 years (Bought a few years earlier then we had planned before retirement, as it was a 'buyer's' market for awhile after the 2008 drop.) and plan to use it for another 10-15 years. So, the upfront costs, and more to come as we will be changing the darker color paints over to a lighter color, we look at as amortized over the we hope 15-20 years of usage. A good quality coach, well maintained, can do this for you. Unless you get your mind doing games, like - 'Should we liquidate some other assets, and go to a Prevost XL based Marathon?' (MUST STOP THIS THINKING, MUST STOP THIS THINKING...).
I shared that, and know of others that have sunk much more into modifications then we have, and yes into older good quality coaches. (Talked with a gent in Colorado Springs, with a non slide mid 90's Newell, that had just put in $125K + of upgrades and changes to this old rolling jewell of a coach.)
Suggest you keep looking at different coaches, determine gas vs DP, make a list of Must Have's and Nice to Have's, build a scoring sheet (We each had up to 5 items, that we could assign up to 5 points, vs the default of 1 point if an item was on a coach. (I wanted Side Radiator so 5 pts, she wanted a big galley so 5 pts.) Each of us scored the coaches we checked individually, then we merged the scores. It helps take out the emotions when hunting! Narrow your search down to manufacturers and models and years that you feel meet your needs the best - then go shopping. And be willing to both travel some, and have your funds ready to go, and take your times as you have not yet retired.
Or, if it is what the two of you want. Go order a new coach with the stuff that you want on it.... As, it is what is important to you two, and how you feel between new vs used, that matters
Best of luck to you. And just an observation, if you are three years away, and market corrections are making you nervous about investments and being able to retire. Take a solid good look at your asset allocations, as while they should have dipped some with this market correction, they should not have free called!!!!! (You may have been more joking then being serious, but in the retirement planning phase of life, and say with 5 years away of pulling the switch, you (and all) really want to be allocated in such away as not being overly impacted by these market swings.... Again, just an opinion
! And well intended.
Happy coach hunting,