Buy it. Buy it. Buy it. . .

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Sundancer, Nov 3, 2022.

  1. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Looking fixed gear single, mid-time engine, relatively modern WAAS GPS and some kind of autopilot. There ARE a bunch out there, plus or minus a bit around my $100K budget.

    But damn! My 401K is in the tank and inflation is likely 3-4% higher than the official numbers. Is the economy giving any of you folks pause on buying? Do you have expectations prices will come down over the next few months? I'd like to pull the trigger early in the new year. . .

    Thing is, I'm in a club now with a decent IFR Cherokee with good availability and low hourly cost. My bucket list is buy a plane on the left coast or the
    SW somewhere and fly it home to coastal NC.

    My good angel says "Stick with the club, wait out the economy woes". Bad angel says "Dude, you're retired! Do it now while you're healthy - it's only money"!
     
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  2. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "Thing is, I'm in a club now with a decent IFR Cherokee with good availability and low hourly cost."

    um, having owned a Cherokee and also been part of a club, your situation sounds pretty good. Owning your airplane all alone is great in a lot of ways, but your club situation sounds like it would be hard to beat.

    I guess I'm siding with your "good angel"
     
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  3. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Is the club interested in a leaseback?
     
  4. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    Do you want to go on trips? Clubs work great especially if they have more than one airplane. When it comes time to mx and annual, owning your own airplane, the plane spends some down time. That’s not always fun. Club planes are typically maintained and ready to go.
     
  5. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Probably not yet, just 12 members and fairly low usage.
     
  6. Kitch

    Kitch Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm in the buy it category. I'm just over 1 year into ownership and haven't regretted it for a minute.
    Was my 1st annual more money than expected... yes
    Is insurance expensive... yes
    Does it burn a ton of gas.... yup (gotta expect it when you basically fly a suburban)

    The freedom to go when I want where I want is unsurpassed. We flew for MA-MO in September and it was an amazing experience. Planning MA-KS between Christmas and New Years. If you can make the numbers work I say have at it.
     
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  7. Baked Potato

    Baked Potato Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If I'm in that position in a year I'll be over the moon. It was the YOLO mentality that got me in the cockpit for the discovery flight a few months ago, and I've been nothing short of obsessed since. Planes are expensive but as was stated - life is short and you can't take that money with you when you leave!
     
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  8. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    If club availability meets your needs, then don't buy.

    But, it is neat to have your own airplane.

    I expect prices to drop so, but interest rates go up, so if you are financing, it may be a wash.

    All that said, I bought a few months ago, anticipating my retirement at the end of the year
     
  9. texasclouds

    texasclouds En-Route

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    Splash the cash player! YOLO. Do it. Git r dun. Can’t take it with you when your gone. It’s only money. Buy the plane already.
     
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  10. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    I heard a comedian say he would be quite upset if he finds out that you can take it with you! But I've never seen a trailer hitch on a hearse ...
     
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  11. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    This might be the only time you ever hear me say this to anyone, but I'd wait. With the state of the economy and the trajectory of interest rates, I'd be shocked if airplane prices don't fall 20% in the next 12-18 months.

    Now, if you think you'll have 20k worth of fun in that timespan, go for it. Also, I've been wrong more than once. Inflation will make your money worth 10% less in that time unless you have some place to invest it, so that might push you back towards doing it now.
     
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  12. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    A old country singer named Charlie Rich sang the line, "can't take it with you when you're gone ... but I want enough to get there on!"

    (From Rollin' with the flow)
     
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  13. kaiser

    kaiser Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think with 401ks/investments, it's like losing an engine at night. "Landing light on, if you don't like what you see... landing light off"
     
  14. 172andyou

    172andyou Line Up and Wait

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    There are only two reasons to buy a plane:

    1) Availability
    2) To get a plane that you can't find in a club

    Sounds like you have availability already and are shopping for a "normal" plane. So, keep using the club.
     
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  15. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    I think I'm echoing the statements of others.

    If the Club is meeting your needs, great.

    If the Club is getting in your way (scheduling, etc.) then buy. There's nothing quite like the feeling of owning the plane, and being able to change plans, not worrying about someone else's schedule.
     
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  16. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’m on the buy it side. Buy it before you get too old ,while you can still get reasonable insurance. And go whenever you want. I like doing cross countries,and a club plane isn’t always available on your schedule.
     
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  17. robin ardoin

    robin ardoin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you cannot stomach a potential drop in value over the next year or so, as Jim K suggests will likely occur, then rent for now and hold out for more value for your purchasing $$$. However, if time is more an issue than money, start shopping in earnest. I had to make a decision a few months back and the non-monetary value of owning a plane 'now' exceeded the concern of a significant depreciation in the asset value.
     
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  18. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    It may take some time to find the right bird, get a prebuy, make sure it’s pretty good. Even I thought mine was great, I’ve bought this year alone a new:

    Starter (it was messing up)
    Alternator (probably didn’t need this)
    Alternator belt (was old)
    Fuel pump
    LED Beacon (old one did crap out again)
    Crank seal
    Repaired landing light (practice night landings without a landing light, it isn’t fun)

    Also changed panel lights to LED, nav lights to LED and added a battery charger.

    Easily 8k above and haven’t even reached the annual yet, my mechanic is already pointing out a few more things to fix at annual. (Landing gear springs, wing root weather-seal and some fiberglass repair)

    But love being able to fly, but after getting my commercial rating I’ve slowed it down a bit. Would still like to get a few more nice xc trips in but my mechanic is asking me to plan the overhaul, I’m kind of like we have 500+ more hours to go, I hope…
     
  19. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    Would you be financing or a cash buyer? If financing then waiting is bad cause intrest rates will just keep climbing. If cash buyer, well then inflation is hurting that money just sitting there so just buy it. So I'm in the camp of buy it now! Don't be one of those perpetual tire kickers that I see here..same people year after year waiting for prices to drop and they never get in. If you have the means now pounce!
     
  20. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    seems like you are trying to buy a new plane a little bit at a time...
     
  21. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Up to $100K I'd pay cash - squirreled that away for just this purpose. . .is there a "season" for buying? Time of year when more deals are made (and more aircraft are on the block?)
     
  22. Tom Wells

    Tom Wells Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll be a bad influence: buy it :)

    I share the sentiment of others that the overall market is deteriorating a bit and likely to worsen in the next year or two, but I wouldn't plan my life around that. To summarize why I'm going to bastardize a Keynesian phrase "the market can stay erratic longer than you can keep your medical".

    The fact is a market turn could happen tomorrow, in a year, in 2 years, etc... Trying to plan your life and enjoyment around market fluctuations is a futile task. Unless you foresee really needing that liquidity, then I think the market ups and downs should be kind of a non-factor to most. At 100k$ purchasing point even a 20-30% swing shouldn't be catastrophic.

    If you've got the money to support ownership and you think it will give you added flexibility in retirement to take fun trips and build amazing memories, that's almost certainly worth WAY more than 20k, 30k$ in hard cash that you may (or may not) lose in asset depreciation. Just think about all the adventures you can take, on your own schedule, without having to factor in someone else's reserved time on the plane. Impromptu sunrise/sunset cruises, random hamburger runs, and vacations to places that would be a pain to do in the car. Isn't that what retirement is for? :rolleyes:
     
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  23. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    Winter time typically is the slow season and a good time to buy. But honestly anytime is good.
     
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  24. Lowen Loftin

    Lowen Loftin Filing Flight Plan

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    This guy truly gets it!!
     
  25. FPK1

    FPK1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would also make sure you have a local mechanic with availability as I'm seeing horror stories of significant delays in maintenance and annuals.

    Delays for avionics is even worse!
     
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  26. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    A lot of the reasons I bought.

    Plus, as mentioned, it is very cool to say MY PLANE. :D
     
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  27. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    It definitely feels different. I will occasionally sit in my hangar and just look at my plane. Just take her in. You don't do that with a club plane. You like club planes, but you love your plane.
     
  28. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    If I had any cash I'd spend it right now. All it's going to do is devalue. I'd rather keep the airplane, but I can no longer afford the upkeep.
     
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  29. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    I've heard! I think that's why I looked hard at EAB for a while - the "acquisition and sustainment" costs are more tolerable. Only. . . I'm handy, but nothing like A&P skilled. I can definitly handle the avionics side but I'd still be paying a pro to maintain the moving parts. My wanderings are focused on Grummans now - joined their pilots association, doing my due diligence.
     
  30. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Stop trying to do cost/benefit analysis on a plane purchase. It’s a crappy investment any way you look at it. This isn’t a financial move; it’s a heart decision.

    Did you do a financial analysis before deciding to marry your spouse? Did you decide to delay marriage a year to see what the market would do?
     
  31. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    LOL! Not on my first marriage - definitely on my second, and that one worked out a LOT better. . .
     
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  32. LesGawlik

    LesGawlik Line Up and Wait

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    You may be better with hard assets than fiat money in an account somewhere. When things collapse, at least you'll have something to sell.

    I say buy it. How many more medicals do you have in you? Go Basic? Maybe. But what happens if you get a TIA. Minimum of 2 years downtime. As they say in the DOD, "Don't get overtaken by events."
     
  33. somorris

    somorris En-Route

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    My input is it depends a lot on your wife as well. If she is retired and enjoys flying and travelling, go fo it. We sold our airplane back in July after owning it for 16 years. We owned another airplane for 4 years before that. We could not afford either at the time, it did not make good financial sense, but I don't regret either one. We are still here and haven't missed even a single meal! I don't even want to think about what my life would have been like up to this point if I had not gone down that road.
     
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  34. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    You make me realize all the things I should have done ... o_O
     
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  35. flyingpreacher

    flyingpreacher Pre-takeoff checklist

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    [​IMG]
     
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  36. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    I should've credit checked my in-laws. :rolleyes: If I had known what @SkyChaser was getting herself into I would've told her the same about you. :p
     
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  37. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    Shots Fired!!! :)
     
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  38. Half Fast

    Half Fast Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, but they’re blanks.

    :D
     
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  39. Abram

    Abram Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is never a good time to buy an airplane! It is always the worst possible way to spend excess cash; but there is also nothing like owning an airplane!

    When I was comfortable that I could swing the acquisition cost and got comfortable with the cost to operate, I found the right airplane for my mission and pulled the trigger. The way I looked at it with every airplane I have purchased is that if I felt that I had bit off more than I could chew, I can always sell the airplane and, if I buy it right, I won’t get hurt too bad. In my mind, the acquisition cost is difference between what I buy it for and what I sell it for, so I am less focused on the initial acquisition cost and more about what depreciation I can expect during the ownership period. That number, along with the annual operating costs is the cost of ownership to me.

    I found that my flying increased substantially because it was very easy to just grab the airplane and go somewhere. Most of my use was business related at that time, but eventually I started using the airplane for family trips and quickly became a significant part of my family’s life. It also opened up the opportunity for me to do a lot of flying for charitable organizations, which is a great use of an airplane.

    I can justify the expenditure if I use the airplane. My experience has been that as my aircraft capabilities have expanded, the mission and use has changed. As the mission has changed, my use of the airplane has expanded and I am flying a lot!

    I am fiscally conservative by nature, so I understand the desire to be careful, but as others have said, this is less a financial decision than an emotional one. However, I always temper those decisions with the financial realities.

    Good luck with your analysis!

    Abram Finkelstein
    N685AS
     
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  40. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    Your best deals are off market deals and that can happen anytime of year. Once a plane hits the open market there is too much competition. Both of my planes I've purchased were off market with reasonable sellers and time to negotiate.
     
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